I could bash on about how nature does it so much better than us, but you've probably heard that all before. It is interesting, though, how similar some road verges are to some of the planting at Chelsea this year, as Alys Fowler pointed out to me when I bumped into her at the show. I keep seeing amazing specimens of milk thistles (I think), but not in places I can stop the car!
It's the fullness, the boldness and the sheer exuberance of the poppies lining this drainage ditch that I want to recreate in my own garden. And on my green - by which I mean still mostly brown - roof. I am hoping that through my complete lack of intervention, something wonderful will happen up there and I'll end up with a lovely motorwy verge-style display to be enjoyed from my bedroom window. Perhaps today's rain will get it on its way. Otherwise I shall have to publish a rather ridiculous thing that's been rattling around my head the last few days, a sort of sub-Muddy Waters number entitled "I Got the Green Roof Blues".
Anyhow. Having long since run out of money for new plants for my still yawningly empty beds, I have resorted to sowing lots of perennial seeds, as I have already said. For some reason that's mainly verbascums right now - who knew they were ridiculously easy to grow? Cenolophium denudatum, on the other hand, scorns me. As does Eryngium bourgatii and some unusual clematis from Everett Leeds of the Clematis Society. Humph.
So the verbascums will have to do for the minute, but I am taking inspiration from the Leeds City Council garden at Chelsea, which featured them along with British native fox and cubs or Pilosella aurantiaca. I've already got P. aurantiaca up on the roof, will have to consult the green roof literature and see if the verbascums will have a chance up there, too...