My Garden – Mid Year 2013


I thought as I was at the start of two weeks annual leave with no plans for going away just pottering around that I would start it with giving you a tour of the garden.  I have done this in the past but  not for a while and I enjoyed Loree’s tour of her garden so much I am copying her.

So lets start at the kitchen door – above is the view from my kitchen.  Unusually my greenhouse couldn’t be much nearer to the house if I tried.  This is essentially because my garden slopes and the area outside the house is one of the flatter areas plus it meant it was easy to run electricity to.

From the back door we will turn left and go along the narrow patio and look back


I like this border as the foliage combinations please me and it has filled out well despite my heavy handed editing last year.  Back along the patio to the other side of the greenhouse.


The ‘Japanese’ fern border planted up earlier this year.  I think I am pleased with it but I am waiting to see how it develops.  Looking to the end of the patio there is the ‘succulent theatre’


This works really well for the succulents but I need to do something with the fence.  The ground is hardcore here so everything is in pots.  I have a young clematis growing up the trellis so I think I will have to wait to see how that does.

Turning left we go up the bottom steps that you can see in the Japanese fern border picture above.  At the top of the steps if you turn left again straight away you have the new path (not quite finished) between the Big Border and the Cottage Border.


I so pleased with the path, it is exactly in the right location and really makes the Big Border work for me.  I am also very pleased with the Big Border which is really looking fab right now and you can see this is where I have been devoting my energies recently.



We carry along the new path and at the end we come to the original Woodland Border which is looking a little worse for wear partly because of the time of year but also because I was going to put a path through here back in March but then the whole workshop scheme took over.  Now I don’t think I want a path through here so I need to think out the planting and fill in with more substantial plants at the back.

2013_08240016 2013_08240017

We shall skip past here quickly and we come to the bottom of the Top Steps.  If we go up these we will see the compost bins to our left and ahead another neglected shade border.


Terrible I know, I hang my head in shame.  I planted a Rhododendron up here earlier in the year but it has died.  I think it got waterlogged before planting but its dead.  I still want a substantial shrub in here so I may go for another rhododendron or maybe something else, the thinking cap is on ready for Autumn planting.

Turning right at the top of the Top Steps we have a long straight path which takes us along the back of the garden and along the top of the slope.  This is an access path as the slope is so steep.  You can see there is a raised border along the fence line and I have planted 3 large Bamboos in there to screen the fence but more importantly to provide height and mask the house behind.  They are in their third year and just beginning to get going.  The rest of the planting in this stripe is awful and its has been a dumping ground for plants so I want to clear it out and rethink the plant.  I think lots of big foliage plants or shrubs that will provide lots of interest would be good.

2013_08240027 On the other side of the path you look down on what is left of the Daisy Border (photo below is from bottom of border).  This was seriously reduced when the workshop went in and needs sorting out. I had to move lots of plants back in the Spring quickly and I’m not sure what is what now so I am watching and waiting as the Asters start to flower and then I can sort it out.  I had planned on a rockery here but I just don’t think it would fit my garden.


So we go back along the top path and down the Top Steps and we can either head straight on or we can take a left and go along the hidden path behind the Bog Garden.


The Bog Garden isn’t been that great this year mainly as we have had little rain.  However, I’m not convinced by it so I am giving it another year and if this time next year it still isn’t looking as I want I might have a re-think.

The secret path brings us out by the workshop and after a step or so we have the grass path on our right which takes us back along the top of the Big Border and to the bottom of the Top Steps.  We won’t go down there as we will be backtracking but here is the view if we had.  The border on the left is the other side of the Bog Garden which is quite dry and I am seriously struggling with.  It is very shady  and I am going to include this as part of the woodland area I think.2013_08240041Right so back to the Workshop.  When you stand outside the Workshop you are on the gravel steps which are an extension of the Bottom Steps from the patio – if you get my meaning!.  The only area left to show you is the fence border along these steps.  This is my current project.  I pulled a Ceanothus out of here some weeks back and have been painting the fence.  I have plans for the planting here which has to take into account the dry shade but I also have a plan for decorating the fence which may or may not work!


So that’s my garden – don’t get me wrong I’m not dis-satisfied with it but my tastes are changing as is my experience and knowledge and I think this is leading the changes I want to make.  We are back at the steps which take us to the patio where you are welcome to join me for a cuppa and cake.  Oh there is the front garden as well but I am showing that each monthly in the End of Month meme so I won’t bore you with it now.


31 Comments on “My Garden – Mid Year 2013

  1. Great idea – loved ‘walking’ round your garden with you. Never cease to be amazed by your energy and constant forward-thinking/planning. Your hard work is certainly paying off and I will continue to follow your blog with interest as your garden continues to develop and change. Right, I’ll have that cup of tea now, please.

  2. What a wonderful tour of your garden, Helen. I love the new path in the big border which entices you in – a lot of hard work but how satisfying. Enjoy your 2 week break and keep us posted – I do so enjoy your blog; it is always an interesting read … with a cup of tea!

  3. Not the easiest of sites with the steepness etc!! You have done well! Keep you fit! I went to the West Auckland Orchid show today – I can see how people become addicted! I am still pleased with my dendrodeum speciocious? spelling? lemon drooping stems with lovely scented flowers. The perfume in the show was gorgeous! I resisted and bought a dendrodeom which I hope will flower in a year or so! And I bought some fertilizer which I will use to attach the pathetic cymbidiyms (spelling again!) that are in this garden.My plantaholicism is very hard to control!!!

  4. ps – sorry about the bad spelling – multi-tasking watching NZ All Blacks beating Aussie in rugby, a couple of glass of NZ Pinot Gris don’ always mix! the succulent ?the red/bronze in your pots – grows so easily here – just break a piece off and bung it in and it grows to say 30 centimetres and looks great on a dry clay bank, mixed with broms etc – (but we still can’t grow peonies! boo hoo)

  5. I envy the snug little patio out your back door. It is a wonder all you have fit there. And your layout in the garden gives maximum area for plants. When you figure out dry shade, I would appreciate a clue. Beyond bulbs–Spanish blue bells, snowdrops, and ivy-leaved cyclamen–I’m lost.

    • Hi – talking about bluebells – my big pot is starting to flower, I have tulips, daffs, little primroses, freesias, helebores, a stunning red bromillard, grape hyicynths,cyclamen, mauve lachenalia, one orange one. all brought in pots from my Mt Eden garden.Part of the 300 pots I moved! they look ok in this tropical garden and give a bit of early spring colour! (Whangaparaoa, north of Auckland)

  6. How fun to follow you around your garden paths, Helen, and hear what’s working and what you have plans for. Almost as good as being there, only without the cake and cuppa.

  7. I’m getting to know your garden really well and it is great to see it evolve as you continue to make changes and improvements. It’s about time you thought about opening for the NGS!

    • Hi David
      You are so funny – my garden is so not up to the standard for the NGS, plus parking is limited and there is the slope and so many trip hazards that health & safety would be a nightmare, luckily!!

    • Hi Jason
      Well I can offer you two choices of cake – Lemon Drizzle and Coffee and Walnut!

  8. I very much enjoyed this walk around your garden, thank you! Your garden seems quite large can you share how big your space is?

    In some ways I’m jealous of your greenhouse up next to your house, all the better to keep track of things!

    • Hi Loree
      I’m not great at distances etc but its roughly 30′ x 80′ and the angle of the slope varies from about 10 degrees to 25 degrees ish!

  9. What a wonderful walk through your garden. It is so lush, the contrasts are so pleasing to the eye, and the layout is so very thoughtful. You have done wonders in the space you have. I hope you will do this again.

  10. Your garden is beautiful! I like the bog garden. And that lovely fern by the greenhouse – which looks like it’s planted on the slope above it – that’s doing super well. Great job and fun to see what you’re doing!

  11. Lemon Drizzle please? Your garden is coming together with panache. Is the fence going to be inspired by the Bloggers Fling?

  12. So many plans and two wonderful weeks to plunge into them. They will speed by, but it will be fun to see what wonders you will have wrought. I hear you about changing tastes, but that’s what keeps us endlessly fascinated with the whole process, don’t you think?

  13. Nice variety and on those level changes. But I think I know some things that are inspiring you to expand your tastes a bit…that City by the Bay has a strange, intense pull…

  14. You’ve created some truly beautiful and interesting arrangements in your garden beds. I look forward to seeing the front yard sometime.

  15. Enjoyed the tour Helen. I think that tending your garden must require the agility of a mountain goat 🙂 Your ‘Japanese’ fern border looks most attractive. What’s the green spilling on to the path near to that sweet little tortoise?

    • Hi Anna
      Its Soleirolia soleirolii (Mind your own business) – take my word for it you dont want it. Its a plant that once you have introduced it you are never without it no matter how much you try to get rid of it.

  16. Helen, your garden looks so different to the last time you gave us a complete tour! I like the way you always explain your thought processes and plans, and what has and hasn’t worked. It makes me feel as if I’m on a real visit. Have you considered a vertical succulent display on the fence in your succulent theatre? I saw one at a nursery on the weekend and it looked brilliant. It was framed like a picture, and composed of a tapestry of colours and textures. You didn’t mention your stepover apples, but they look great in the photos.

    • That is a fab idea Lyn – my brain is buzzzing, yet again. Been researching framed succulents on pinterest

  17. Thanks for the id Helen – thought that it could be mind your own business – it looks so innocent 🙂

  18. Great to wander around your garden, which is really taking shape. The paths seem to be working well, new and old, giving you several circuits around the planting, which is generally looking lush and happy. It’s good to have an area that needs change, keeps us on our toes, right? Getting the bones of the garden right is the hardest part, and you really seem to have nailed that, you must be happy with the flow now.

  19. Thank you so much for this tour, Helen, as it really helped to put things into perspective and I felt I knew you and your garden even better after reading it. Any chance of a little sketch map too ? Just something else for you to do while you sit with your cheesecake…. 😉

  20. Am I too late for cake..? 🙂
    A lovely wander around your garden Helen, I like how your patio is so tidy and organised. I also like your Succulent display stand. Something similar required for my patio think.

    May I ask how ‘old’ your garden is..?

    • Hi CG
      We have been here 9 years I think but its only the last say 4 years when I have really got going on the garden

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.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: