Welcome to anyone visiting for the first time through links on patientgardener and thanks to Helen for hosting this end-of-month gardenfest. Being very much a novice I am approaching this undressing of my as yet largely unseen garden with a certain amount of trepidation – be gentle with me! I am trying not to go over the top with photographs, but because of the garden’s shape (L) and nature it is hard to give this first overview without doing so, as you will see. Here goes:
This is what we see from the see back of the house and has been unaffected by this year’s major revamp, which also means it has been rather neglected, hence the motley collection of pots, many of which are empty. We built the ‘sitooterie’ three years ago, renaming it when the orange tree I had bought to justify calling it ‘the orangery’ died – I don’t do a lot of ‘sitting oot’, but try to remember to eat my breakfast in there occasionally and I have also use it to host my meditation evenings sometimes. We put underfloor heating in, so intend to overwinter tender plants there as well. The small square of grass is to practise tai chi on, but the grass suffers from the shade of the magnolia and holly hedge to the left. Taken to the right of the last picture this shows work in progress on the stream (see earlier posts); we have been testing the water levels with the new pump in action before these rocks go back. Beyond the stream are a couple of mature apple trees, remnants of the few plants in the garden when we bought the property. Both sides of the path and under the apple trees were underplanted with daffodils at one time but these gradually declined and I have ordered some more to plant up this year.
Walk to the left of the sitooterie and you reach The Woodland – this was planted up in 2000 with silver birch, field maple and small leaved lime (all native UK trees), and underplanted with primroses, wood anemones and bluebells, with ferns and a few rhododendrons too – definitely a success, particularly in spring, and more noticeably so since I waged war on the lamium. Previously this was just an area of grass (as was most of the garden) but there is evidence of some sort of structure there previously, possibly outbuildings. Our own original sheds are to the right of the picture – potting shed (no potting) and workshop for when The Golfer has a different hat on.
Turn right past the sheds and the compost area and you look down the garden through the ‘woodland edge’ border …. then walk through and look from the other end …. This is another area which has proved successful and is largely unchanged – snowdrops and hellebores in the spring, with geraniums, persicaria, ferns, comfrey, rhododendron later. We removed 2 large self(or squirrel)-seeded hazels from here earlier in the year which increased light levels substantially. If you twizzle to your left from the first of these 2 pictures you will see the revised herbaceous borders and the clematis colonnade (and the location of the rose garden and ‘bus shelter’ to their left):
If you are interested enough to look back through earlier posts you will see how the area has been transformed this year. The herbaceous borders are still a bit of a mish-mash as they are basically the previous ones realigned, and I was concerned mostly with trying to fill them up this year – geraniums, heucheras and astrantias are my old faithfuls here. The clematis have generally been moved from other places and are still in a state of shock as most were in pots for some time during the revamp, but I am sure they will survive to tell the tale next year. They are underplanted with geraniums. The triangular bed has an acer griseum and some of the more autumnal shades of heucheras.
The right side is the original but truncated border, the plants being the ones left in situ as there was no above-ground evidence of their presence at the time, but it looked surprisingly acceptable later in the year so I kept it as it is but need to add more plants at the back. It is past its best now, whereas the bed on the left has improved as the completely new plants have begun bulking up nicely – still too much green, but the crococosmia and geums in particularly have been lovely. Through the gate now for a quick overview of the edible end of the garden:
Couldn’t insert the pictures properly here, so just a hint of the decent tomatoes, barely productive courgettes, half-decent climbing French beans, blackfly infested broad beans, overgrown rhubarb, potatoes that need digging up, the shredded cabbage and broccoli, healthy pumpkin plants (but only one pumpkin) and a fairly productive fruit cage.
I am worn out from my tour, and I am sure you are too, so let’s turn and head back through the new blue and white border, the rose garden, the clematis colonnade (all documented in previous posts) and back towards the house:
I could show you the dry and shady border next to the paved area, where I have my species snowdrops and half-heartedly try to grow essentially white flowers, or the side of the house where the chickens are or the side that has been dominated by tiles and guttering most of this year, but that is more than enough for this visit. It gives you a flavour of the garden and may help put other posts into the wider perspective – and it is a record for ME to see what was happening at the beginning of September 2012. I have enjoyed peeking into other people’s gardens and I hope you feel the same about peeking into mine. Thank you for visiting – now have a virtual cup of tea and slice of cake!