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The Gardener's Year


Planting your border

It is so easy to place plants too close together without regard for their height and spread as they mature. To avoid mistakes, follow Lucia Latenstein's planting guide for a new herbaceous border and lay down roots for the coming years 

May is prime time for a gardener - everything is growing before your very eyes. For a new herbaceous border we made a list of suitable plants in and and a planting plan in . We prepared our border in .  Now it's time to put it all into action. Let’s take the planting plan of the sunny border as an example.

Draw a grid of meter squares over your planting plan:

Measure out and mark this grid over the border with bamboo canes as shown in the photograph.

With the help of the grid on the drawing and the bamboo canes in the border place all the plants according to the plan (be careful of your eyes with the bamboo canes).

Bedding In

Once all your plants are in the correct position you can start planting. Dig a hole, soak each plant in a bucket of water, remove from the pot and loosen the roots and plant in position. Plant the top of the roots at least at the level of the border soil (preferably a little bit deeper). When all the plants are planted, water the border. It is important that the soil is compacted around the roots of the plants to avoid air pockets.

Water your border during long dry periods. This is most important in the first season. We’ve chosen dry and sun-loving plants so they should be fine once they are established. 

Rendez-vous aux Jardins 2014

Each year gardens across France, both private and public, open their gates under the Department of Culture 'Rendez-vous aux Jardins' scheme - last year the number of garden enthusiasts visiting totalled a whopping 1.8 million. The theme for 2014 is the child in the garden. Friday May 30 is reserved for school visits, Saturday May 31 and Sunday June 1 are the public open days. The full list of the gardens in Burgundy will be available shortly.

One of the gardens part of the scheme but open daily from April to September and well worth visiting is at Apremont-sur-Allier just out of the Burgundy region (there are many Apremonts in France. If you go there please be sure it is the right Apremont in the Allier). There is a beautiful pergola of at least 60 meters long covered with blue and white wisterias, above right. When I visited at the end of April, it was a little bit too early - it will be even better in early May.

©Lucia Latenstein
Hameau de Fontenille
19, Rue du Ponceau
+33(0) 386 18 19 44 +33(0) 6 4015 4793