Sarah Coles

In the Shade

BTY inc leaves & insect 016 - CopyWe’ve been in 5 Bay Tree Yard nine years, and it gets shadier by the day.  The quince was here already, and the two birches are now tall (the woman over the fence asked if we’d have them topped, because of the nuisance of leaves rotting her decking. We said no – the birches are a lot older than her house and garden).  And, to create a further visual barrier between us and the fence, I planted four standard cotoneasters, one whitebeam, two Gleditsia triacanthos Sunburst either side the steps from the patio to the lawn, one Koelreuteria – Golden Rain Tree – and one Sophora japonica because it’s also called the Chinese Scholar’s Tree.

And they have grown!  The Gleditsias are like giant golden ferns, far daintier than yellow leaved Robinia.  The red berried cotoneasters are lipstick for months, the leaves of the whitebeam open like tulips stitched from white felt, the Sophora leans like a parasol over the patio, and the Koelreuteria hangs its golden rain but so high up it has to be seen from upstairs.

Birds love it.

IMG_4625But what about under the trees?  Well dear old aquilegias are fine, of course.  But also ‘sunlovers’ like white leaved lamium (lamium maculatum), stunning white all winter, and now.  It’s starting to show some pink flowers, but I liked it as it was. And verbascum (‘sun essential’ say the catalogues) like apricot flowered  Verbascum Gainsborough.  I am sure that given the choice they’d say, Sun Please! But they make do so nicely at times I think it’s a preference.IMG_4626

Under the quince not surprisingly lily of the valley likes it dark, and the geranium macrorhizum, but so does the Vinca hirsuta which I found on a walk.

I shall add others!

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