Warts and All Tour – 2016
Having neglected the blog and the garden this year I have been beating myself about both. However, I have a week leave from work and have deliberately made no plans as I am desperate for the time to just be and to do all those menial tasks that need doing from time to time but if neglected become daunting monsters. Top of my list is to spend lots of time in the garden. I haven’t set any specific targets of things to do and I know that it needs more time than I have to get the garden looking tip top by the end of the week but I want to get back in touch with it. Being perplexed about where to start I had a good walk round this morning and thought it would be good to give you a tour of the garden through my camera lens – I last did one back in 2014 so if you want to see what the changes have, or haven’t been, you can click on this link. You can also access a plan of the garden via the tab at the top of the page.
So we start by entering the back garden via the side path – you can see this is a bit of a wood store, with my bags of compost stored under the wood. The neighbours house is so close that rain rarely gets through so its great for storing things and also overwintering plants that need a bit of protection.
As we come round the corner you can see that the foliage obsession hinted at by the pots in the top photo continues along the patio. It has always been quite shady here due to my neighbours’ trees and the soil is that wonderful moist by free draining – this year I have had blue meconopsis poppies flowering here. You can also see my dinky greenhouse and evidence of plant buying.
The whole patio with the supervisor about to boss me around. It needs a weed but isn’t too bad this year. The patio is quite narrow and we tend to sit on the bench up the garden but there are seats here too which are on my list for a face lift.
We pass the greenhouse which has had a bit of a tidy up but needs some more work on it. Currently it is home to my pelargonium, tender succulents and begonias – all of them could go outside but I hate an empty greenhouse.
The far end of the patio is very sunny and home to the staging which gets used all year for one thing or another – oh and the bin store which is behind the garage. I still need to work out what to grow up the fence; whatever it is will have to grow in a pot as the ground is builders rubble here. To the left you can just see the start of the damp corner where water tends to accumulate when we have a lot of rain before soaking away. I have planted this corner with damp loving irises and grasses which are thriving. As you can see I haven’t tidied up and there is a stray teapot on its side – this was put here as it is an old pot which was in the garden full of water and a frog had taken up residence in the heat so we moved it carefully to the shade to protect the frog.
Up the steps, which featured last year on the end of month view meme. They are looking a little bare at the moment as I have been tidying here but if you look very carefully to the right you can just pick out little pink and white dots which are the flowers of Cyclamen hederifolium – I used this area mainly for spring bulbs.
At the top of the steps if you turn left you have the bottom path which runs almost along the top of the wall. I need to work on this area and have plans to improve it over the next year. The soil, despite being clay based, is very free draining due to the slope and there are parts which therefore become quite dry so I want to change the planting to work with this.
As the end of the path you go up a slight rise towards the grass path (which runs across the middle of the garden). This area has always been very shady and to a degree damp but due to my new neighbours chainsaw activity it is now flooded with light. This, as I have mentioned before, has really challenged me. I’m not used to see people in the next garden, I am used to a screen of green and I find it difficult. However, I like the additional light that is coming in and many plants have benefited from it. So the plan for here is to relocate some of the taller shrubs to the area in front of the fence, not to create a hedge, but to break up the line of the fence and to give some privacy but keeping the light.
From the shady end of the grass path you look back towards the shed between the Big Border and Hugh’s Border. Both have done much better this year but still need further work to bring more colour to the left hand side and more cohesion to the right hand side – I have ideas!
We walk back to the shed and turn towards the back of the garden and you have the top bench, also in need of some TLC. The planting on the slope behind the bench is doing rather well and my eldest and I have been arguing over whether it is doing too well – he has persuaded me to leave it be but to tie up the abutilon better and I think he is right.
Looking from the bench to the left of the garden you can see the compost bins in the back ground. Some people have suggested that I should disguise them but I see no reason to, I find them quite appealing with their grassy slope in front. The mess in the foreground is mainly the back of Hugh’s Border where the ferns have suffered from a lack of rain for some time. To the right is the shadier part of the slope where the ferns are doing very well but the ones planted here don’t need as much moisture.
Up to the compost bins and a look back down the garden at the other end of Hugh’s Border – I think this view is quite pleasing.
Then we have the very top path which leads nowhere but to behind the shed. This is the worst part of the garden in need of much weeding and for replacement retaining boards and some gravel or woodchip on the path but the plants are thriving so its not all bad.
The final view is from the end of the top path looking down the garden towards the house. I like this view as my intention has been to create a leafy retreat and I think it is beginning to come together.
So I hope you enjoyed the warts and all tour of the garden – I wonder if there will be much change by this time next week. In the meantime, as it keeps raining heavily, I will go and consider the curtains that I really should make but keep making excuses about.