I tend to favour close-ups of flowers, but this week I thought I’d try to do a more practical post, with an overview of different areas of the garden. Apologies for naming different areas of the garden, but it does help when Stevie and I are explaining to one another which area we are planning to invade.
If I had been clever when taking these photos, I would have marked the spot so that I can come back and take a monthly update photo. I didn’t. But I’ll try in the coming months to replicate the views!
This was the first area I dug when we moved to this garden four years ago. It is very behind this year, so the hellebores, primroses, hyacinths and pulmonaria are the main pops of colour. When I looked at photos from last year, the tulips were out and the buds on the trees had burst. I inspected the lime tree yesterday (left of pic) and they are a week or so off. After the sunshine yesterday, I think all the herbaceous perennials put on a couple of centimetres’ growth in a day: I think things will rapidly catch up now!
2. Rose Garden
I made this area last year, but extended it by a couple of metres this winter, because I’m greedy. Old and English roses are planted with cottage garden plants like peonies, hardy geraniums, salvia, day lilies, phlox and penstemons. You can see that the area to the right is newly planted, but it will quickly bulk up. In the three pots on the gravel are Rosa ‘Munstead Wood’, and Stevie has just added two new pots on the wobbly patio, planted with grapevines (Stevie being a certified wine maker and all that). There is also a pear, apple, quince and fig, and an apricot trained against the wall. He is greedy too.
3. Bird Feeders
Below is one of my favourite views, from the other side of the rose garden, looking across to the bright border. The tree in the foreground is an apple, which has really tasteless apples, but beautiful blossom. It is also a very handy bird-feeding station, as we can see it from the kitchen and lounge. This week I cleaned all the feeders, which seems to have really confused the goldfinches, and they are yet to find their favourite niger seed!
4. The Allotment
Now to Stevie’s domain. This also was just empty space when we moved in, so he has been very busy in the last four years. There are now 7 raised beds of this size (about 4 x 1.5m), a fruit cage, and a larger raised bed behind. It’s all looking ship-shape, and there is a spread-sheet for sowings!
5. Mini Meadow
I have invaded the allotment with my mini meadow. Behind the fruit cage, there is a triangular shaped bit where we have planted four apple trees, and it was just waiting for my intervention!
After planting a pitifully small space with 20 plug plants, I have now removed more turf, quadrupling the size of my meadow. Ok, it is still about 5 square metres, but I’m getting there. I’m a little bit excited about my seedballs! These are balls of about 20 wildflower seeds, rolled with clay and chilli (to deter animals from nibbling) which you simply launch into the area to be planted. It all sounds much easier than raking to a fine tilth, mixing seed with sand, rolling or stamping down, etc, doesn’t it? I will let you know how all this folly goes, in the coming months, as I compare planting plugs, seedballs and conventional seed in my valiant quest to establish a wildflower (mini) meadow.
6. Cutting Patch
Not to be outdone by Stevie’s raised bed glory, here are mine:
We have a lot of grass in our garden, which has been a football pitch. It is my job to come up with various hare-brained schemes as to what we can do with the football pitch now that the children are getting older. Unfortunately, this used to be a farmyard, and not very far under this turf is tarmac (about 20 centimetres beneath). So if my ‘orchard’ or my ‘wildlife pond’ is ever to come to fruition, we need some heavy-duty equipment. For now, I am more than happy with my raised beds. In a mutually-beneficial serendipitous symbiosis, I am using all the turf I have lifted from the ‘meadow’ and dumping it upside down in the bottom of my raised beds. Oh, the fun I have had! I like nothing better than to be whizzing around with a wheelbarrow on a sunny day! Now I am filling it with compost, ready to be planted with dahlias, zinnias, cosmos, scabious, snapdragons, nicotiana, nigella and Bells-of-Ireland.
Now you can pop over to The Propagator‘s page to see what other gardeners are up to! Stevie and I are off to Great Dixter for the plant fair there. I will take lots of lovely photos to share over the next week.