At last the weather has been kind and allowed me a day in the garden. The weekend had started well with a visit to Victoria at her new home and meeting her incredibly cute puppy Rufus, who is a scream. I have known Victoria four or five years, originally through blogging, and have stayed at her old home in London so I was very interested to see what her new home in the Cotswold would be like. She has been doing a lot of renovating in the house and I think she wouldn’t be cross with me if I said the house was slightly chaotic but the kitchen fitters were about to finish so hopefully by now she is beginning to feel she is getting back on top of things again. We retreated to a nearly pub for an excellent pub lunch and left them to it. She has a wonderful new garden with lovely views out across fields to trees beyond. The garden has been neglected for some years but it is almost a blank canvas for Victoria to work her magic on. I think it will be very interesting to see what she does.
This morning the sun was shining and for once I looked out at the garden and smiled. The woodland/spring border is really beginning to fill out. The canes mark a path I want to put through it. I have struggled for the last two years since I put the border in to make it work. The trouble is that the woodland plants I love, which the border is for, are generally quite low and small so how do you make a deep border work and still be able to see the small treasures. Then I was reminded of Olive Mason’s garden at Dial Park which I visited some years back and how she had a path through her woodland/spring garden. The plan is that the path will be very informal, just lined with some branches and covered in bark chip. I am having to wait though for plants to emerge so I can see what is in the way of the path and move them accordingly. Then I will be able to plant the small plants, including my new small collection of snowdrops, so they can be seen from within the border as well as at the front of it.
The back fence has perplexed me for several years ever since we removed a ridiculously large inherited laurel which swamped the whole back slope. Two years ago I planted some bamboo in this border to screen our view of the house behind and there are deciduous climbers on the fence. But this is not hiding the fence and I don’t want to plant trees or large shrubs against it as my neighbour behind like to chop at anything overhanging the fence and throw it back! However this week the penny finally dropped, and why it has taken so long I have no idea as it is such an obvious idea. I am going to plant pyracanthus along the fence which will provide berries for birds, pollen for insects, can be cut back hard and will provide an all year round evergreen covering for the fence. I said it was obvious!
I am still perplexed about the back ‘lawn’ which I want to remove as it is sodden and really is just a space we cross to get from one part of the garden to another. There is a path going in along the top of the green space but I am dithering around about whether I need any other paths. I think the real problem is that I am a bit scared at the prospect of all that bare earth. Victoria has suggested I should just go for it as she thinks I will soon fill it with plants (she knows me well) but in the meantime she suggested I use bark chip as a mulch to prevent it looking too bare. Still thinking!
The other idea I came back with from my trip to the Cotswold was a new location for the fern border I want to create. The original location was given up to accommodate my son’s wood store which was on the badger’s route. Victoria suggested that I use the small border adjacent to the patio which is actually an idea location. It is shady and never dries out although it drains well. More food for thought. It is interesting to get other gardener’s views and ideas for your own garden.
As well as thinking and planning I did do some work in the garden today although I dithered around for a while trying to decide where to start. I ended up moving a load of Phlomis russeliana from the slope to the front garden, tying in a clematis, cutting back oregano and remove moss from it which can’t be a good thing, sowing more annuals and perennials and potting up some autumn sown annuals.
An excellent weekend all round.