The Knot Garden

A parterre was close to the top of our garden wish list. After all, it provides year round interest, looking as good on a frosty winter's morning as in the height of summer, and, apart from the annual post Derby Day trim, it was a trouble free option. Well, that was we thought the case back in 2008 but, of course, then the ravages of box blight reached these parts back around 2012 and, since then, the back pack sprayer has been wielded on a very regular basis in an attempt to keep on top of the problem. And, pleasingly, we seem to be (for the time being at least) winning that war although it may be dangerous to take anything for granted until such time as a guaranteed treatment for blight becomes available. For now, Signum is the treatment we use straight after clipping and then once or twice more later in the summer.

As for the box shapes, diagonally opposite each other are two traditional love knots and, somewhat cheesily, two M's within D's (for Maggie and David). The planting scheme for the garden is white although occasional  mutations do appear, especially the veronicastrum alba which is trying in places to turn blue. When the garden was first planted, we made the mistake of not only trying to incorporate too many plant species but also leaving a June gap when we had very little in flower. So now a reduced planting scheme has hellebores and white tulips in Spring, followed by MacMillan shrub roses and Delphinium in June. July/August sees the Hydrangea Annabelles, Dahlia "My Love", Veronicastrum Alba and Agapanthus taking over. And throughout the year, height is provided by 10 half standard, bell shaped, Portuguese Laurels and 4 rose clad metal frames, two each at the north and south entrances to the garden; the roses on these frames are the beautifully scented Rosa Creme de la Creme.