27 February 2013 By Billy Hawkins
Recently, Jane Tocher, one of the Alitex team attended a talk from the Head Gardeners Lecture Series - on this occasion held at Fulham Palace, where in 2012 we completed a large greenhouse project.
Andrea Brunsendorf from the Inner Temple Gardens in London, presented her top tips for plant combinations, (which can be one of the hardest things to get right in the garden) alongside the history of the Knights Templar. Within the precincts of the Inner Temple lies a three-acre garden, its wide lawns, populated with a rare and unusual collection of trees, sweeps towards the river and is bounded by spectacular herbaceous borders. For more information about these "secret London gardens", click here.
In 1854 the head gardener of the Inner Temple grounds started a chrysanthemum show which was a great social event, eventiually becoming the forerunner of the Chelsea Flower Show. The last Flower Show at The Inner Temple took place in 1911 before moving to the larger site at the Royal Hospital Ground and The Chelsea Flower Show as we know it today.
Andrea explained how there are four Inns of Court for education and the training of baristers but much of it is now hired out as Chambers. The garden and Andrea's work is supported by the Members.
Andrea's top tips for useful Plant Combinations, which she shared:
- Persicaria amplexicaulis Alba – white, white, nice for shady borders, not too rampant; ensure you divide it every four years
- Aquilegia chrysanthia Yellow Queen
- Papaver somniferum Lauren’s Grape – stunning poppy
Other planting combinations which she found to work well included:
- Some great mixing of dahlias and salvias
- Mexican sunflowers with cannas
- David Howard dahlias and pink salvias
- Helianthus x multiflorus capenoch star and Helianthus Lemon Queen
- Salvia involucrate Bethellii and Rudbeckia triloba
Useful Tips for borders included:
- Don’t be afraid to mix in clumps of tall plants at the front
- Bold clumps of blue flowers create a sense of depth
- Repeat colours and shapes to give a sense of continuity
- Remember to include transition pockets
The Inner Temple Gardens are normally open to the public from 12.30-3.00 each weekday. Access is via the main gate opposite Crown Office Row.
In 2013 they will be participating as part of the London Open Garden Squares Weekend in association with the National Trust. The Garden will be open on Sunday 9 June from 10am - 5pm.
*These images were taken at RHS Chelsea 2012 by the Alitex team and provide good examples of getting colour schemes right in a mixed border.