This is the sight that greets you when you open the garden gate and come around May or June time. Not bad eh, considering that all this was just a lot of grass and 1 diseased plum tree two years before.
I got rid of all the grass and chopped down the plum tree (well, let my hubby do that), lay a path (hubby again), dug the plant beds, put in loads of compost and started to plant the borders in May of 2004. These pictures were taken in May (the first 2), June (the second 2) and late September (the last one) 2006.
That's right, you can have a pretty nice border in 2 seasons' time, no problem. And these are low maintenance borders. I put in lots of hardworking plants that form good shapes, give me lovely foliage and flowers and, if at all possible, flower for a loooooooooongggggg time and don't need a lot of special care.
You know the drill: a bit of a feed, a bit of a prune, stick a few twigs in the ground around them if they are a bit on the floppy side and Bob's your uncle. It's fun not rocket science! I garden organically so I don't spray with poison. I don't like it, my plants don't like, mother nature definitely doesn't like it.
I try to attract as much wildlife as possible like toads, frogs, birds and many useful insects (ladybirds) to control the pests. The trick is to keep your plants healthy by feeding them well and giving them a trim from time to time. And let mother nature do the rest. Geoff Hamilton wrote a few excellent books about this subject: The Living Garden and Successful Organic Gardening (among others).
Last year my rosebuds where covered with green aphids. Then a few long tailed tits came to visit and hey presto, gone were the aphids. The odd one of two that were left, were eaten by the ladybirds.
To add interest to my borders I also put in lots of bulbs (the ones that can stay in the ground so you don't have to dig them up every year) that flower in spring and summer. Try Alliums, they are great value for money and make your garden look stunning. Just look at that Allium amongst the hardy geraniums, isn't it wonderful?
These are all pictures of my South border, that wraps itself nicely around the conservatory. So even if the weather is not all that good, from the conservatory I can still enjoy the view.
And I like it, it's so much better than all that boring grass the previous owners had put in. What a snore fest that was, except when it was time to mow it. As there was grass everywhere in this garden, except for a measly little border backup against a wall, it took me 3 hours to mow and I had to do it twice during the growing season (from April till November). So it had to go, it just had to!
The last 2 pictures show you the view when you leave. There is, of course, lots more to see but this will have to do for now.
The garden is an intensely sensual place. Put simply, a lovely garden on a lovely day, however modest, can provide the richest range of sensual experiences that daily life has to offer. Monty Don, the Observer, 3 December 2000