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It's been a while - new border in back garden


Well, it’s been a while since I wrote down how my garden was progressing, I have been really busy gardening and I got myself a job which on top of family life keeps me from logging on!
I ventured out into the back garden armed with a husband and mini digger and early Spring saw the beginning of the planting.
This is how the Antipodean bed started out- yes I know that’s a Mexican Weeping Pine over the top right of the picture, my Geography is a bit awry, but I love it, very tactile for a pine.

The tree fern has an acacia longifolia growing from the bottom, this little seed must have fallen into the tree fern when it was very young and rooted and grew. Now it is in the garden, getting nutrients and water, it is romping away. I’m not too sure at this time whether the tree fern will suffer, this may be a very expensive experiment!!

This is how it is looking now! There is still a lot of work to do like the edging around the borders

Here are some of the shrubs I have chosen, the majority of them are antipodean, from Tasmania, New Zealand and Australia.
Coprosmas – One of my favorite shrubs at the moment and as I live on the Isle of Wight I have a pretty good chance of getting them through the Winter.
This one is called Fireburst, I love this when you water it, the foliage completely lights up. Coprosmas are also known as ‘mirror plants’ and more varieties are creeping over to Britain as we push the boundaries of hardiness

This one is one of my favorites and is known as Kiwi Red, beautiful dark green/black shiny leaves

This one is called Painters Pallette, similar to Rainbow Surprise

Also the back of the border as you go through the arch, which will soon be covered in rambling rose, is where i wanted a moss path with stepping stones running through it. Live moss, in the quantities I require, is harder to get hold of than I thought! I have been researching alpines and other plants with tight spreading low habits. Scleranthus uniflora is one I’ve considered and it’s from New Zealand! Bonus!!

Now this is number 1 on my favourite shrubs list – Acacia Baileyana Purpurea
The foliage is a glaucus blue with the new shoots appearing as purple. In the Spring, the flowers are yellow, it is evergreen and beautiful

This is Grevillea ‘Mount Tamboritha’. Grevilleas come in different guises, other varieties are Juniperina and Rosemarifolia. The Mount Tamboritha variety has strange flowers, they initially look like tightly closed fists, then they explode! The foliage has a succulent image, but is a very woody habit. This is a low level spreading version.

Grevillea Rosemarifolia

This is another shrub that originated from New Zealand I think. It is Prostrata Cunetea or the Alpine Mint Bush. It can grow to 3ft high and has amazing delicate white flowers.

This area is at the back of the bed and is in a shady position. I dug a deep bed and lined it with old plastic compost bags. I refilled it with soil improver and manure then planted it up with bog plants. I have Rodgersia, Podophyllum emodi, Podophyllum peltatum, Rodgersia (not sure of the variety), Woodwardia Fimbriata – the giant chain fern, holly fern and others I can’t remember! I expect some bulbs will pop up in the Spring, I think I put Epimediums in here??

I hope you like it and my collection of antipodean plants! I think it is lovely. As Winter nears us, all of the shrubs apart from the tree fern will stay evergreen with different colour foliage, and the Alliums and tete a tete I’m going to plant will start to add vibrant colour. A work in progress…………………………..

Some updated pictures of the plants and how much the border has grown

More blog posts by AndreaRichter

Previous post: Back Garden, a digger and Swiss Tony....................................

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Oh wow, Andrea! What a difference! It's all looking great. I do hope everything survives the winter this year. My new Coprosmas are all in pots and will be taken into the greenhouse just in case!

I love what you've done. :-))

30 Sep, 2009


Your garden is lovely, very different. Your antipodean plants look great. jungly! :o))

30 Sep, 2009


That sure looks good Andrea and a great selection of plants.........

30 Sep, 2009


lovely plants. ill be watching to see what graviellias were fine last year and i have one of those prostrata cunetea (i didnt know its name...). its nice to push the bounderies dont u think?

1 Oct, 2009


My grevilleas thrived and produced some beautiful cheerful flowers over the cold snowy Winter we had. Thank you everyone for your kind comments, I will keep you all updated as things grow, have to be moved, etc lol

1 Oct, 2009


I love your garden Andrea.
You've got some wonderful plants there and what a large garden too :-)

1 Oct, 2009


Lovely Andrea....wish I had the room to do something like that....well done you :))

1 Oct, 2009


Great seeing what you can grow with your milder conditions - I might try an 'Arctic' bed, lol.

1 Oct, 2009


Lovely plants - well done!

1 Oct, 2009


Is the climate the reason you have gone antipodean? Or just that you like them? Are they draught lovers? It looks lovely already I love all year round interest in a garden.

1 Oct, 2009


The climate on the Island is a little warmer by a few degrees more than the rest of the country, so I am able to get away with leaving plants out over Winter rather than lifting them. Some don't mind drought, but many do need a bit of water like most of our native plants. I love the diversity of colour, different foliage and flowers that attracts me and a lot of them match our climate quite well

1 Oct, 2009


Hi Andrea, good blog, and nice to see you're still around :0)

1 Oct, 2009


Hi Blue, ditto x

2 Oct, 2009


So very interesting, do love your choice of plants, we have started a jungle area, so I will be watching yours for some hints and tips, we bought the Acacia for my daughter who lives 5 mins away and it is such a stunning tree, I think I may ask for one for Christmas, as it made it through last winter.

15 Nov, 2009


Hi Dotty, you could get away with more choice of acacia given the fact you are just over the water from me in Hampshire. If you are ever on the IOW during the Spring/Summer months, pop over the the Botanical Gardens in Ventnor and get some inspiration from there. They also have a plant shop

15 Nov, 2009


Yes we really must make the effort, have been "going to " for the last 8 years !!

15 Nov, 2009


Andrearichter. Love your blog and piccies. It tittled me how you were 'armed with a husband and digger'! My poor hubby, whenever he comes home from work, I always have jobs for him to do in the garden which are too heavy, or big for me! I think he goes to work for a rest!! You have lots of ideas for your garden and are quite knowledgeable. I haven't got a clue most of the time!

P.S. Should read 'all of the time'!

4 Apr, 2010


Truely inspiring. I live in Sydney and am v impressed that you are trying this. It's the equivalent of me trying to keep a woodland garden going over summer here!

27 Jul, 2013

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