Welcome to Rooting for Ideas

My Name is Don Statham and this is my garden blog. (Seasonal Photos of Don’s Garden)

I am mad about plants, some might say obsessive! One of the points of this blog is to connect with other passionate gardeners who also like to talk about plants, garden design, garden writing and all things horticultural.

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Shifting plantings

In late June and early July, there is the first wave of flowering perennials, mostly a variety of tall geraniums, Campanula lactiflora, Dracocephalum sibiricum (the back bone of the garden) in different shade of blue. The salvias Amethyst and Midnight blue also begin to bloom.  A few splashes of bright orange trollius compliment the over riding theme of the blues. In mid July, an explosion of Lauren grape poppies come into flower shifting the palette of the garden up a notch along with the warmer temperatures. Drumstick alliums quickly follow along with the almost black flower of the landenii Lilies.  The orange accents are replaced by red accents of the shrub Calcanthus Aphrodite, Persicaria Fats Domino, and Crocosmia Lucifer. The geraniums set seed and require a lot of cutting back and eventually I just cut them to the ground.

At this time of year, I start taking lots of notes about plants to move in the fall or new plants ideas to add some height to the boarder. I‘ve decided to take out some of the tall geraniums because they are self seeding all over the garden crowding out many smaller plants.  I am thinking of adding some little blue stem grasses at the front of the boarder and for height adding some different blue panicums, like Dallas blues and  Panicum Shenandoah.  Last winter, was hard on plants and I lost many well established perennials including Nepeta six hills giant, salvias, geranium dragon’s heart and some native monarda fistulosa. The garden is never static and I find it’s important to keep adjusting the planting to strike the right balance. Here’s a few photos showing the shifting palette of the garden from early July to late.

Late June, early July boarder. Mostly blue flowering perennials.

Kalemeris, trollius, goats beard and geraniums.

Lauren’s grape poppy comes into flower

Salvia amethyst and Lauren’s grape poppy

Knautia macedonia begin to flower

Landinii Lilies

Acanthus spinosus

Posted in Design Ideas, Perennials | Tagged | 9 Comments

Garden Edit

Three years ago I had the good fortune to be invited by a Dutch friend to visit her childhood home in Holland and tour some Dutch gardens.

At the top of my list were the gardens of one the twentieth century’s greatest landscape architects, Mein Ruys. Ruys died in 1999, but this being Holland her gardens have been beautifully preserved. Over seventy years on 6.18 acres she created thirty garden rooms. And while I had seen photos of the place nothing prepared me for the beauty of being there. Ruys’s use of strong architectural foundations: hedges and walls and paths – provide contrast to the looser softer plantings; a perfect balance of the controlled and the willful. Nearly twenty years after her death her gardens live on expressing an acute sense of design, her playfulness and daring. The Gardens Of Mien Ruys

Piet Oudolf designed the planting of the Highline in New York and the Laurie Gardens in Chicago. Loving both of these, I was excited to see what he had done at Hummelo, his own garden in the Netherlands. A Wild Idea -The Gardens of Piet Oudolf

Using many native North American meadow perennials and grasses over large prairie like spaces with backdrops of tall hedges, Oudolf has artfully tamed what would otherwise be wild and let what would usually considered tame to take on a haphazard wildness. His gardens are like mysterious memories; summer prairie where the designer/gardener has worked to make his touch lightly visible.

As with any really enriching garden experience this profusion of beauty caused me to reflect on my own garden; specifically what’s not working!
In hindsight three years after that trip, I can see the influence those two gardens have on my own garden.

After returning from the Netherlands I began to viciously edit my fourteen year old garden ripping out overgrown shrubs and exposing huge gaping holes. After this clever burst of gut like certainty the overriding feeling was one of panic! But over the following years I was given or bought perennials to fill those gaps, moved things to different spots and waited. This year, perhaps for the first time, I really like my garden.

As any gardener knows a garden is never static and I will continue to make changes as plants mature, but I am closer now, much closer, to the vision in my head. Watch this space! (More beautiful Dutch Gardens) Dutch gardens


Lily Landini and drumstick alliums mingle in the borders


Nepeta sibirica ( blue) Stachy Hummelo (pink)


Agastache blue forntune


Moon garden Aralia sun king, white cosmos


Moon garden


Echinacea, veronicastrum virginicum, monarda grand parade, crocosmia lucifer


Grass Calamagrostis brachytricha


Garden July 2018


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Posted in Design Ideas, Perennials, Photos of Don's Garden, Piet Oudolf's Gardens, The Flowering Border, The Gardens Of Mien Ruys, Variegated Plants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments