My garden is only small; long and narrow, and with my passion for plants it could not really sustain enough grass to make keeping a lawn worthwhile. That’s not to say I don’t like grass – a well kept lawn is the best foil for a herbaceous border. But when you don’t have room to do justice to both, something has to go, and there is no way I’m giving up the borders, so when my garden was redesigned, out went the grass. And what a good decision, I’ve not missed it for a moment. Because look at the wonderful effect you get from the shadows cast by plants on the paving – you won’t get that sharp definition on grass.
This was a grab shot captured on my iPhone last summer, and I’ve been photographing shadows ever since. You get twice the beauty of the plant, in the real thing and in its shadow partner. This lovely example is Tellima grandiflora and it is a delight. I bought the original many years ago from Beth Chatto’s nursery and have kept it going ever since, it even moved house with me I love it so much. It sends up beautiful stems of lime green flowers in the Spring, perfect among the tulips, cut it back hard after flowering and you have a lovely soft edging plant that takes on some colour in the autumn. It divides well and I have clumps of it all around my garden, using it to tie one area of planting in with another.