It's interesting. I've been so busy in my own garden I haven't had the inclination to pause and go and see what else is going on in the world of gardening. So, with this thought in mind, I thought it was high time to take a break and visit my local Botanic Gardens, and see what is going on there.
The front border was an impressive sight of colour, with clever use of kale providing a foil for seasonal annual flowers.
I then popped around to have a look at the Fuchsia collection, which was a little disappointing, with only six or eight varieties on show - so I moved on quickly.
Crocosmia, Helenium, Sedum, and sweet pea were among the many plants providing colour and interest in the border, set off by a very neatly trimmed Buxus hedge. What I like about these large borders are the sense of rhythm they have, brought about by repeat planting of some plants.
Now I know I've mentioned it before, I really do have to acquire a couple of more grasses, which provide not only interest in the border, but movement and sound too.
Speaking of sound, another stop off was the production garden, which has a circular water feature in the middle. The splish splash of water was very effective in drowning out other background noises. Although I've had ponds in other gardens, I don't have anything in my current garden. Hmmm - food for thought.
The production garden had plenty to see, from trained fruit trees, indoor grapes, bee hives, compost areas and plenty of vegetables and salad plants. What caught my eye most though was the mix of flowers to attract insects, both for pollination and natural predators too. It made a very interesting and colourful display, and again, some ideas to take away with me.
It was worth while to stop by the Hydrangea and Buddleia area, where both groups of shrubs were in full flower, making a very impressive sight indeed, with the strong scent too.
While the alpine area didn't have a huge amount of flower colour, the Japanese maples were providing some early autumnal interest, with leaves just beginning to turn the russet colours you expect to see next month. I do like the use of stone in this area and the paths disappearing out of sight. There is moving water in this area too, giving passers by something to pause and observe on their walks.
Further on, there was an area of annuals planted. What really caught my eye was the patch of Godetia, the flowers of which I haven't seen in quite some time.
My final stop off was the Dahlia area. The plants were smaller than this time last year, however there was still plenty of colour to investigate, which I'll write about separately.
Overall though, it was very useful to get out of my own garden, and go and seek inspiration from elsewhere.