Our garden is not huge by any stretch of the imagination. It is, however, larger than we would like, and is the single most likely reason that we will eventually up sticks and move. Meanwhile, whilst he could never be described as a passionate gardener, Husband does endeavour to keep it under control; he even grows a few edibles.
When we first moved in, the garden consisted of soil, grass and not a lot else. It was on a slope and involved hiring a mechanical digger and operator to turn it in to multiple levels. (We’d arranged to have it done whist at work and I remember a phone call from my son asking if there was meant to be someone wrecking our garden – we’d forgotten to tell him)! This is what it looked like in 2001 after we’d worked on it for a few years. We were impatient for it to mature … a clear reminder to ‘be careful what you wish for!’ as it is now, in some places very overgrown.
Garden 2019: On the fence to the right side of the patio (we never had a ‘patio’ when I was a child, so what did we call that bit outside the back door before we reached the grass?) there is a trellis system which holds pots of herbs and perennials. This was a birthday surprise for me constructed by Husband last year.
The hanging baskets on either side of the French doors hold fuchsia:
The early lilies gave a good display but if you look closely you can see from the leaves of the later ones that we’ve had a bit of trouble with red lily-beetles this year. Husband is vigilant as they eat the buds too, but fingers crossed they’ll be ok as we’ve not seen any for several days now.
To the left of the French doors is a mixed border where orange and yellow Welsh poppies flower among the sweet peas (not this year though because someone forgot to order them), and sometimes Nigella and Stocks. My mother used to say that these tall pink and purple flowers were weeds but I consider them wild flowers and welcome them in this spot.
Steps, with a rockery on each side, lead from the patio up to a honeysuckle-covered archway which separates the first and second levels. Ferns, heathers and euonymus as well as various ground cover plants grow here.
At the top of the rockery on one side are a lilac and a California lilac (and beneath, a pale lilac coloured heather). This photo was taken earlier in the year when both were in flower. I love the contrasting shades of purple.
On the left hand side there’s a variety of shrubs and joy!! – two Starlight Express climbing roses. In summers past we’ve had several hundred blooms as it repeat-flowers continually for several months, but last year it withered and, we thought, died. Two blooms do not a rose garden make, but I’m so pleased to see it.
Other roses include the pale peach colored, magnificently scented Indian Summer. I love the blooms on the small cream rose with it’s tightly packed heads (there’s probably a proper name for this kind of head but I’ve no idea). It’s no more than 18″ high and has been in the garden for years but has only ever had four or five flowers; conditions seem to have suited it this year.
Next to the lilac is a buddleia. Husband has cut it back since I took the photo. It’s become a nuisance but I like the fact that it attracts bees and butterflies. There’s a large forsythia beside it and just behind an enormous ‘something’ which grew from a tiny cutting given to us around ten years ago. We’ve no idea what it is but it sports small golden yellow pop-poms in early summer.
A fragrant honeysuckle tumbles over the archway – another colossus grown from a tiny cutting given to us by a neighbour. There’s another one just behind the arch which covers the fence all along the raised bed where the miniature apple trees grow.
It’s looking like we’re going to get a good crop this year.
Up a few more steps and behind the buddleia is what used to be our summer house but, rarely used as such, it became garden shed some years ago. I don’t suppose many garden sheds have panelled interior walls, a tiled floor or wrought iron wall lights! In front used to be a two tier pond but grandchildren came along and it seemed better to fill it in. It became a rockery filled with low growing plants.
When we moved here in 1997 I don’t think either of us imagined that we’d still be here 22 years later. I’m sure we’d have chosen something more compact – and flat!