Red Cordylines in Middle Garden
Red Cordylines are beautifully coloured foliage shrubs, even if the hybrids in my garden are more of a dark wine-purple in colour. Middle Garden has a trio of them, surrounded by Phormiums and Viburnum tinus shrubs.
Red Cordyline in Middle Garden 2004
I wasn't totally prepared for the extent of the foliage growth in Middle Garden. My planting schemes, which lack restraint at the best of times, have been shown up in here in this archive photograph. I've always squashed plants in, placing them far too close to the paths.
Red Cordylines - 2013
But Cordylines are OK about this - they just keep on growing, up and up, reaching far above my head in no time. Now it's easy to slip underneath their slim trunks.
Cordylines have two quite different looks - a shrub when small, they then grow into a slender tree. This accompanying photograph was taken in 2004, featuring one of the red Cordylines when it was a junior shrub, next to a Viburnum tinus. It's winter - that's when the Viburnum flowers.
Because the original trio have performed so well I've planted three more red Cordylines at the very back of the border. Their trunks are slowly growing upwards - their spikes are now about head-high.
It's a beautiful look in spring when the big pink rhododendron is in flower, and later when the maroon irises feature.
Red Cordyline with Pink Rhododendron
These Cordylines are the nearest such shrub-trees to my bonfire. Their dead leaves make brilliant fire starters, and if the bonfire is ever sulking I just duck over the bridge and clean up. Seems rather sensible!