The Rosemary Borders in colourful splendour in January 2007

By early 2007 the Rosemary Borders were looking the best they ever did. I have told of how they were planned and developed here and here. Pictures of the Upper Rosemary Border have featured over the months, but I will post  on it in detail in future. Today I wish to show you, in celebration of the coming of a new decade and in the high hopes that in 2010 I will again attempt such delicious excess, the profusion of flowers from scatterpacks in the summer of 2006-7. Most of the Lower Rosemary Border that year  was prepared and sowed to mixed summer annuals, known in South Africa as “scatterpacks”.

The Lower Rosemary Border starting to show colour. The cannas are in the bed just above the road and visible in the distance shots from my previous post on the Rosemary Borders

 I over-catered and sowed slightly more densely than recommended – plus we were exceptionally lucky with our weather and germination was wonderfully successful. I have seen scatterpacks literally scattered amongst shrubs and the individual plants and their flowers then showed up beautifully. But THIS border I pictured as excess – and boy-o-boy did I achieve it!

Evening light through the cosmos

If disasters such as shrivelling heat at the seedling stage or too much rain can be avoided, it is not difficult to succeed as long as one doesn’t start off with a residue of weed seed in the soil. Weeding is difficult and time-consuming and in fact impossible until you can see which are weeds and which desirables!

I sowed shorter seed on the edges, but will mix them in drifts in future. The young Rosemary hedge, growing from cuttings, barely survived the attack!

Here is an extract from my Moosey diary of 15 January 2007: the scatterpacks (also known as Meadowmix in SA due to the original trade name, and it seems called simply ‘wild flowers’ in NZ if I have understood correctly) which I planted in the Lower Rosemary Border were just coming into their own when I left in December. Now they are lovely! Mainly cosmos at this stage, it is infinitely better than the ‘species’ we harvested by the roadside. Flowers are larger, and there is more variety. There are lovely plants of the amaranthus family which I guess are celosias, gorgeous zinnias and many more; sunflowers, marigolds, daisies, dianthus – my experience is that different species will come to the fore as summer progresses.


What has constantly struck me in these borders where I have used a greater variety of plants and colours than ever before, is how often one achieves marvellous combinations by accident, and how seldom combinations actually jar and create problems.


Jewel colours against the water

For Moosey’s I assembled a range of collages to share my joy in the excess. Here they are: a firework display to herald the new decade!

And last but not least: one that was too good to reduce!

You want an encore?


  1. I am loving all that Fiesta Color! Makes me wish for winter to get over and Spring to come fast. But wait, there’s work to be done before hot weather returns: the secret paths, the edgings, the moving of shrubs… more rosemary hedge…

  2. Hi Jack~~ This makes me long for summer. You’ve achieved absolutely beautiful borders. I love the juxtaposing of riotous color with the varying greens of the surroundings–a lovely complementary frame for your masterpiece.

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