End of the Month View – April 2017

At the end of December I took you on a frosty walk around our garden. This month I plan another walk around the garden but this time going in the reverse direction taking in the different views as we progress around. The old kitchen garden divides the garden making circular walks the best way to see the whole garden.

17_04_25_5361This is the view you get as you enter the garden through a gate in the garden wall. The lovely tulips are Tulip Ballerina. The urn is designed to be a focal point as you enter. In fact when the plants have grown up in the summer the view of the garden is restricted making an element of surprise as you walk in.17_04_23_5346From this point, with the urn on our right, we can see diagonally across to the steps which provide access to the higher level lawn. The Tulip Red Impression is continuing to create a good display.17_04_23_5347As we move further into the garden it begins to open up. In the distance you can just see small lake which used to be the fish ponds for the rectory that was next door.17_04_23_5348Further still on the paved area we get a different view down the garden past the tree that got damaged recently in a storm. Behind us is the back door of our house with a number of climbing roses on the walls.17_04_25_5359This one is Rosa Old Blush China. Actually it is not meant to be a climber but if it wants to climb I happy with that. 17_04_25_5360Next to Rosa Old Blush China is Rosa Madame Alfred Carriere. These two roses are both flowering very early this year.17_04_23_5324Going up the steps on to the higher lawn we get to the spot where my classic End of Month View is taken. (See January, MarchOctober, September, August)The tulips are continuing to put on a display and the aliums are just beginning to open up.17_04_23_5325The blossom on the apple tree is out and looking good despite the storm damage.

Behind us is an area, beneath some large lime trees, which we treat as a woodland garden. We have made some cobble paths here to enable easy access. A  seat provides an interesting viewing place across the garden.17_04_25_5354Continuing on around the garden we can see the end of the garden wall on the right.17_04_25_5375In the circular bed as well as  the Brunnera Mr. Morse,  Tulip Hageri Splendens is now in flower.

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Tulip Hageri Splendens

17_04_25_5367We have now come round to the bottom right hand corner of the garden and are looking up behind the garden wall. The planting here is mainly shrubs designed for relatively easy maintenance.17_04_25_5373Continuing on and just before the first yew hedge there is a small pond on the left. This pond has been designed to be very nature friendly with a sloping edges enabling easy access to the water and an easy escape route should something fall in!17_04_25_5377Having walked along behind the wall we get to a small grass lawn and flower bed. The Geranium himalayense has just started to flower and looks great with the tulips. The bed is called Ivy’s bed after the lady that lives in the cottage over looking the border.17_04_25_5378Across the lawn we get to the Italianate area. Twenty years ago this was all paddock and we added the pond and landscaping. As I mentioned, in 2016 the pond developed a leak and a major repair job was done. With this disruption we decided to renovate the whole area.17_04_23_5343The gravel borders were contained with wooden edging and this had rotted away. These are being replaced with metal edging and the gravel, into which the garden had been growing, is all being cleaned up! The obelisks each have had a rose planted in their centre to grow up with clematis. Work has yet to be done on the joints between the paviours which need cleaning and re-pointing.17_04_23_5344The seat by the pond is one of our ‘gin & tonic’ seats and this is the view from there. With all the work on the pond it is going to take a year to stabilise.17_04_25_5352The little green house at the end of this area is even fuller and there will soon be standing room only!17_04_25_5379Looking back at the ‘gin & tonic’ seat the Carpinus betulus Frans Fontaine columns are just coming into leaf.17_04_25_5380Having completed the tour we get to the shady border by the end of the house with Erythronium Pagoda, various hostas and ferns providing the main planting.

Gardening Hours
This week Total since June 19th Average per week
27 778 17

Do have a look at Helen The Patient Gardener’s blog where you will find links to other gardens at the end of April. Thank you to Helen for hosting this meme.

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More hedges and wild life

08_07_16_2797There are a number of yew hedges in the garden. This is looking along the area behind the garden wall and when we originally moved in this area was effectively a small paddock. As it ran south west to north west when we had any degree of wind it certainly blow up this side of the wall. We put the yew hedges in to provide some shelter for any planting we did. Over the years they have grown into substantial hedges but of course they need cutting although only once a year.

Another job done. Looking towards the cottages, on the left is a utility area including the compost heaps. (see Compost: Hidden dangers) On the right is one of those areas we are always meaning to do something with but never quite get there.21_06_16_2706Quite a difficult area as it gets little sun and on the right, in our neighbour’s garden, is a large sycamore tree creating even more shade. The wall is also about 14 feet high! Let me know if you have any good ideas.16_09_01_3356Another hedge that needs cutting each year is a beech hedge with some hornbeam  Carpinus betulus ‘Frans Fontaine columns. What is always amazing is the amount of growth that can occur in one year as shown above with the hedge cutting half complete.16_09_18_3468The completed cut.

As you can see above that the pond is still not repaired.( Pond develops a leak ) Every morning I check the pond for animals which have fallen in as the sides are vertical making it impossible for them to get out. Normally I find a couple of frogs, maybe a toad and possibly a Common Newt. However, one morning it was a Common Shrew16_09_05_3371and another to my surprise a Great Crested Newt.

Great Crested Newts have full legal protection under UK law making it an offence to kill, injure, capture, disturb or sell them, or to damage or destroy their habitats. I was not ware we had Great Crested Newts in our garden and was delighted to see this one which has now been moved to one of our other ponds along with the other frogs, toads and Common Newts.

Autumn is coming fast but some plants are still looking great.

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Ricinus communis impala

Gardening Hours
This week Total since June 19th Average per week
26 251 18