I thought it was about time I showed you how my garden is getting on again. This is the rockery, as you can see from all the gubbins in the background I’ve been hard at it, hauling stuff about in buckets – gravel, turf, weeds and soaking the roses before planting them in the garden. Since I took the photo the grass has been cut, it was reports of rain to come which galvanised Jack into that action, and indeed the rain did appear this evening but we can’t complain as we’ve been basking in warm sunshine for days now with the daytime temperatures being way above average.
The photo below was taken about a year ago, just after we moved to our new place, and I was just marking out the general shape of the rockery. The main reason for having one was to get rid of the grass and cheer the place up a bit. We couldn’t budge the concrete blocks which can be seen at the top of the photo, they had been the base of the previous owner’s summerhouse so we ended up sticking another summerhouse on top of them.
Below is a photo of that part of the garden as it is now, well actually it looks a bit better now as we have added Rosemary tiles (standard red roofing tiles) to the bottom of the summerhouse/shed at the front, just to hide the unsightly base. I’m growing a low box hedge around the rest of it. We have created a sitooterie area just outside the summerhouse, that’s what I’ve been doing this week, there’s still work to be done but I feel that we’ve made good progress.
The garden design is completely different from what I imagined I would do when we moved here just over a year ago. It was just a sea of grass and I had planned to make a large pond more or less in the middle of it, with a wooden walkway across it linking the two areas. Then in July I realised that the midges in this new garden are hellish. Midges don’t normally bother me but I’m fairly sure that if these ones were analysed they would discover that they have shark DNA in them! So I decided that much as I would love a pond I couldn’t be doing with the millions of beasties which would arrive with it. Also the garden is more or less south facing so when the sun shines there’s not a lot of shade so any pond would end up being a thick green soup in no time. At the moment I’m making do with an old enamel bowl which the birds drink from but I plan to buy an old stone sink so that they can have a nice bath too. I had a lovely sink in my old garden, but of course I left it there. I’ve lost count of the number of times over the last year that I’ve thought to myself – I wish I hadn’t left that behind – about umpteen things!
A friend asked me how my new garden was coming on and I said it was a wee bit too early in the season for there to be much of interest.
But when I had a close look I realised it wasn’t too bad, as you can see there are some crocuses in flower, it’s a pity it was a grey day as they only open up in the sunshine.
Grape hyacinths of various shades of blue are also in bloom. As you can see I’m now gardening on stony ground, so different from the lovely soft sandy soil which I’ve been used to for the past 26 years, but this stony clay soil is much richer than the old garden’s was. There’s a moral there I’m sure!
The part of the garden below is the squidgiest, almost boggy and the pulmonaria (lungwort), bamboo (nitida) – I think – and the two very different ferns, the one on the left being a fish tail fern the right hand one something more common, anyway they enjoy having their roots in the wet ground.
Sedum, hebe, ajuga, crocuses and various other bits and pieces in my rockery which has just been constructed at the back end of the summer, it is obviously still a work in progress. The small stripey leaves on the right are dwarf tulips, I’m sure I put some dwarf daffodil bulbs in there too but they’re being shy at the moment it seems.
That primula hasn’t even been planted yet, I’m hoping it’ll seed itself around as it’s a gorgeous shade of pinks and yellows, it’s called Champagne.
I have started off some seeds, such as cosmos, alyssum, cornflowers and sweet William and along with a lot of new roses which I’m busy planting out this week I hope the whole place will be a riot of colour in the summer. The plan is to cover all of the soil with plants, so if there are any weeds (bound to be) then they’ll not be visible. I can’t wait for it all to get going.
Today the weather has been horrible as the east coast of Scotland has been enveloped in sea mist or as they call it here ‘haar’. So while the rest of Britain has been enjoying lovely warm sunshine I’ve been shivering the whole day and watching the mist tumble past the window.
Yesterday it was beautiful, almost like summer and thankfully I took some photographs of my garden whilst the sun was shining. This one is of one of my pieris shrubs, I think this one is called Forest Flame. The tall white flower is Honesty but most people only know of the lovely silvery seed heads which this flower will turn into in a few weeks time. It always seems magical to me and the great thing is that the flowers seed themselves around the garden. Sadly the purple ones don’t seem to be so prolific so there are always fewer of them.
I love Acers and I’m really lucky that they thrive easily in my garden, despite being so close to the North Sea. The high wall protects them from the wind which burns the delicate leaves in more exposed situations. As you can see I took this photo before getting around to snipping off last year’s old lily stems. It’s looking tidier now.
Another acer which is looking a bit floppy at the moment because the leaves are still unfurling. Primulas, forget-me-nots and aquilegia are planted underneath it. All plants which happily come back year after year.
And this is the same acer from another angle. To the left is a clump of cranesbill geraniums and the small silvery standard tree is a willow. I’m not sure about that one because the rest of the garden looks so natural and standards are so unnatural and contrived looking, but I love the velvety foliage and catkins.
That’s just a few of the photos which I took yesterday so I’ll be doing another garden post in a few days time.