We continue to be in lock-down with no apparent end in sight. The weather has been stunning which has enabled us to get many jobs in the garden done. We have created a routine for these days. Following breakfast we take a slow walk around the garden. As we go we discuss what needs to change and what is working well. Then we start work on the garden however, very soon after, it is time for a morning coffee! As the day progresses I guess we do four to five hours of gardening. On May 8th I took photographs as we went around. Here is our record of the walk:
By the back door is one the the early roses, Rosa ‘Old Blush China’. Not really a climber but it does a good job of trying.
Next is an old wisteria. This was here when we brought the house and fills the air with its scent.
Please note that the seats have been arranged 2 metres apart for social distancing.
Towards the front of the house is a real climber Rosa ‘Madame Gregoire Staechlin’ situated above some out-buildings. This is normally the first rose to come out however as we shall see there has been lots of competition this year. It does not repeat. We have tried to grow clematis up it to extend the season but so far only with limited success.
Coming through the little gate that you can see, with the green house on our left, we have our largest pond. There was a very large (over one metre) grass snake swimming here yesterday, trying to catch the fish and newts. On the right is Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ and the tall pillar is Carpinus betulus ‘Frans Fontaine.
The pond from the green house end.
The green house is rapidly filling up with plants waiting until the last of the overnight frosts. The photograph on the left was taken on April 5th.
The borders at the end of the large pond will look great in mid summer. Just now they need extensive hand weeding and some planting out with annuals.
Continuing on round is our fruit cage. Raspberries and strawberries. These have just been weeded, tidied up and watered. I thought I had fixed all the gaps in the netting but within 10 mins of closing the gate a blackbird was flying around in the cage!
Next is a small nature pond. The irises have just flowered and are looking stunning.
Further on the air is filled with the honey scent from Berberis Koreana ‘Red Tears’. This is a great shrub for a large garden and I wrote up a full description of it as an excellent plant with four seasons.
At this corner of the garden there is a very old apple tree. The blossom has been terrific this year but as it is more or less hollow I am concerned that the weight of apples may cause another branch to break away.
From here you can see into our wild flower meadow. One of the mature trees, Fagus sylvatica ‘Tricolour’, that was planted at the end of last year is now coming into leaf. The leaves are showing the red margins that give the tree it’s name.
Back to the walk, we can see into the main garden under the rose arch with the wisteria in the distance.
This border is looking very empty. The area should be full of Hakonechloa macra to create a sea of rippling grasses surrounding the yew balls. Unfortunately we lost a lot in the very dry and hot weather last year. Currently we are waiting for replacements to be delivered.
Another small circular flower bed with peonies coming into flower.
Next to the circular bed is a small vegetable area. Currently only lettuce, spring onions, radish, beetroot, coriander and cannellino beans but it will soon fill up when the frosts are over. Beyond the rose hedge on the left is the wild flower meadow.
And from the same spot looking back towards the house.
And to our right is the bottom corner of the main garden with the wild flower meadow further to our right. This corner has been trial and error for some years but is beginning to come right now. The Osteospermums seem to come through our winter okay with the trees under planted with Epimedium x versicolor ‘Sulphureum’ and Epimedium ‘Akebono’. There are many spring bulbs flowering here earlier on.
These photographs are of the borders along one side of the main garden. The tulips are Red Impression and always look good against the new green leaves and purple Honesty. The Hostas suffered with the dry weather last year and we have some replacements on order. The pink flowering shrub is a Deutzia but we do not know its name.
This border had been over run with Alliums and we are in the process of removing thousands of Allium bulbs. I shall leave the Alliumns towards the back of the bed. The herbaceous plants here grow to 1.5metres which will hide any dry allium foliage.
The rose on the wall is Rosa ‘Shot Silk’ and you can also see that we have got Clematis ‘Comtesse de Bouchaud’ climbing through the rose to extend the season.
We decided it was time to replant our pots of Agapanthus. They had been infested with couch grass. It meant separating the roots etc and replanting. So far it seems to have worked.
Elsewhere Rosa ‘Mutabilis’ is starting to flower. Again not a climber but no one told it and it seems very happy climbing up to 3metres.
Another example of where Alliums have got too much and need sorting out. Maybe next week!
It is tempting to sit here all day.
and sometimes we do.
I hope you have enjoyed this short tour of our garden. Please keep safe.