End of Month View – January 2014
I’ve been umming and arhing about what I should focus on this year for the End of Month View. I like to have a new area to look at each year. Last year I bored you with my front garden and before that I looked at the slope, cottage border and woodland border.
I have decided to focus on a group of discreet areas this year as I think it will make the posts more interesting. My first thought was the greenhouse. I don’t think greenhouses get enough coverage but then I am also thinking I might move this into its own post – The Greenhouse Year, possibly posting around the 20th of the month. My greenhouse is fully used all year so I think that might be interesting.
I have decided to revisit the Cottage Border as it has been through so much change in the last 2 years and I want to see how it is working and what needs tweaking, adding or just leaving alone. The border is quite narrow and runs along the top of the wall which separates the garden from the patio. You can judge the slope of my garden from the relationship of the border to the greenhouse! I have tried to make the focus of this border early summer with delphiniums, aquilegias, roses and geraniums. There are also quite a few narcissus in here. Due to the creation of the Big Border on the other side of the wood chip path last year the Cottage Border became very overgrown and neglected and was only really tidied up and sorted out in late summer so I will be interested to see how it mirrors, or doesn’t, the idea in my mind.
The next area I am going to focus on is quite small. It is the border which runs under the one of the front windows. As with all modern houses the builders put in a slab path only one slab from the house and backfilled with rubble. Up until last year there was a Cistus in this border which completely dominated and swallowed up the path and then keeled over!
You can see if you squint that I tried some lavender in here this year but apart from the one by the front door it is all rather sad and quite dull and just not doing it for me. I want something fab and eye-catching by the front door and I have been pondering for a while what this should be. I have an old sink which I intended to plant up with alpines but now plan to put in this bed and inspired by the gardens I saw in San Francisco last year plant with hardy succulents. I will then add the tender succulents in the summer. After some late night twitter conversations I am also going to try some hardy Aloes (Aloe striatula, Aloe aristata and Aloe polyphylla) in here and Beschorneria septentrionalis. If they do well I think they will add some real zing to this border.
I thought I would also profile the staging at the end of the patio which has the appearance of a dumping ground at the moment but is home to my growing collection of miniature bulbs. In the summer it has housed my succulent collection but that might change this year if I put them in the front border. I also have a hankering for a grow frame to house my bulb collection and this is the obvious place so who knows by the end of the year there may be real changes here. As for the fence I need to come up with a solution to its bareness which is challenging as there is no real soil here just builders rubble.
Another border of bare soil! This is the spring border which runs along the patio below the cottage border. It has snowdrops, bluebells, aconites, primulas but has also been through some editing in the last 18 months as the perennials which follow the bulbs had outgrown the space. I want to see how it is working and what I need to do to get it how I want. Its obvious so far that I need to extend the bulbs along the length of the border!
Finally the old bog garden which I have talked about over the last few months. Of course as soon as I decide the bog garden isn’t retaining enough water for the Ligularia and to re-plan the area for a woodland border for those plants that like a little moisture, but not a bog, it rains, and rains. I am still convinced though that the new plan is the way forward. I still have a number of perennials to go in this space but it is just too wet and cold to plant them out but hopefully this will be an interesting border in late spring with Camellias and primulas, emerging ferns and if I am very lucky meconopsis.
So these are my End of Month View areas for 2014 – warts and all. I hope you will enjoy seeing how I, and they, progress and will feel inspired to adopt this meme for something similar. All are welcome to join in with the End of Month View and you can use it as it suits you – focus on one area, the whole garden, what is looking good, whatever you like. All I ask is that you include a link to my post in yours and leave a link to your post in the comment box below so we can find you and come for a nose.
Lets hope that 2014 is a good gardening year for us all.