Summer has arrived, well, we have had 2 days of sunshine here but it doesn’t usually last long in my part of the world. So I’m going to make the most of it this afternoon and do some gardening.
Last night OH and I took a stroll around the garden looking at how it has developed since we moved in.
The weather conditions play a large part in what I grow, it’s always windy, wet most of the year and if the sun does come out it becomes quite dry because of the trees. I go with what grows allowing things to self seed and try to keep the garden semi wild in parts. We have a lot of birds, including owls and woodpeckers, also bats, rabbits, weasel, hedgehog and red squirrels visit from time to time, the garden is alive with wood mice and voles now we no longer have a cat.
It’s not an easy garden to work with, it’s on 4 sides but a lot of the areas are narrow, or on a slope, or shallow stony banks.
This is the area behind the studio, it has flourished since the studio was built, now protected from the wind it’s my secret garden. This area is raised by about 3 feet, on a slope and backs onto a field so it had hawthorn, holly and other hedge planting. I’ve added the choisya, buddleia for the butterflies and a red leafed elder, Sambucus Niger, it looks as lovely as an acer but it can stand up to the climate here, and the blossom is very pretty too.
The choisya used to get burned terribly by the wind but now it’s sheltered it’s thriving.
One of the many hawthorns, the birds love it. I kind of like it’s rather unusual smell, it brings back memories of childhood. ‘Never cast a clout until the may is oot’
I have a narrow border at the front, in full sun, when it shines so I have exploited this and made a hot border, with orange yellow , red and shocking pink flowers including day lilies and sedum which the bees and butterflies adore. We laid all the slate shillies ourselves, there were a lot of barrow loads. Someone commented it looked like a car park when we first did it , but now the plants are established I love it. I will show you some photos when it’s in bloom. On the other side of the fence is what I call my ‘hanging rock garden’ this was all brambles when we came, now it’s a low maintenance rock garden, it’s on a slope with a drop of 4 feet to the road so working on it can be a challenge. I think some of the plants are needing replacing now, the lavender bushes are all woody and they flop over when the wind pick up.
This is my herb garden, everything is thriving as we have had a couple of mild winters, the bay is getting too big but a blackbird is nesting in there now so trimming will have to wait.
This is my woodland corner, the bluebells have gone over now , the hostas are looking great.The rhododendrons do struggle but the flowers are quite lovely, in the words of ‘Uncle Monty’ in Withnail and I, they are ‘tarts for the bees’
Considering the garden was mostly ivy, trees, grass and brambles I think it has improved over the years. I’m battling on especially with the ivy but it sustains more species of wildlife than any other native plant according to a wildlife gardening book I have so it’s not all bad.
Now I’m off to do a bit of weeding.