EOM View: Nov 2010 Warts and All

It’s the end of October and the garden is slowly throwing off its summer glad rags and getting ready for a long sleep.  I thought for a change this month I would give you a tour of the whole garden – warts and all.  So if you enter the garden from the side gate this is the first view you get.  The empty area in front of the wall has been cleared for a small bike shed. You can see from this view that I garden on quite a slope – though it isn’t as steep as my last garden!

You come round the corner and on to my chaotic, far too small patio.  The greenhouse is here as it’s the only flat bit of the garden.  I dislike my patio a lot, it’s made of those horrid pink and yellow paving slabs which I can’t afford to replace at the moment so it doesn’t get cleaned!

Both ends of the patio border.  This was the first area I developed when I moved in and the soil is fabulous.  I need to move the Euphorbia in the picture above as it is just too tall for the location and doesn’t work with the rest of the planting. Plants get dumped here when I bring them home before I plant them out.

Far end of the patio.  This area floods when we have a lot of rain so the corner is a sort of soak away with Cyperus Glaber planted in it.But I need to find something to go up the fence.  Next to it is a sort of display area where my succulent collection lives in the summer and at the moment it is holding pots of bulbs ready for planting out in the spring

The steps to the real  garden.  The brickwork is in need of attention and pointing – another job for the list.

We are working our way round the top of the lawn. If you take the short gravel path you can see in the second photo of the group above you come to the pond.  This is a wildlife pond as you can certainly tell at the moment. It’s looking a little dishevelled and it is sited far to close to the nearby trees so I waste much time fishing leaves out of it.  I have tried netting it before but it is an awkward shape so that just didn’t work – oh well.  Coming back to the lawn you have the pond border below

I tend to use the pond border for strongly coloured plants so in the summer there are lots of reds and purples in it. There are quite a few gaps now as the Rheum has died and the Ligularia has been cut back as it was collapsing into the pond.

Up yet more steps from the end of the pond  and on your left you have the compost and dumping area – looking quite tidy at the moment after my mega session last weekend.  On the right the path goes along the back bank.  In the front raised bed there are now raspberry canes at the far end and a nursery bed in the shade for my young perennials.

The view across the garden from the top of the bank.  Now back along the path and down the steps to the woodlandy bit at the far end of the garden.

This is part of the garden I manage to turn a blind eye to.  It is difficult to establish plants here as the ground is full of roots from my neighbour’s sycamore and other trees.  I think this is an area I will work on next year; I’m thinking of widening the border as it seems very mean now.  I want to plant some good shrubs in here to provide a screen to the fence as I want to try and blur the boundaries. This border curves round to the top of the wall border! Already lots of leaves to collect!

The first of these two photos is the area which is driving me mad and has been for some time.  I came up with the idea of putting some topiary in it to give winter interest but the cost is prohibitive.  I don’t really want box balls but the alternatives are just beyond my budget and now I have looked at some box balls I just don’t think they are me.  I really want some height but without creating something that dominates the view from the house too much.  I have also seen a couple of small trees I like so my brain is buzzing with ways to make this work.  I think there may well be some more grasses but who knows.

The border brings us back to the first set of steps and the patio and back where we started.  So there is my garden fading into winter nicely. It’s certainly not the garden of the glossy magazines but it is my garden and I love it. I’ve only really been gardening it for 4/5 years and do all the work myself.  It was just lawn and a few conifers when I started and due to my budget all the plants tend to be quite small when they go in – hence the title of this blog!!I think next month I may start a new series of End of Month views but I haven’t decided what.  I may concentrate on boundaries but that could be very boring or I may show you my front garden which I have a love/hate relationship with.

Please do join in the End of Month meme its a good way fo recording your garden through the year or maybe just one area that you are developing.  If you do join in please put a link to your blog post in the comments box below and we can all pop over for a nose!!





Author: Helen Johnstone

I live in Malvern, Worcestershire and am a very keen gardener. I started the Patient Gardener Blog in January 2008 as a way of recording what was happening in my garden and connecting with other like-minded people. I started a second blog PatientGardener 365 January 2013 in order to try and post a photo a day to capture what is growing in my garden or places I have visited

10 thoughts on “EOM View: Nov 2010 Warts and All”

  1. Hi Helen, thank you so much for the tour, it really helps to give a context to the other things you show. I’m so impressed at what you have achieved in such a short space of time, turning a blank canvas on a difficult slope into a garden. Your pond border is looking great, and so nice to see the pond at last! I find netting mine really tricky too, but somehow despite the leaves that get in to it and the tendency to not get around to trimming the marginals before they decay, the water quality has been better than ever this year – go figure! So much to comment on, but rather than write an essay, I want to sympathise with planting in shady areas around tree roots – a problem I share – and having a too-small patio you can’t afford to change. I lived with an ugly too-small space myself for over 12 years until I persuaded P that we needed to change it to sell for a good price – then we ended up staying so I finally get to enjoy it! At least yours is a productive space with what looks like some lovely planting edging it. Will add my EOM View post once its published – having a few technical issues…

  2. Hey,

    Very nice to see the entire garden, it’s very easy to notice the bad things in the garden… Well, our work is never finished and that’s what makes it so interesting 🙂

    I didn’t think we’d have much left in the gardens at the beginning of October, so it’s nice to see there is still life!

  3. Oh Helen, you may see the warts, but I see so many beautiful areas! Thanks for the full picture, which is really quite nice.

  4. I enjoyed the tour; I always like to see the overall plan of a garden, along with individual plants. You have done a lot of work, and your love of gardening shows. Your pond border is beautiful! I am sure wildlife enjoys your garden as much as you. I can sympathize about the tree roots – today I was planting bulbs along my new woodland path, and it was a challenge putting those bulbs amidst all the roots. In some places I ended up planting them shallow, then just building up the soil on top of them.

  5. Hi Helen – thanks for the tour of your garden. I think it looks quite pretty at the end of the season now. I look forward to seeing it continue to grow. Every garden is a work in progress, but thats the fun of it, right? 🙂

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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