I am very lucky to have a reasonable sized garden to play with. It’s bigger than the usual postage stamp that many houses built today have but its not too big for one person to manage. Although secretly I would love more space, what I have is manageable for someone who is working most of the time.
A big garden was top of the agenda when we moved 17 years ago and I was delighted to have found this house because the garden’s not the standard square/rectangle shape – it’s a triangle.
At the front of the house there is a pretty boring bit which sees the sun until about 11am and then that’s it. As its the tip of the triangle it is small and not worth getting the lawn mower out for, so what little grass was there was quickly replaced with gravel for easy maintenance. It was planted with some tall grasses and Fuchsia Rickardii. The grasses produce lovely seedheads which are beautiful when they catch the Autumn morning dew. The Fuchsia is a prolific flowers and is often seen growing as hedges in Devon and Cornwall. Over the years some Forget-me-nots and lavender have crept in and provide some additional colour.
It’s currently in need of a good clear out but in February 2015 it looked like this but with a bit of luck and some dry weather I should get around to it this Spring.
With the house situated right at the tip of the plot, the rear of the garden just gets wider and wider and because of this I have been able to sub-divide it into 3 distinct areas.
The first area (top right) had a very spindly hedge separating us from the neighbour and was originally laid to grass, unfortunately it was also very damp and very prone to moss so out came the hedge and the lawn. The hedge was replace with a rose hedge, Rosa rugosa, and the lawn was replaces with a hexagonal shaped patio/paving with block paving linking to the main patio and down to the studio and shed. The borders are planted with plants that like to self-seed or multiply; wallflowers, euphorbia, hellebores, vinca and celandines to name a few.
The middle area is laid to grass with a block paving path leading to the greenhouse and the main studio. The planting area has a wide clay band running through it so its survival of the fittest in this bed as it gets really claggy in the winter and cracks badly during the summer. I try to plant it each year but sadly not much makes it through to the following year.
The final area is the other tip of the triangle and is slightly obscured by some shrubs. There is a summerhouse and 3 flowers beds with grass pathways and a pond. Until recently the area has no specific structure or purpose but it’s now been “taken over” by my 5 year old grand-daughter and is formally known as Sophie’s Secret Garden. In 2013 we planted some fruit trees in one bed and had mixed seeds and sweet-peas in the other beds. It’s still in need of attention and something that will be on-going over the coming years.
As you can see from a number of the images there is a row of leylandii conifers that runs the width of the garden. Now I know that the poor leylandii gets a lot of bad press but planted in the right place its wonderful. The bottom of the garden backs on to a car manufacturing plant so the trees act as a visible screen for us as well as a wind break. The trees are also home to lots of insects and several species of birds, including the gorgeous little Goldcrest (below) which happily makes its nest there and in 2013 successfully raised a brood of 4 chicks.
So as you can see, my garden is pretty average and not excessively tidy but the insects and wildlife are more than happy with it.
Keep up with the garden and it’s visitors throughout the seasons in My Patch.