No Time Like the Crescent

The Crescent is a narrow strip of border with one end attached to Magnolia Hill. Its shape was dictated from having a large semi-circular border marked on one side of the garden and a semi-circular area of grass opposite, the resulting shape forms a long, narrow run that elegantly curves between two rose arches.

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In the shot above, you can see the polythene-covered corner border on the left, Magnolia Hill in the middle and one edge of Fruit Avenue on the right. This was two years ago when the wooden sticks I put on the grass to mark the new garden borders was translated into prime border estate with the help of a lawn edger.


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In this picture, Magnolia Hill is covered over with polythene, but the shape of the crescent is just being worked out. At its narrowest point, it’s only a foot or so wide. Despite that, there is still a fair amount of space, especially at either end, to have planting.

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The Crescent is a formal border, the long narrow space doesn’t allow for much else. In deciding what to plant here, I knew I wanted to have the border act as a screen, separating the half-moon of the lawn from the half-moon of the large herbaceous border opposite. I wanted to make the space feel enclosed, the rose arches at either end of the crescent are the only ways in and out and feel almost like doors into the area. The fruit trees and bushes planted along Fruit Avenue form a wall so the Crescent needed to have something tall and impressive to complete the feeling of atmosphere.

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My choice was to go for a long, stately row of regal Delphiniums. They quick and easy to grow, establish well and they make a real statement when in flower. The Delphiniums of the Crescent were planted last year and now, in mid-summer 2016, they are out in flower and they really do look the part.

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The Graham Thomas rose is a climber that is making its way to the top of the arch at one end of the Crescent. The delphiniums stand amassed with towering blue spires along the length of the Crescent almost to the other end, only I ran out of Delphiniums and so there is a bit of a gap that needs filling in. The delphiniums that are further away are also shorter (it’s not an illusion), I’m not sure why, it may be due to the amount of sun they receive or how wet the soil becomes towards the second arch (it gets very wet, very easily towards that part of the garden).

This is currently one of the “wow” parts of the garden at the moment and I’m really proud of it, it’s just a shame that the grass the Crescent encloses is wet almost all year round so one needs a mat to avoid a wet bottom!

10 Comments


    1. Thank you, Mrs Mac! They’re not standing up so straight after the recent downpours.

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  1. I love it!! Just spectacular! I can hardly wait to see it. 🙂 We can’t grow delphiniums here. It’s too hot. 🙁

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    1. Hello Tammy, I don’t know what temperatures Delphiniums can tolerate but they’re certainly not being challenged by hot temperatures in our wash-out summer!

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  2. The Delphiniums are magnificent! I like how you take pictures of all the stages of starting a bed. I always mean to but usually forget.

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    1. Hello Jason, thank you, I’m getting a little better at taking the “before” pictures now than I was in the previous garden. It’s easy to forget just what the “start” was like and how much it has changed.

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  3. I am definitely wowed by your delphiniums! They are not easy plants to grow here. My determination to have them in my garden means that I end up replacing 1/3 to 1/2 of the plants in any given year. They are looking particularly pathetic this year, so it’s a thrill to see your gorgeous planting.

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    1. Hello Jean, the Delphiniums have given a good display this year despite being battered by winds and thunderstorms in our miserable excuse for a summer. I’m not sure how many years they’ll last in our heavy wet soil (despite being dug over), but they readily grow from seed so I need to make sure I have the next generation waiting to take over.

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