A Favourite Front Garden – Part One

Dear Readers, the front gardens in the County Roads are not very large, and it can be quite a challenge to know what to do with them. Of course, my heart is always with those who have gardens that are both kind to pollinators and kind to people, and so I am kicking off this occasional series with a garden that is always full of interest, whatever the time of year. At the moment, the wisteria is just starting and the wacky yellow shrub/tree next to the gate is almost finished.

At the side of the house there is a very pretty perennial wallflower (not Bowle’s Mauve for once) and some bluebells that look the right colour for English ones to me, at least in this photo. And there is some green alkanet. Yes, it can be a bit of a thug, but if it wasn’t so common we’d all be out at the garden centre buying some. Look how blue the flowers are!  I love forget-me-nots too, but for sheer outrageous, decadent blue, green alkanet takes the prize.

Green alkanet (Pentaglottis sempervirens)

There is a patch which is full of wild strawberry, green alkanet, dandelions, white comfrey, and a tiny bit of yellow corydalis. Honestly, if I was a bee I couldn’t be happier. I suspect that as the council weed killing has ground to a halt, all the local wild plants are taking advantage. I will do a post soon on the mysterious things that are appearing in our local walls and crevices. But again, the combination of blue, yellow and white really is most appealing.

White comfrey

Now, I know that the lady who lives in this house will probably say that the garden is a mess, and I suspect that it’s not what she intended. But nature is a splendid gardener, and takes advantage as soon as our backs are turned, or as soon as a pandemic crops up. All i can say is that as i march past on my daily walk, it always brings a smile to my face. And as I have just started back at work and am battling daily with spreadsheets, that’s something to cherish.




8 thoughts on “A Favourite Front Garden – Part One

  1. Anne

    I am a great believer in allowing nature to take its course – within reason. To this end I let flowers that have seeded themselves to grow wherever they wish and am often pleased with the results. Far from having gardens weeded and trimmed to within an inch of their lives, we increasingly need to provide havens for birds, pollinators and small animals. I enjoyed visiting this so-called ‘messy’ garden for it seems to tick all the boxes!

    1. Bug Woman Post author

      Agreed, Anne. It’s a tricky balance to keep a garden good for wildlife but also managed – if you don’t do any work, you sometimes lose the biodiversity to the most thuggish plants, but if you do too much you end up with a bland monoculture.

  2. Andrea Stephenson

    Green alkanet is a gorgeous flower I think, and I love the little flowers of comfrey – there’s a big area of that by the burn in the dene I walk in, but they’ve just put in a concrete outlet pipe so the burn can run freer and cleared it all away – I’m hoping it’ll all come back once things get bedded in.

    1. Bug Woman Post author

      I think that green alkanet and comfrey are both pretty resilient as far as disturbance is concerned. I don’t think I’ve ever seen as much of either as I have this year, or maybe I’m just noticing…

  3. Sarah Ann Bronkhorst

    You’re right, the pollinators do love a messy garden like this one. The yellow-flowered shrub is a Sophora, originally from New Zealand I believe, and the bees go crazy for it. Their noise is deafening when it’s in full bloom.

    1. Bug Woman Post author

      I am going to do a post on Sophora next year. If you notice someone lurking outside your house with a camera, it’ll be me 🙂


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