A Bottle Garden 5
Image: A Peaceful Corner

There is a limited number of plants which will survive in such deep shade as that cast by this oak tree, but we managed to create an intriguing effect by mingling native plants with cultivars. We underplanted hellebores and hostas with primroses, wood anemones and cyclamen, grouping native British bluebells with lily of the valley and dicentra. A splash of pink was provided towards the back of the bed by red campion, with subtle tones of native bugle creeping under the ferns. White spires of monks hood gave dashes of light, and with a few well placed candlesticks this former eyesore became a charming place to sit both morning and evening. Particularly when the secret compartment was opened on a warm summer’s evening….