Northern lights

The front of the cottage at Genus HQ faces north, looking across the orchard lawn and into the surrounding fields.  There is a border adjoining the cottage on this side too, planted with a variety of perennials including Geranium, Anemone, and Pulmonaria, along with a scattering of tulips and narcissi.

The bed was once home to a rapidly expanding Philadelphus which threatened to dominate the border.  We decided to  remove most of the wood, training just half a dozen branches up against the cottage wall.  It’s a decision we’ve never regretted.  Maintenance is easy - old flowered stems are removed every winter and new shoots tied in to horizontal wires.  A neighbouring Schizophragma hydrangeoides - a climbing plant introduced into the Uk in 1901 by EH ‘Chinese’ Wilson and known as the Japanese Hydrangea Vine - is equally low on maintenance requiring just a light trim every winter to keep it out of the gutters and off the window frames.  Flowering in early July along with the Philadelphus, together they both bring a wonderful splash of light into an otherwise shady spot.