Seeing some new planting in progress is always exciting – wondering what’s going in and how it will be set out.

There’s a small out-of-the-way garden I pass quite often that’s described as “beautiful and secluded” place in a book I have on local horticultural topics.

You can tell that was written a while ago, because the “inspired planting” looks sad and tired now. The roses are past their best and the ornamental grasses are so congested that it’s been possible to cut them into strange shapes with a hedge-trimmer.

Or rather it was.

Walking past recently I saw that a lot of the beds had been cleared. I wasn’t expecting much from the local council – once I saw one of their men weeding with a screwdriver – but a big stack of soil improver did give a glimmer of hope that some decent horticulture was going on.

Perhaps it did, but it was certainly let down by the plant selection side of things. When I passed by a week later, it was pretty grim; they’d filled the beds with Laurel (yawn), Aucuba (yuk), a rash of nasty variegated Vincas and a rather vile marriage of Phormiums and Ivy.

What a shame. it would have been nice to see it “inspired” and “beautiful” again.