I’ve been away for just over a week touring Sicily. The weather was very much as we have had in the last few days – low 20s but for Sicily this is much cooler than normal. However, for me, considering we were sightseeing and walking lots the temperature was just about right and I avoided the days of rain back home that my son reported. Needless to say all that rain and then sun has encourged the garden to put a spurt on and I don’t think it has ever been so full and lush; so I thought I would show you around my gardening space – well the back garden.
The first thing you need to understand is that I live on the lower slopes of the Malvern Hills and so my garden slopes. As you come out of the house there is a narrowish patio and my dinky greenhouse and then a flight of stairs to the actual garden. At the top of the stairs which are in the furthest right hand corner, if you turn left, you will find a bark path which runs between two borders (you can also check out the garden plan on the blog, although it is a little out of date but it should help). So if you look at the plan you will see that the bark path runs between the ‘Cottage/Rose border’ and the ‘Big Border’.
To give you an idea of the angle of my garden the above photo was taken standing on a bench outside my kitchen door. The prostrate rosemary grows over the retaining wall and the bark path (above) runs behind the rosemary.
At the end of the bark path you curve round to the ‘Woodland Border’. When this border was created the boundary with my neighbours was completely overgrown and full of large trees so my garden was in deep shade at this end. The new neighbours cleared the boundary about two years ago and light has flooded in. I found it challenging to start with as I felt I had lost my privacy but the garden has really benefitted and the trees and shrubs I had planted on my side of the boundary in anticpation of such an approach by whoever moved in are now growing well so my privacy is returning. The reduction in shade in this area means I can add more summer flowers to this part of the garden.
The bark path connects up to the grass path and the steps to the top of the garden. These used to lead, until last summer, to a further path along the very top of the garden. The top of the slope was always a challenge and so last year I removed the top path and I have planted the whole of the slope more densely with lots of foliage interest throughout the year.
Zooming in a bit to the area behind the bird table. Until last year my compost bins lived here but I decided that I’m not cut out to make good compost and it was just to much effort so I go rid of the bins and I now use the council green waste collection scheme which works much beter for me. Plus I now have another area to plant up with shrubs and ferns all of which are benefitting from the remains of the compost that had accumulated here. This area has, in the last week, taken on a very special significance for me as my beloved cat sadly passed away last week when I was away. She had suffered something akin to a stroke back at the start of March and initially lost the use of her back legs. Over the next 6 weeks she got this back but still didn’t seem to have feeling in one paw and then she went downhill. The vet thinks she may have had another blood clot in her system somewhere and in the end this resulted in her only having 25% use of her lungs. I am so proud of my sons with how they dealt with the situation and that we had had the difficult conversations before I went away and they knew exactly where I wanted her buried. It is hard at the moment, I keep thinking I hear her or I come across one of her toys, but we rescued her some 8 years ago and she had a wonderful life, ruling the roost, hunting mice and chasing any neighbouring cats off her property. She will be dearly missed.
Pulling myself back together if you turn 90% from the steps above you have what used to the pond, and then the bog garden and is now a largish shady border. This is the border which I built a low retaining wall along earlier this year. On the other side of the border is another bark path which slowly disappears as the year progresses and the plants get bigger.
And from there you can go along the grass path back to the shed and steps. So thats a sort of tour around the main back garden.
Thanks to The Propogator for hosting this great meme