gardening at home with sarah | a tour of the dutch yard

Sarah walks us through the Dutch Yard at Perch Hill, discussing her favourite container plants.

It’s a cold morning this morning, it’s really, really freezing it’s like Alpine weather, but it’s still beautiful, and this is the Dutch Yard. So this is a north facing side of our house, and so it’s quite shady, and it used to be really horrible until we bricked it and now I absolutely love it because it’s like a stage for all our pot plants.

So we’ve got things like all the different muscaris, like this lovely ‘Pink Sunrise’, and then beautiful pansies like this viola called ‘Antique Shades’ mix which I adore, and this other muscari, this other grape hyacinth called latifolium which has the two different blues, I love that.

And then we’ve got a fritillary and early tulip collection going on here, so these are all brand new trial varieties and this one’s just coming out called ‘Sunset’ which looks like it’s going to be so beautiful because it’s got that beautiful bronze foliage. And then these two we’re growing to compare, and this one is slightly greener, limier called ‘Early Sensation’ so I actually prefer that to ‘Helena’ I think. And then this has already been in flower so what is it, it’s the end of March now and this has already been in flower for three weeks and that’s ‘Salmon Prince’, and it started sort of salmon but it’s going more bronzey now, and I really like that, so I’ve been very, very happy with those.

So then from the Dutch Yard you go down into the Oast Garden, and this is an amazing Rheum called atrosanguineum, and by sort of May, June, it’s right up to here (waist height), it’s incredible, really lush crimson foliage, and then a Cardoon, which, I mean I love Cardoons.

So from the Oast you go up on to the lawn, and in the Oast Garden it’s really intense strong colour, not yet obviously in March but it will be in about a month’s time, and then out onto the lawn it’s much calmer colour I want it to be mainly whites and primroses, and actually we’ve just discovered this new tulip here called ‘Concerto’, which a friend of mine in Holland introduced me to, and I love it because it’s been in flower already three weeks, so from early March, and we’ve underplanted it with this species tulip called ‘Turkestanica’ which is beautiful and elegant – goes over quite quickly but then it gives you lovely seedpods which have fantastic shape, so I’m really liking the double layer of that particular combination of tulips.

We call this area of our garden the Dutch Yard, because of the Dutch bricks and stuff, and so I’ve got lots of hydrangeas which are classic for a Dutch front garden, and Amelanchiers, beautiful, beautiful at this time of year.

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