Replanting the herbaceous border at Killerton

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Latest update 03.04.2013 13:37

Killerton’s herbaceous border has undergone a regeneration project over the last two years. With Killerton gardeners and volunteers from the Axe Valley Centre, the project has reached its final stages and the herbaceous border has been restored to its former glory.

History of the herbaceous border
The original border was introduced by William Robinson, dating from around 1901 - 1905. The planting plan used today follows that of head gardener, Graham Stuart Thomas, from 1962. Thomas wanted the layout to be simplified and devised a planting pattern that divided into distinct colour segments.  

Reasons for regeneration
The decision to replant the border came after it had become too overgrown. The border was dug out, prepared over winter and the soil level reduced. Staff then laid out the plants in situ, ready for replanting.

Many of the new plants had been grown from those previously lifted from the bed. Half of the border was replanted in the spring of 2011 and the rest was stripped out in autumn 2011. In March 2012, the last section of colour was planted with help from local volunteers. 

Keeping a colour scheme
The border has a colour theme that follows the pattern from blue and yellow nearest to the house through to hot colours, then to pink and white with grey foliage at the furthest end.

These colours are made up of shrubs and plants, including roses and buddleias. They are evenly spaced along the spine of the border and the roses will have new bespoke decorative metal supports supplied by Matt Dingle Blacksmiths. 

Thanks to the Axe Valley Centre
A working party from the National Trust Axe Valley Centre volunteered their time to help. In 2011, they planted over 1,200 herbaceous plants in the newly prepared border. In March 2012, they volunteered again and planted another 1,000 plants. It was thanks to the kind efforts of the Axe Valley centre that the garden team were able to complete this re-generation project.