HGandG Blog - Fabulous Fennel

Fabulous Fennel
Thu, Jul 14, 2011
Herbs should be at the top of your list when considering planting in your garden.

As I write this I am admiring the statuesque bronze Fennel growing in my hot border outside the back of the house. It's upright stems and beautiful flat flower heads add a different dimension to the border. The thin stems and the almost 5 foot height of the plant allow you to see through the plant and appreciate the garden behind from a new perspective. This bronze Fennel has a muted green/bronze colour which is unusual and difficult to obtain from another plant, its flower heads are just blooming and turning into a rich mustard yellow and are covered in swarms of hoverflies.

This gets me thinking about how often I use herbs within my planting designs, whether they be for garden borders or containers. Herbs are almost totally reliable, whatever the weather. I have never lost a herb plant to cold weather or hot summer or bad soil, they just seem to get on with the job of growing and flowering. My 3 small Sage plants which cost me about £5 in total and were planted 3yrs ago have grown into an enormous evergreen carpet which are just starting at this time of year to send out their spikes of blue flowers. These 3 have been hacked back to the ground on 2 occasions to keep them in check and still bounce back with wonderful fresh foliage. They are also a favourite shelter for our frogs and toads which must love the dense cool shade that they provide.

Last year I added a Lemon Balm and a Curry plant to this border. The Lemon Balm was so quick off the mark in Spring with its fresh lime green foliage and it just keeps on getting bigger and bigger (although admittedly now it is looking a little haggard, but is giving the Fennel some competition in the height stakes). Again the bees love its white flowers which it is absolutely covered in. The Curry plant has similar flower heads to the Fennel but all this mustard yellow activity is happening at ground level and contrasts beautifully with its silver foliage.

Herbs are not only useful in the kitchen but they are a cheap, often evergreen, reliable addition to your borders and should not be overlooked when you are considering planting.

The garden is getting into its late Summer stage now, everything has gone yellow orange and red with the odd burst of white Cosmos coming through. My Dahlias are in bud and i have a beautiful dark red one (have lost the label so not sure which exactly) that will be out in bloom tomorrow. The wild flower patch is really doing its job this year, I spent a few minutes sitting next to it today and watching the bees, butterflies and hoverflies and there were masses of them which was lovely. We are considering putting a bee hive in there next year but we need to do some research first as we currently know nothing about it!

I've attached a photo of the new van with its sign writing completed - we love it! I've also attached a photograph of Kniphofia Autumn King because it is stunning.

Enjoy your garden during these high summer days

Fabulous Fennel - Click to make an enquiry
Home Grown & Gorgeous van


  • Sam
    14 July 2011, 22:7 PM
    Couldn't agree more. Still learning when it comes to flowers (and only bothering to learn as my daughter insists on 'pretty things'). herbs are a great middle ground for someone who only likes to plant 'useful' plants. Great for bees (and therefore my veggies) and brilliant to cook with.

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