woodland garden, ayr

For this landscape design, we created a formal terraced dining area using sawn sandstone paving with sandstone set details to complement the red tones of the Arts & Crafts style brick mansion. The main terrace is enclosed by mixed perennial borders. The formal terrace space leads to an informal woodland planting. Shade-tolerant plants that thrive under a Scottish woodland canopy are Magnolias, Hydrangeas, Astrantia and ferns.

Notes on Melancholy Gentlemen

Astrantia (pictured in the header above) are a tried-and-tested plant for northerly gardens. You can be sure they will flower in abundance, and will survive the harshest winters. The muted white, pink and purplish tones also form an excellent complement to other woodland plantings. The Latin name is derived from ‘aster’ meaning star. In Britain, they are commonly known as the ‘Melancholy Gentlemen’.

They work best when mixed with other plants that thrive in dappled shade. Do cut them back after the first flowers start to fade for a second flowering in late summer.