Back again.

It’s been some time since I posted anything. It’s been a difficult year, bookended by my mother’s death a year ago and that of my partner’s mother a month ago. But gardens don’t stand still for anyone or anything (except, perhaps, for the prolonged period of hard frost we had in the winter). We have continued working and developing the plot, concentrating on the front garden autumn 2014, turning it into a wild flower meadow.IMG_0391

James came back to take up the existing turf and lay a new slate path.

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We bought some wild flower turf (doing it the easy way!) and laid that – very quick and easy, especially as we didn’t need to worry about getting the ground too level – and scattered bulbs before the turf was laid

We also planted a hawthorn tree on one side, and three silver birch on the other

Progress so far

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I realised that I haven’t posted anything for some time, and also haven’t posted any pictures of the garden as it is now, so here are a couple. I’ve been busy planting – not to any prepared plan, but rather haphazardly (which probably means that some plants will have to be moved once I’ve seen how they work – or don’t work – together & what space they need).
One Clematis – ‘Niobe’ – on the obelisk has started flowering, even though it’s not very big. The other – ‘Miss Bateman’ – hasn’t shown any sign of flowering yet, although it’s growing more. The two roses, ‘Benjamin Britten’ and ‘Felicitie Parmentier’, have had their first flush of flowers and have more buds coming on. Some seeds of Phacelia tanacetifolia which I sowed on the fallow area as a green manure drifted onto the planted area – they actually have very attractive flowers and bees and hoverflies love them!

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More plant combinations at the Applecross Walled Garden, this time including Hostas

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Blue-green Hostas, white Verbena and a dark pink candelabra primula.

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Blue-green Hostas, dark pink candelabra primula and orange candelabra primulas.

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White margined Hostas, white Verbena with golden leaved hops climbing up them.

Holiday photos

Just back from a week at Applecross (a small settlement on the West Coast of Scotland, now well known for the Applecross Inn & wonderful seafood), staying in Applecross House (well, part of it – the house itself is a rather large mansion used by the estate owners, the Will’s family – of tobacco fame). Next door was the walled garden, which is full of wonderful plants (and a rather good restaurant, also serving rather fine seafood). There were lots of inspiring plant combinations, including some you would rejectif someone suggested them – such as this combination of Geranium, Geum & buttercup –

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and this – the same Geranium & buttercups, but this time with Nepeta. A much cooler feel to it –
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This combination including Stachys, Geranium and Nepeta with a copper tub was particularly lovely –
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Enjoying the sun

The new table and chairs arrived while we were enjoying a sunny period last week, so we were able to put them to use straight away.

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Dougal (the dog) was only allowed out tethered, but we decided that as he seemed quite happy to stay by us and gnaw on his bone we’d let him loose. He wandered about a bit & then settled down on the lawn to chew a stick.

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Unfortunately a few days later he decided to do what dogs do – & started digging a hole in the lawn! It’s back on the lead for him while the repair grows in.

Rain stopped play

Inaugurated the new lawnmower this morning – managed to do half the lawn bvefore the rain came on. Why is it guaranteed that as soon as you get a lawnmower out the sun and blue sky disappear and the rain clouds move in?

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Haven’t got the classic stripe effect yet – I might try circles.

A Brief update

Things have been a bit quiet here for the lsat couple of weeks; unfortunately my mother died at the beginning of April, so my thoughts and energies have been concentrated elsewhere. However, I have managed to do some work in the garden; it can be very calming, and keeps you looking forward. We were fortunate enough to have some very good weather over Easter. and it was wonderful to be able to be out in the garden enjoying it, either working or just sitting in the sun with a cup of tea.

I’ve started on a herb bed just outside the kitchen door – so good to be able to just step out & pick a few herbs to liven up a salad or add some flavout to a dish. I recently discovered garlic chives, which have a definite taste of garlic. My partner is alergic to garlic, so I’m hoping the chives will be a substitute.IMG_0001   IMG_0002

The grass is also growing quickly, and has had two cuts so far – rather rough, as I’m just using a strimmer at the moment. A mower is high on the list of essential purchases – I think I’ll get a person-powered one rather than an electric. The lawn’s just a small one, & pushing a lawn mower will provide essential exercise & be much better for me

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