When End of the Month View time comes around I realise that some parts of the garden only come to light in these monthly posts and some areas not at all (although the latter perhaps for good reason…), so have decided to do a series of posts looking a little closer at individual areas. Today I am showing a little more detail of the paved area, our main view from the kitchen windows.
The garden slopes slightly from left to right and from back to front, accentuated at this point by the redistribution of soil dug from the footings of our extension. Thus there is a step up to the paved area to the left (just visible on the photo below) with an adjacent cobbled ramp to allow passage with a wheelbarrow, slate steps on the right, and a drop on the right beyond the pergola down to the stream. The raised bank between the steps became a rockery, constructed mostly with rocks found in the hedge, which despite an overhaul a couple of years ago is once again smothered in excitable ground hugging plants, albeit pretty. Ferns tend to self seed in the crevices and need to be removed before they overstay and outgrow their welcome. The witch hazel I am ‘watching’ for the monthly tree post is on the paved area at the far end of the rockery and barely noticeable whilst everything else is in full growth.
At the top of the steps is a grouping of lead effect pots and a stone sink, the latter removed from the house at some time before we came. It is from these pots that the cornus were moved to the shrub border last autumn, where they are not surprisingly much happier. The largest pot has my ‘Munstead Wood’ rose, accompanied by twice or thrice overwintered pelargoniums, the next sweet peas with verbena at their feet, and the other two have spare lobelia and diascia that had no other home to go to – forward thinking for the three smaller pots is required in the future! The hostas have been there for over 10 years or so and are untroubled by slugs in this location.
To the left beyond these pots is the rose arbour (awaiting overhaul and, in this picture, sheltering the shredder which was dealing with hedge trimmings) over which Rambling Rector sprawls, with Clematis texensis ‘Gravetye Beauty’ (in bud for the first time) climbing up the post on the left and C jouiniana ‘Praecox’ and climbing rose ‘New Dawn’ on the right. The path continues under the arbour and alongside the magnolia and now elevated snowdrop border to the left of the sitooterie and then the rest of the garden. The bench was rescued from a friend’s allotment and has been re-timbered but is awaiting a coat of my ubiquitous ‘Wild Thyme’.
There are several other containers on the paved area, mostly fairly recently acquired galvanised ones. These are home to three more new roses – patio rose ‘Sweet Dreams’ (top left, and a much prettier peachy colour than the photo suggests) and ‘Harlow Carr’ and ‘Little White Pet’ (top right). In front of the pergola (with ‘Danse de Feu’ roses, now in their 15th year, and three early clematis) the galvanised pot has Sweet William and another stone sink has various alpines.
Finally, a view looking across the Tai Chi lawn towards the sitooterie, showing four pots with young acers and three terracotta pots of double petunias. I gave up with petunias in these pots for several years as it had become too shady for them, but have given them another chance since the old plum tree was lopped – the grass should benefit from additional light too. The path to the right is bordered by an extension to the pergola which is planted with continuous flowering rambler ‘Rural England’; the apple and damsons are to the right of this, with a crossing point of the stream just out of shot in the foreground. The chunky mirror propped up was a neighbour’s reject, also rejected by the ‘tat’ man, and is awaiting a new location in the garden. Waste not, want not!