My previous garden was a joy to behold and a thrill to walk around at any time of the year. It had mystery and surprise with hidden areas and lots of places to sit and contemplate. The vegetable and fruit garden was easy to look after and so productive. Home grown vegetables and fruit are far superior in taste to anything you buy in the supermarket. The greenhouse was always bursting to the seams and I enjoyed propagating and growing a great number of my plants from seeds and cuttings. It was quite sad to leave all this behind but I am very excited about starting from scratch and doing it all over again!
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View from the bedroom window
After clearing the borders of weeds and undesirable plants there was not much left. You may notice that the lawn area has got smaller, that's because as my stock of plants grew my borders had to get larger to accomodate them but that also meant less lawn to mow.
View across and down the garden
As you can see there wasn't much in the borders to start with but ten years on they are packed!
Under used area at the bottom of the garden
My Hosta garden. Central focal point is a bird bath surrounded by hostas. A sprinkling of organic slug pellets early in spring as the shoots start emerging seem to keep slug damage at a minimum. Other plants are aquilegias, astilbes, aconitums, camassias, ferns and primroses, which all helped to keep the show going from early spring through to late autumn.
A very hot and sunny border
This border originally contained a large conifer and a large holly tree. This was a complete waste of space so out they came! Mediterranean plants thrived in this area and allowed me to experiment with more tender plants.
View up and across to the left of the house
Ten years on and you can't see the boundary fence through the planting. Lovely sweeping curving borders adds a relaxed feel to the garden.
The previous owners had dug up the path. We found a heap of crazy paving in a corner so Gary put it all back! Ten years later and the path is hidden by plants so is a nice surprise when you see the path and wonder where it leads.
The neglected vegetable garden
There was an area of the garden that had at some point been a vegetable garden. Ten years on and it is once more a very productive fruit and vegetable garden. Raised beds mean little digging and it's neat and tidy all of the year round. I had six vegetable beds which were easy to organise for a three year crop rotation. I had two long beds for currant bushes, a bed for strawberries, another for rhubarb and gooseberries. Herbs and some heucheras grew on the corners of the raised beds to attract beneficial insects and give colour. An archway added a vertical element and a lovely focal point.
The terrace ran from one side of the garden to the other with wide steps leading down into the garden. It helps to connect the extension to the house, softens the area and helps frame the view.
This changed our lives as we spent as much time as possible outside. It was superb for entertaining as we had low walls for extra seating. It was great to just go out and have a cup of tea and view the garden. There were four areas. A large seating area to make the most of the early morning sun and then, by the herb border were the sun beds for the midday sun. We had an area for the clothes line which when taken down could then be used as another seating area to catch the evening sun. The area to the side of the house which was out of view, was ideal for the wheelie bins.
This is about two thirds of the way down the garden and a pleasure to walk under. A lovely cool area with scented climbers and views of the garden. A perfect place to hide away and enjoy a cup of tea!
The majority of the "before" pictures were taken ten years before the "after" pictures so you see how the garden has matured. The most exciting thing about my garden was the way it changed with the seasons, even in winter there were evergreens and winter flowering plants to give cheer through the cold winter months. Spring arrives with hundreds of bulbs and spectacular spring flowering shrubs followed by an explosion of colour supplied by the perennials then slowly calming down for the autumn with a few late flowering shrubs and perennials and the magical turning colour of the leaves to rich reds and russet browns and then back into winter. Scent is also important to me and I strive to achieve this all year round. Containers and baskets are also vital as they bring colour, scent and magic to those places that can be quite plain such as front doors and patios. My garden was high maintenance but that is the way I wanted it as I found it very therapeutic to work in the garden whenever time permitted and I enjoyed it.
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