By suspending all blogging activities for over a year, I have made some time to coax our garden into looking more like a garden. It has metamorphosed from a bramble nest, through deconstruction to the builder rubble era and now has plants. One of most useful things that I learnt when I studied landscape architecture was to choose a look for the planting style and only then to choose the plants. This has saved me from kleptomaniac horticultural tendencies. And no doubt masses of money too. The look here is for as wild a jungle as can be made in a small space. The plants tend to get repeated over and over again and little by little I will profile them and tell of success and failures. The favourites come and go but right now for August, the following 5 make a happy combination: Veronicastrum lavandulterm for spikey, flowering-almost over fingers and Molinia caerulea ‘Skyracer’, my pride and joy bought from Knoll Gardens. This is a tall transparent grass - like a gauzy curtain or beaded screen. It sways gently in the breeze and wears diamond water drops after rain. Embedded in the middle of 2 or 3 well spaced clumps of this grass, a purple artichoke. In front of them I have Agastache Black Adder and - a cheat to fill a bare slot, a large squash snaking through the other leaves. Allium sphaerocephalon is threaded through the entire border. This is an allium with good leaves - curly cats whiskers from spring. I planted the bulbs, which are small, quite hard into my roses so to shrink the danger of digging up during maintenance. This was meant to be a post on breaking up good taste with the loud and gaudy: next time. And BTW I have given up trying to cut and eat the artichokes: a sacrifice to beauty, the bees and the birds.