Expanding Our Borders
For many years, at the front of Château Plombis, there have been some small borders, rather a thin strip of earth, containing some very old rose varieties which, along with flowering shrubs around the place, the lavender walk in front of the orangerie, and pots around the pool, provided the only colour in the garden.
The owners of Château Plombis decided they would like to enlarge these narrow strips of earth and fill them with plants to create something a little more impressive in proportion with the château itself, and in order to properly frame the pale honey-stone building.
First, some mood boards were created to give the garden designer some ideas of the desired outcome:
The shape of the borders was discussed, marked out, finalised, and then the château gardener got to work collecting tonnes (literally!) of horse manure to enrich the ground and provide a welcoming home for the new inhabitants:
Meanwhile, local garden designer, Heather Galley, had investigated the site at different times of day to check the path of the sun and shade, and using this knowledge and the château owners’ moodboards, had come up with a clever planting scheme.
The scheme allows for interest and colour at all times of year in both beds, from spring bulbs through to summer-flowering perennials, while colourful stalks and architectural seed-heads ensure the borders still look wonderful through autumn and into the winter months. The beautifully fragrant old roses were left undisturbed and were incorporated into the scheme. They’ve definitely found a new lease of life amongst their new neighbours, and are particularly enjoying the drip-feed irrigation system.
It’s been wonderful watching the plants develop, in just a few short months, from skinny little things that seemed afraid to get too close to their neighbour when they were first planted, to a joyous riot of flora buzzing with bees and other nectar-gathering insects, and the borders now frame the chateau perfectly.
Garden design by Heather Galley of Galley Design www.galleydesign.org