Herbaceous Border

The double herbaceous border-at 172m in length-is one of the longest in the country. With its north-south axis, the border holds the fine William & Mary house at the top, and slopes down to the River Ure at the bottom.

In the past few years the entire border has been replanted, as although many of the plants were performing well enough, they were ready to be lifted and divided. This gave the opportunity to overhaul completely the planting scheme, and present a more cohesive design. The work was undertaken in two phases, during the closed season. The first phase was completed in the Autumn of 2013, and the second, larger one in the winter of 2015.

Plant establishment has been excellent, with many plants bulking up and achieving almost their full height in one season’s growth. This is surely a testament to the importance of soil preparation and the siting of this border, which provides near perfect conditions for these herbaceous plants to flourish. A new, modern colour palette has been incorporated, with plant colour and form carefully chosen by Lucinda Compton, Garden Curator. Softer pastels are strengthened by vibrant lilacs, magenta pink, lime green, claret and silver; all colours reflected in the trees beyond. Within the new design, Newby favourites such as Delphinium cultivars and Campanula lactiflora are still well represented, sitting comfortably with exciting new introductions. Architectural forms already encompassed by Cynara (artichoke) and Eryngium, are strengthened by the giant Scotch thistle, Onopordum acanthiumCrambe cordifolia gives a wonderful bridal bouquet of white flowers in late May, and later a fine skeleton of tiny dew drops. Aster sp. have readily bulked up; full of flower in late August, their pinks and lilacs compliment the strong claret of Dahlias ‘Hillcrest Royal’ and ‘Admiral Rawlings’. Colourful frontal plants including Sedum ‘Red Cauli, S. ’Green Expectations’ and Origanum dot their way down the beds, punctuated by the magenta of long flowering Geranium ‘Patricia’, thus ensuring there is colour from late Spring through to late Summer.

This border is a wonderful haven for bees, butterflies and dragonflies, and is worthy of more than one visit during the open season.

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