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  • Writer's pictureSofias Country Gardens

Enjoying a secret

I have a secret garden tucked away above the house at Humlegård. Although it is just above the parking lot by the front door, it is practically invisible sitting in a little crevice. It has the perfect location, facing the sun all day and overlooking the water.

It is shelters from the wind and the stone hill radiates warmth long into the evening after a sunny day. It also has redcurrant on standards, planted around the seating area so that you can pick the berries straight from the bush while enjoying a glas of wine.

The colours in the boarder are chosen to harmonise with each other. As always I use Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla Mollis) in the background as it combines well with almost everything, and next to the lovely dark pink, almost wine red Mountain burnett (Sanguisorba hakusanensis). Here nature intervened, and blue cow vetch (Vicia cracca) turned up by itself and complemented the planting more beautifully then I had ever dreamt of.

I also planted lots of Trollus chinensis "Golden Queen", which really is as golden as it seems. I love its yellow pom-poms, and so do my friends the bees! And behind all of this, I have hidden away a tiny Rhubarb baby, just because I can.

In the furthest corner of the secret garden there is a Crataeus laevigata “Paul’s Scarlet” surrounded by purple leaved Easter ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius 'Diabolo') shrubs. I love the way it catches the eye while sitting at the table, and for once I'm pleased.

The upper level on the other hand is reached by steps, and is in its planting very boring. The soil here is sandy and dry as all the water trickles down to the lower level, and no amount of soil improvement seems to work. I believe in working with what you have got, and so the planting here is mirrored to function with the conditions.

It is a utility garden with a bed of mint to the right, strawberries and an old bathtub filled with Jerusalem artichokes to the left. The only redeeming feature is the beautiful yellow tomatoes I plant by the stone steps, tempting the passerby to indulge.

But, on the other hand, it has worked out well as butterflies love this part of the garden and delight me with their graces all day long.

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