Plant­ing the raised bed

Landscape (UK) - - Our LandScape -

Re­cently, I said that I was not happy with the raised bed I call the Hi­malayas, although, in truth, not ev­ery plant in it comes from that re­gion. The bed still needs more shade and bet­ter, fri­able soil. But, bit by bit, it is get­ting there. I have been buy­ing and stock­pil­ing plants for the last few months. It is time for some in­stant-ef­fect gar­den­ing, which is al­ways fun. One shrub that will be go­ing in is Fat­sia poly­carpa ‘Need­hams’ for its fan­tas­tic fine-fingered fo­liage. Un­like Fat­sia japon­ica, the leaves are more finely cut and matt, giv­ing an al­to­gether lighter, looser look. Where the bed gets sun­nier, Ami­cia zy­gomeris will be planted, hope­fully to tower over my head, as it can grow up to 6½ft (2m). This is an un­usual peren­nial, with stout stems, heav­ily notched leaves and yel­low pea flow­ers in late sum­mer. I have come to ap­pre­ci­ate the sub­tle charms of be­go­nias as ground cover plants, some of which over­win­ter in the soil. I have Be­go­nia gran­dis evan­siana ‘Alba’ in an­other bed. My lat­est pur­chase is Be­go­nia gran­dis ‘Sap­poro’, which has red un­der­sides to the leaves and can make 2ft (61cm) in height.

Ami­cia zy­gomeris, with its heartshape­d leaves and veined pur­ple and yel­low pea-like flow­ers.

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