Wednesday Vignette. Shakkei.

I don’t have much borrowed landscape in my garden apart from trees and this suits me fine. I like to be in my own green world in the garden with the world shut out. But from a couple of places, if you position yourself carefully, the tower of the fifteenth century church is just visible.  And there we have it; a tiny bit of shakkei, as the Japanese call borrowed landscape.

In the forefront self-seeded Verbena bonariensis has thoughtfully provided a beautiful frame. This is a trouble- free plant that always seems to place itself where it looks good. It is tall and elegant and enhances any other plants it decides to spend the summer with. You can buy a shorter version called Verbena bonariensis ‘ Lollipop’, but I really can’ t see the point of a dwarf version. The joy of this verbena is its stature. Bees and butterflies love it. Unfortunately, butterflies are scarce in my garden this year, but I live in hope. And in the meantime, there are bees.

Nothing to do with Wednesday Vignette’, but if anyone was surprised to see a post called ‘June Delights’ appearing here rather inappropriately on the first day of August, I must apologise. WordPress has a habit of dropping the photos from older posts and I was replacing a nice Papaver orientalis ‘Patty’s Plum’ which had disappeared from an old post. I had no idea that I had republished it until a few people commented. I have removed it now. But for the ShrubQueen who asked me, I will say that the gorgeous Delphinium elatum ‘Alice Artindale’ does not set seed as it is a double and so infertile. And as it is so gorgeous, I will show it once more for those who didn’t see it and don’t know it.

Delphinium elatum 'Alice Artindale'

Delphinium elatum ‘Alice Artindale’

Now back to August. ‘Wednesday Vignette’ is hosted by Anna at FlutterandHum .  I’m off now to look at her blog and to see other Wednesday Vignettes.

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39 Responses to Wednesday Vignette. Shakkei.

  1. Still a gorgeous Delphinium and the prettiest V. Bonariensis I have ever seen, not sure that one is available here. Love your borrowed tower.

  2. I love this verbena. It’s sort of a peek-a-boo plant, isn’t it? Great for giving a bit of height in the middle or front of a border so everything tall isn’t pushed to the back.

    • Chloris says:

      That’ s just it, I love the way you can use it at the front of the border or anywhere. There are not many plants that are so useful in this way.

  3. rusty duck says:

    I planted ‘Lollipop’ on the terraces a couple of years ago where the height was perfect. It self seeds prolifically, more than the species, but all the seedlings revert to the taller height. Thus I have the ‘usual’ V.b everywhere now!

  4. annamadeit says:

    Wow – that is some shakkei…. beautiful!! As for the verbena, I rescued a Lollopop last year. I noticed the difference in height this year, and was going to ask if you knew anything about it. But, Jessica put the answer out there for me, before I even asked the question. 🙂 Tall or short – I do love them both – almost as much as the bees do. Thanks for joining in!

  5. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Because I live in the city and see houses or streets from most parts of my garden, your green backdrop seems very appealing to me. Your borrowed view is grand, the stuff of dreams.

    • Chloris says:

      Pictures of your garden always make it look like a green oasis, I didn’ t realise that you were surrounded by houses. I think you have managed very well to make your garden into a green kingdom.

  6. AnnetteM says:

    I love verbena, but it doesn’t always come through the winter here despite being covered in straw. I tried a Verbena rigida last year but it totally disappeared. This year I have a couple of bonariensis plants growing well, but not flowering yet. I also tried some seeds of rigida, but they were SO slow to germinate and grow that they are still tiny and I am wondering whether they will flower at all before the frosts get them. Yours are gorgeous by the way. How lovely to have them self seed.

  7. mrsdaffodil says:

    Charming closeup of Verbena bonariensis. And the fifteenth century church–wow! We just don’t have these treasures here.

    • Chloris says:

      Suffolk is particularly well endowed with beautiful old churches. The sixteenth century was a time of great wealth because of the wool trade. Vast sums were lavished on the churches so that the rich would gain a place in heaven.

  8. Cathy says:

    Shakkei – that’s a new word to me! Your verbena is gorgeous – mine is not as stately as yours but it has at least survived into a second year although there has been no sign of any self-seeding… 😦

  9. snowbird says:

    Oh, that’s why I couldn’t find that post! That delphinium is an absolute delight, simply gorgeous. Shakkei eh? I always learn something here. I love your borrowed tower. I wish I could hide all the houses around my plot, a little hard to do living on the

    • Chloris says:

      Ah but you are much nicer and more sociable than me, you even welcome schoolchildren into the garden. I bet you chat to everyone as they pass by too. And they round up all the stray animals of Liverpool and bring them to you. I neglect my front garden so that I don’ t have to talk to people.

  10. Alison says:

    Oh, such a pretty Delphinium! For some strange reason, they don’t do well in my garden, although I’ve seen plenty thriving in other gardens in the area. I’ve never heard the term Shakkei before. It’s nice to have such a pretty borrowed view.

    • Chloris says:

      Delphiniums are quite hard work. They need protecting from slugs, staking, feeding and watering copiously. I don’ t mind all the effort to look after sweet little Alice Artindale though.

  11. Your V. bonariensis is blooming quite lavishly, it must be happy in its home.

  12. Beautiful! My garden is full of the same verbena and I mostly let it grow where it chooses. The pollinators love it. 🙂

  13. pbmgarden says:

    A 15th c. church tower makes a pretty nice borrowed view. Your V. bonariensis looks so fresh and pretty.

  14. Kris P says:

    I’ll have to remember that term! I enjoyed seeing your snatch of borrowed landscape – the church tower adds a touch of history it’s hard to find in landscapes here. Although, your post made me realize that I tucked a little borrowed landscape of a different kind into my own WV post today.

  15. Brian Skeys says:

    Like you our borrowed landscape are trees in the neighbours garden. Whenever I visit a garden with a lovely view I am envious. I would be tempted to cut the trees back to enhance the view of the church. I am sure you will have visited The Old Rectory at East Ruston with its view of the light house, wonderful.

  16. Chloris says:

    I did think about it, but the tree on the right is a very productive greengage. I know East Ruston very well and I love the way they use the lighthouse and the church as borrowed landscape. The whole garden has a great sense of drama.

  17. A new word “shakkei” thank you. Although I expect I will instantly forget it, instead saying “you know that Japanese word that means borrowed landscape”. I also love verbena, lovely plants! Have you seen many ladybirds this year? Hardly any down here. 😦

  18. I am relieved to read your comment about the June posting. I thought I had gone mad or that you had! How funny. I love your borrowed view of the church through VB and I have learnt a new word! Thanks Chloris 😊

  19. bittster says:

    Such a comfortable scene. I have also been trying to screen out the neighbors and create an oasis, but it’s made trickier by my marriage to her daughter on one side and her sister building a home on the other.

  20. Totally agree about the verbena. The beauty of it is the the fact that it is tall, but still so airy and “see-through”. It creates wonderful vistas and viewpoints, in so many different situations. And what a beautiful vista to frame!

  21. Robbie says:

    I have some plants this summer that is dancing where they want, and it never ceases to amaze me how they just know where to pop up and make a show! I was concerned the past few years of lack of diversity in butterflies in my garden, so I researched last year and put more host plants in last fall. I can tell you; I see more this fall. I always had a monarch or a few stray butterflies, but not the diversity that I wanted. I do have it this year. I also noticed more diversity with types of bees…it is fascinating how they find you. Your photos are lovely!

  22. mithriluna says:

    Such a beautiful garden and photos. Your post popped up when I posted my own photo of Verbena bonariensis taken at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania. I have tried to grow Verbena bonariensis with very little success. Looking at your photo, I am thinking that maybe I should try again in a different part of my garden.

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