Monday, August 1, 2011

Border Patrol...

We have set out to create Gertrude Jekyll borders styled borders around the potager, such as the one above. They typify many people's idea of an English garden. This style was made popular in the late Victorian and Edwardain periods. Many of the English country estates which were still mainly in the 18th Century landscape style of Lancelot Brown and his ilk, were partially transformed to the cottage, natural style. Many such houses compartmentalised this look to one or two areas. As such, today when visiting these places you get the feeling of the transformations over time as you stroll from one garden to the next. This is what we hope to create at Willowbrook - over all a landscape styled park with 'rooms' or areas in particular styles.

Around the potager beds seemed a good place to develop a cottage style, and a more victorian style, the centrepiece one day being a Gothic Victorian Glasshouse (but in the nearer future a potting shed will have to suffice).

Here are some examples of the better English borders from various houses...

Above: An herbacious border at Hidcote

Below: The Red boder at Hidcote

Above and Below: The herbaceous borders at Nymans Gardens

When choosing the flowers for the border, we stuck to tried and true flower species...




Alchimilla mollis (Lady's mantle)




(We collected seeds from my grandmother's garden last year - many of these sepcies have easy to collect seeds, so ask about friends and family at the end of summer before you go buying any vast amounts from your local garden centre).


Digitalis (Foxglove)


Allium species


[Previous photo removed as was not in public domain. For more amazing photos however, please visit]

Campanula (Canterbury Bells)

Moluccella laevis (Bells of Ireland)


(again, many tubours came from my grandmother's garden. They divide every year, and take very easily as long as every tubour your divide has a neck to it)

Cerinthe major (Honeywort)

Meconopsis grandis, nicknamed the Blue Poppy (although it is not a poppy), of which there are 2 varieties, one native to Wales, and the other native to the Himalays (also known as the Himilayan Poppy)

And of course Nigella (Love in the mist)

We have also chosen many English roses for the border as well, which we shall share in our next post, a rose by any other name.


  1. There is of course a huge difference between the goals and techniques of a Capability Brown garden and those of an Arts and Crafts garden. The former focused on vast open spaces, vistas, trees and lakes; the latter focused on small spaces, flowers, colour, planned paths and vegetables patches.

    That being said, I love Cloudehill Gardens in outer Melbourne and can see strong similarities with your first couple of photos. I will love your garden equally, I am sure.

  2. I visited the Cloudehill Website ( They do have well laid out grounds don't they.

    Not that I want an 'instant garden', but I think mixing the different styles will help it resemble a garden that has been adapted over time (without taking generations to add and alter it like many historic gardens have).

    I must admit, I am inpatient for Spring though :-)



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