Our new garden is very much a blank canvas, having previously served as a paddock for goats, chickens and the odd turkey. (Odd in number, rather than personality, if turkeys even have a these?) Although it is exciting, it is now rather daunting.
Nothing but grass and nettles to see.
No flowers here.
The plan is to take out some of the stock fencing to open the garden up so that it appears to belong to the house. A number of fruit trees have been munched by the goats and are beyond use, some barely alive, these will have to come out.
One area, previously known as Polly’s garden (a turkey perhaps?) will be home to some new raised beds for growing a few fruit and vegetables as well as some flowers for cutting, and an area has been earmarked for composting.
There is also a fair amount of tree work to be done to a number of the Ash and Horse Chestnut trees. These have been left to grow at will and are now entangled in the over head cables. Of the five Chestnut trees two will sadly have to come down as their vascular structure has been destroyed by the goats. Autumn and Winter will be busy and beyond, well who knows. Lots of plans to be made.
In the meantime I have however been able to find a home for our sun loving plants which moved with me. There is a terrace tucked away from the main garden which is a complete sun trap. This had recently had some raised beds built, as well as an area of decking and as this was already built, ready to use, I set about removing some of the planting, including numerous red-hot pokers, mint, and a Wisteria to make room for those most suited to the position.
First to go were the Pokers. The problem with Pokers is always snails, they seem to harbour the devils and I find their thick strap leaves dull. No I haven’t got time for all that in such a confined space, any plant has to earn its keep. That said I do find them a useful vertical bolt of colour and form in a hot colour border, towards the back so that the leaves and snails are hidden.
Then the Wisteria, this was a newish plant but was sited against the house wall. Mr Dorris made it clear that he will not be wanting to have to wrestle with it each time the house needs painting so out it came, two chances. I have transplanted it to the opposite flower bed. where eventually it can be trained along a wire. I am happy to report that it has survived the move and is busy putting on new leaves.
Mint is wonderful but not set loose amongst a border. No sir, it needs to be in a bucket or it will take over your world. All of it was dug up and it did smell fabulous, strong peppermint aromas.
Somewhat surprised by the removal of most of the plants, Mr Dorris decided to go out. I then began planting so that by the time he returned our precious mediterranean plants were all in. Two small Olive trees were given a new home. Our pot grown Fig, Fiscus ‘Brown Turkey’ which was looking very stressed, actually think bald, thanks to its move on the back of the truck, oh the indignity was also planted.
A pair of standard Rosemary, some lavender , hardy geranium cuttings namely Ann Folkard and Johnsons Blue were placed in the beds. Allowed to remain were a couple of small cone-shaped Box and an Agapanthus; I had no idea which variety it was or even whether it would be blue or white.
White is the answer.
One plant which was in the beds when we arrived was a very attractive espalier Apple. The variety is Malus domestica ‘Jonagold’ It has done really well however as soon as those leaves start to drop I shall be moving it
The plan is to move it in mid Winter to the main garden where it can be trained on a wire and given room to put down its roots. Taking it out will be tough work but it cannot stay as it will quickly out grow its space. In place I intend to have a group of tall grasses which will hold their heads well into the Winter.
In addition to the planting in the beds we have a collection of succulents which have been arranged on the deck so that we can enjoy the sight of them through the window, from the comfort of the sofa. These have flourished in their new spot, thanks to the heat of a South facing wall and a very sheltered situation. These will have to move to the safety of the greenhouse soon but for now it is a delight to enjoy them outside. Let me share them here with you.
One plant that got a new home is my favourite tree Cercis candensis now looking decidedly Autumnal.
So if you have got to this point and are still reading, thankyou. Let me know what you think and if you have any great ideas, please share them with me.
Oh my, that is an exciting plot with masses of wonderful possibilities. And a south facing wall, I would love one of those! I hope you can put the wood to good use with your tree renovations. My only I hope helpful suggestion is to plot it all on paper first, but I am sure you will do that anyway, looking forward to future updates.
Thanks julie. Yes the drawing board and paper are on the side and keep getting adjusted. Time and budget will be key factors. Tree work alone will empty my pockets but some we can try to do ourselves.
Oh it’s good to see some of your bare canvas, Dorris, and hear some of your plans – I get the impression the land is a decent size for your garden (although size is all relative)? I look forward to observing your progress – there will be plenty to occupy your time and mind
Thanks Cathy. You can now see how challenging the in a vase post is! Yes it is a project which will keep me occupied for some time. I feel quite lucky to get to start from scratch.
exciting , a new canvas. How about a couple of donkeys, goats or chickens?
No livestock thanks. Still clearing up the mess from the previous occupants. Also chickens and terriers do not mix well!
Lovely to see your progress already – and I love those succulents.
Always tricky to judge how long to leave them outside before bringing them in. Thank goodness I live in the south and can enjoy them outside for longer than some of our more northern friends!
I love my succulents so much that I have already chickened out and put them under glass, as much to protect them from the rain as the cold this Autumn.
Good luck! I am sure it will be magnificent.
Thanks Bertie, whatever happens, it can only be an improvement.
It is great to have a blank canvas and so much easier to plan and design than working round someone else’ s ideas. Your garden will be entirely yours . You are going to have so much fun.
Hi Chloris, I do hope so. Fun is just what is needed!