End of Month View – Jan 2011

It’s funny how our perception of time passing changes in accordance with what we are doing.  December seemed to be over before it had started despite the tedium of snow and cancelled holiday plans but January seems to have lasted for ever.  I suppose there is a sense of urgency in December with Christmas approaching and certainly a work people are keen to get meetings and decisions made before the break.  January is less purposeful, it reminds me of a Victorian chaperone, quietly waiting in the background.

Anyway, here we are at the end of January and the end of month view of the front garden (this year’s project to ponder) and needless to say nothing has changed in the last couple of months.  Not only that but I have had not grand awakening of what to do with it; unlike the back garden which is in line for some startling revisions. 

I have however realised that the Fatsia I planted last year to fill the top corner is completely the wrong plant for this location.  It gets very hot and sunny here and I have realised that  Fatsias don’t like this environment at all.  I did actually know this but I was so caught up in find a strong plant for this corner that I overlooked the poor Fatsia’s requirements.  Don’t worry it is off to the back garden as part of the new scheme in a location where it will feel a lot happier and I am left back at square 1 trying to think of a shrub that will balance out the Birch in the other corner.  I also have to be mindful of  drains which are in this area so I think a tree is out of the question.  More head scratching.

I have also decided that I want some form of lawn in the front garden for the sake of conformity.  I don’t think a circle would work but I think the borders need to be deeper and that is as far as my ponderings have got.

Who knows next month I may be able to show you a flower in the front garden if the weather improves!.

I’m sorry if this post seems a little rushed but we have no internet or telephone connection at home at the moment as someone tried to steal the telephone cables leading to our estate, apparently the copper wire is valuable.  It seems that we may not have connection until Thursday so I am bashing out this post in my lunch break at work!!

Anyway, please do join in the End of Month view meme – either with some photos of what your garden looks like or maybe focus on one area through the year, its entirely up to you but I find it very helpful to build up a record of the same area over 12 months.  If you do join in please pop  a link to your post in the comments page so we can follow your progress.

25 Comments on “End of Month View – Jan 2011

  1. Hi Helen, what a pain to have someone steal your phone line!

    I don’t envy you trying to work out what to do in your front garden. So visible, and yet if you are anything like me, not an area you want to devote much pampering to as it is hard to relax when gardening all “exposed” to view…

    If you want something to screen the garden a little, would a ceanothus work? You can get some quite restrained ones, and you could always combine it with a clematis or two to lengthen the season of interest? I’m probably only suggesting it because I would dearly love one again myself but have nowhere to put it…

    My EOMV post here, thanks for hosting. As you say, it is so useful for monitoring progrees. Not to mention fascinating to watch other people’s gardens develop!

    And when do we get to hear about the radical rethink for the back?!

    • Radical rethink of back garden still very much a thought in progress at the moment.

  2. Good heavens, how terrible about your phone and internet! I’m not participating this month, as it’s nothing but snow, which is boring and difficult to photograph, I think. I do like the way your birch looks in that border – could you add another?

    • I dont want to add another Birch as I am worried about the drains!!!

  3. I’m surprised you ruled out a circular lawn – it seems the obvious choice. I expect your mind and time is taken up with the new allotment but I would seriously consider a winter interest front garden, there are so many advantages and it is aways impressive to others to have lots of interesting plants in winter when no-one else has. The beautiful Birch is a great starting point for this. Here’s the link to my EOMR http://myhesperidesgarden.wordpress.com/2011/01/31/end-of-the-mon…w-january-2011/, Christina

    • I cant see how a round lawn would work. I think the photo doesnt show the length of the garden and to put in a round lawn seems to me that I would have vast borders but maybe I am just being nervous. I keep standing at the window upstairs and trying to imagine a round lawn!

      As for winter interest that was my starting point, hence the birch, some cornus, bergenia but its not quite working. Maybe I need to go for the round lawn and surround it with more cornus and grasses – hmmmm………

  4. Oh poor you Helen – I hope they sort out your phone soon. I lost mine for a week earlier this month and went potty trying not to look and see if the internet was back yet.
    Incidentally what about a smaller oval lawn? maybe with chamomile? or creeping thyme? might make it a little more interesting for you?

    I’m joining in EOMV now too 😀 Wonderful idea so just couldn’t help but have a go. My post is here.

  5. Oooo – end of the month view – I wil report back when I have decided which bits of the garden to focus on.

    Perhaps you are getting stuck because you are thinking about a lawn in the middle with borders around – what would happen if you thought of the lawn as “not in the middle”?

    I will be back when I have posted
    K
    xx

    • A lawn not in the middle are you mad!! No honestly, this is a thought but then I would have to decide where, you will have to help me when you visit in May.

      PS: Planning on reducing lawn in back garden and possibly having an area of wilder planting that you walk through – reading William Robinson at the moment could get expensive!!

  6. Hello Helen, nothing worse than becoming stuck with what to do, it goes over and over in your mind resulting in a complete shut down. The best ideas are always those which you come up with yourself. We used to go with lawns which had curves here and there, trying to avoid hard edges. For me, its true enough the lawn shape has to be determined before the serious planting. Your front garden, the first thing that strikes you is the poor shape of the lawn, I can say this because our front grass is also poorly shaped and we only get away with it in Summer because the borders are so tightly packed with plants any lawn would look reasonable. If I were you I would lay a new lawn which was completely rectangle and with no rounding off.

  7. Helen, No internet or phone service…So sorry. I think I know how you feel. You want the focus to be on the border, but the lawn is getting all the attention. I like you idea of focusing on more grasses~They add a dramatic element and the golden browns all winter might be just what you need. I like River Oats (chasmanthium) for movement~You’ll have to pluck the seedlings, but, wow it’s been gorgeous all winter. gail

  8. thats really bad, last month a copper thieve did steal a copper train electricity wire in our country, and because of that a traincrash did appear. Luckyly noone was hurt but people thing of weird things to get some money. Its a shame.

    I hope your connection is getting repaired soon, no internet is inconvenient but no telephone is bad.

    Well i hope you are doing well and enjoying the garden anyway, no copper needed to see some snowdrops appear 🙂

    Greetings from a normally silent reader from the Netherlands 🙂

  9. Sorry to hear of your phone lines going, not heard of that one before. Heating oil is the one we’re always worried about going walkies.

  10. How frustrating not to have a phone or internet! Do hope they sort it soon. Thank you for freeing my bloggers block – I have joined the EOMV http://bit.ly/eQrbHw. One thing I am going to do is a proper gardener ‘s diary with notes and sketches. – Ronnie

  11. Hello Helen, sorry I don’t have a post for you this time. I’ll try for next month. Internet/phone/PC probs are a pain – here’s hoping it does get sorted by Thursday.

    Re your front garden, if it’s a sunny spot how about a compact buddleja. Silver/grey foliage would look good with the beech hedge and the bark of your birch tree.

    I have a friend with a circular lawn and it works well as it is much smaller. She chose a colour theme (white) which then became the focus and the lawn was just a stepping stone to view the plants. Access to the lawn was perhaps as small as 2ftx 2ft. You stepped in to the garden (not on to the lawn) through grasses . If you get what I mean. She edge the street and neighbour side with white flowering rosa rogosa.

  12. Christina has taken the words out of my mouth with her suggestion of a winter interest garden – I look at that beautiful birch and see snowdrops and hellebores underneath and you would be able to fit in some choice shrubs too, preferably scented ones to greet your comings and goings. Sorry to hear about the loss of phone/internet access and hope that ’tis soon sorted.

  13. Ooooh, startling revisions sound exciting! 🙂
    I probably can’t offer much advice…I spend most of my planning time wandering around the garden with what probably appears to be a very blank look on my face as I’m imagining what I’d like to see. I do like your idea of having some lawn though – for continuity and for a white space to rest the eye.

    Hope you don’t mind me joining in on the End of the Month meme…hope I can get my link in correctly! Sweet Bean Gardening

    Sweet Bean Gardening

  14. Forgive the giggles, but we have a HUGE problem in south Africa with theft of copper cables. Sometimes the trains are cancelled, due to theft of cables!

  15. Shirl – Funnily enough I have two Buddelja which need moving in the back garden and I keep thinking one of them might work in that corner. Its interesting that someone else has suggested it. I am definately interested in the idea of walking through plants to the lawn. I have a desire to have a more cottagey feel but I also fancy a winter interest garden and cant see how to merge the two.

  16. Anna – you are right I also look at the birch and see hellebores and snowdrops but it gets very dry in the summer so I’m not sure hellebores would be very happy and also I need something for interest the rest of the year.

  17. Pingback: January 2011 End of the Month « An Artist’s Garden

  18. Hi Helen, my post is up a little late – I am really glad that you are doing this again this year – it does help to focus the mind!
    K

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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