The Artist Garden was a project created for the UK City of Culture in Derry-Londonderry, the project saw Artist Katie Holten design a garden which was built for the City of Culture. Void Derry Gallery were behind the project. I was the Horticultural advisor on the project, Romac Landscapes was project manager. The project saw a formery unused Factory courtyard (which gets no direct sunlight) transformed into a woodland inspired garden, inspired by the phrase '1000 shades of green' and a recent walk I led to Loughermore Forest in County Derry - the ancient woodland around Ashbrook House supplied the Aged Timber and Stones for the garden, plants for the project were sourced through Gardening Express
Not only did the fabulous Katie Holten give me some Aquilegia, she also gave me some Astrantia major 'Magnum Blush' . I took the big clump and divided it into 4 smaller plants. I kept one of these clumps for my own garden, and I'm delighted to report its doing brilliant.
Astrantia is a great 'filler plant', its not a guiding light of the garden, its a filler - a workhorse, something that fills the space and lets other shine. It does produce a small flower but the main reason you're gonna be growing this is to fill space, in my garden its planted to fill space between the Comfry and Cordyline, reducing my weeding...
I was given these as a present when artist Katie Holten was in town designing the Artist Garden Project for City of Culture.
Katie gave me a few plants which were from her mothers garden in Ardee.
We planted these in some raised beds in the North West Regional College, so that we could then let them flower and seed - our plans is to then gather seed from them , grow lots more, and then plant them throughout the town!!
Katie gave me a few different types and they're all starting to come into flower as a result of the glorious sunshine of late.
In a few of the pics you'll see my Foxglove bed - which is just looking amazing
These Grannys Bonnet plants thrive in full sun to partial shade and typicall reach heights of 2-3', the foliage is lovely an delicate looking and the flowers come on good strong stems. Grannys Bonnet are ideal as a filler in amongst evergreen shrubs and the likes to give some bright summer colour. As mentioned above the plants do produce seeds and will self-seed easily in some cases, so either let them go if this is desired, or remove old flower heads to prevent self-seeding.
You'll see a super selection of Aquilegia plants here on the Gardening Express site
The Katie holten designed Artist Garden project is coming on great..the official opening is this sat from 6-8pm with the Mayor Kevin Campbell doing the honours, the challenge of this project has been the shade (from the planting choice), the courtyard of the City Factory gets no direct sunlight, so the choice of plants have to have this factored in, a plant we have majored on is Ferns, we have a lovely selection planted in the garden, some Evergreen, some non-evergreen, so it'll probably August when the garden is at its best, as this is when all the Hostas will be up and in their glory too....
In the garden I think we have 10 different types of ferns, from small to medium to large growing types, as mentioned before some evergreen, some non-evergreen, these few pics are them just after we had them planted, and they arrived in this great condition. We selected Ferns which were tough and pretty and provided a range of colours and textures. We sourced the Ferns here from Gardening Express.
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