My favourite type of garden is the herbaceous border, and over the years I have been responsible for various sizes and shapes, some of them world famous. The diversity of plants that one can use to create various effects is mind blowing, and once again, on a visit to the gardens at Upton House last weekend, I was reminded of some old favourites in their own borders.
It was while walking through here with Amanda that I came across my own nemesis.
In my mind, never a plant that looks comfortable in any border, be it herbaceous, shrub or flower. The Gladioli looks as though it should stand out and upright like the multi-coloured queen of flowers, but instead appears to always be either pointing off the vertical (essential for this shape and style of border plant), or forced into erectness by having canes tied to every stem, not attractive.
Don't get me wrong, as individual blooms I think that they are absolutely stunning, both in form and colour almost without exception. There can be no doubting their beauty and elegance, as can be clearly seen in this wonderful white specimen below....perfect! Maybe, she is also just TOO showy and grand for outside borders?
or the simple intricacy of this lovely Gladioli 'Bouton'.
or 'Flevo Laguna'.
But they never really work in a garden for me.
I bought Amanda some stems of Gladioli 'Purple Flora', and as usual they did what they do best, displayed in a vase indoors. Ten to fifteen stems just simply arranged off the vertical and in a circle.
Something that even then doesn't appear to work at flower shows, as it all becomes one technicolour nightmare. No, this queen of flowers is a loner, she doesn't need companions to highlight her beauty, and so I will remain that gardener who excludes her from ANY planting schemes, opting instead for the good old display in a vase on the hall table, and shall wince whenever I come across her in a mixed border.
Unless of course 'The Smith's' need a new front man!
Thanks for dropping in!