Archive for November, 2012

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Our Epic Lawn

Some people are content with a small patch of lawn. Just enough for a deckchair or two under a shady tree – somewhere to settle in with a good book. Others (like my husband) want something bigger. “I want to throw a football on it,” he said. What he actual meant was he wanted a football field.

Here is the same patch from the same view before the grass went down.

Definitely an improvement. Although, I’m relieved that my kitchen garden is tucked around the corner away from footballs and people throwing them!

Available for music festivals, country fairs and polo matches.

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Old, Old Tulips

One of my neighbours is the photographer behind the Tulip Anthology book which celebrates the wonderful image of the tulip. The book is lovely and showcases Ron’s amazing photography beautifully. As part of the preparation for the book he sourced and grew some rare tulip varieties. Some of them dating back to 1780.

Since he doesn’t have to room to grow them in his own garden he asked me if I would be the custodian of the bulbs. Of course I said yes. And today he brought them around for me.

I normally grow Tulips as part of my productive garden. And to be honest they are usually what I can get from the local nursery. But these are special. Even their names sound special. They are all Rembrandt type tulips. One of the oldest is Absalon, which is a dark chocolatey brown with yellow swirls. Also included is a tulip called Insulinde which looks like satin ribbons. And The Lizard and Columbine

I’m more than a little nervous about growing them. I feel like I’ve been entrusted with the equivalent of a diamond necklace. I shall be treating them like royalty and guarding them well against those pesky squirrels. Ron’s tip for planting was to add some horticultural sand to the soil for drainage and sprinkle the bottom of the planting bed with bonemeal. I’ll be doing both of these and keeping my fingers crossed for some gorgeous blooms come Springtime.

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Garden Progress

Here are some shots of the garden taken from roughly the same spot over the last few months.

Halfway through the clear out.

The re-build has begun. The round paved area is a seating area. Behind that will be the greenhouse.

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Garden Shots

There aren’t many vegetables in my garden right now but there are some beautiful things to see, even at this time of year.

Camellias about to open.

Secret pathways that lead to, who knows where?

Shade loving plants.

Lichen-covered Crab Apple branches. It’s all lovely and changing every day.

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Evergreen Blueberries

I’ve actually planted something. I dare not plant anything in the main garden yet as there are too many hob-nailed boots around. But there is a small patch of earth just outside the gate that seemed like a safe place to put some lovely, evergreen Blueberries.

Every single Blueberry I’ve grown in the past has been deciduous. The leaves turned a beautiful flame colour in the Autumn but then dropped and sprouted again in early Spring. This was lovely and no doubt I’ll plant more of this kind in the wider garden. If I can, I’ll always plant something edible rather than just decorative and evergreen Blueberries seemed the ideal plant to keep this spot interesting throughout the whole year.

This variety is called Sunshine Blue. It’s a mid-season variety with pink flowers and can grow to about four foot.

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Lumber or Wood to You and I

The wood has arrived for the fence that will go around the garden. At the moment the garden is just a patch of bare earth with no boundaries. It just seeps into the pavement and stops. There are no plants or roots to keep the soil in. People can just wander in off the streets and their dogs often do. Most just stand and stare or slow down their cars. It’s funny to think so many people are interested in what we’re doing with our new garden. Someone even asked if we are building a house on it? I wish I’d thought of that! But no, I tell them. ‘I’m just going to put a garden there.’

But now the wood has arrived, things will start to happen. A boundary is a big thing. It says this is ours and please ask before you come in. It says we probably have children and dogs to keep in so please shut the gate. It’s not a very high fence so hopefully it won’t say keep out! But it will define where the garden will be and help me visualise a little better what I’m dealing with.

One of the small benefits of having a fence, and one that I’m excited about, is having something to plant against. I’m thinking maybe some espalier Apples and Pears wouldn’t go amiss and possibly a Peach or two. If the fence goes up quickly enough maybe I’ll have chance to plant some before the first frost. Who knows.