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Autumn reading


By ange2


I like to challenge my garden thinking over the ‘closed season’. Last year I took an interest in tropical gardens and have been reading round the idea and watching Youtube blogs. put up by enthusiasts. I don’t think I would ever have the opportunity to change to such an extreme form of gardening because, apart from anything else my OH wouldn’t let me! We both like colour too much!

This year my attention was caught by permaculture. I’m not sure I’m in a position to explain exactly what it is so I have been reading round the subject. This is my latest acquisition on which I am very keen to get started. I wonder as I get older whether either of these 2 alternatives wouldn’t be easier to manage than the sort of gardening I try to do now, especially with the tough drought-ridden summer we’ve had this year.

I’ve always been attracted to the idea of gardening with wildlife in mind, especially birds. The chap on GW this week was interesting because he had such a gorgeous manicured garden and had attracted swifts to nest on his home. So it’s obvious you don’t need to have a tangled mess to encourage butterlies and insects! I suppose it’s growing the natives for the early stages of insect growth which prove most challenging to the tidier wildlife gardener. Still, I suppose anything we do is better than nothing.

This is a bit of a ramble, for which I apologise. It would be interesting to know, though, whether any of you have changed tack over your gardening years and whether any sweeping or minor alterations to your plot or thinking have occurred. I’m not sure that reading around hasn’t made me more confused about what I would like to achieve…

More blog posts by ange2

Previous post: 'The 'Dying of the Light'.

Next post: A walk round the estate.



Oh Gor Blimey Yes !!!! I've done it many times but that has been over the course of nearly 50 yrs Ange, as they say Rome wasn't built in a day, I've changed gardening style a lot in that time, now I am working to make life easier as regards my age and the fact that our seasons have changed so much, I've had to adapt, I'm lucky because I don't share as you do, my hubby hates gardening so all decisions are mine to make, he's alright with the building and really heavy jobs such as lobbing branches off trees, though even then he's not careful where his feet go...Many members have moved house over the years so have started again in new gardens, some have stayed where they are but decided for one reason or another to do a revamp, if you look back over the blogs you'll see many changes, not being sarky so don't take this the wrong way as its up to the individual, that is why I hate it when a member removes an account, all that history gone in a flash..
I do think you're confusion comes from overthinking sometimes but thats you isn't it, we're all different Ange, as you know I love a mingle which often turns into a tangle in others eyes but its my tangle and I love it..I will admit when my bottom lawn turned completely brown this summer I was considering creating a prairie garden between the rose garden and my bottom pond, its all green again now so that idea has flown the coop even though I loved the picture in my mind...

2 Oct, 2022


Oh, I'm a grown-up, Lincs, so I take all comments on the chin and welcome other points of view (as long as they're polite :-). It's good to be challenged to stop us getting into a rut!
I have had lots of gardens over the years and they've all ended up pretty much the same! That's why I enjoy reading 'reading round' and looking at other ideas. Certainly this year has been a challenge for us all and I suspect we're in for more of the same in the future, so like you, I want to make gardening easier to manage but still be happy with the result.

2 Oct, 2022


Thats it in a nutshell, you have to be happy Ange, I love to visit the gardens at the grand old houses and castles, its surprising how many ideas you can get from them, okay they are all much larger than any of ours but you can still create similar in your own garden, just on a smaller scale, hence my sunken rose garden, done in the remains of my g'house foundations, the fish pond is my very own lake and castle like in Wales, Dolbadarn near Llyn Padarn, I even have slate, I halfinched that when I was younger, daren't do that now , just need a picture in your mind and determination....

2 Oct, 2022


I like what you are doing Ange2. I have changed my garden this year, I have tried to make a cottage garden with some shrubs in it for a back bone. I am a very tidy gardening and like everything in its place, so this is all so new to me, but so far I am liking it, will be pleased to see it next year when it all mingles, fingers crossed I am still liking it. Good luck with your new project, and hope it turns out well for you.

2 Oct, 2022


Such a such an interesting blog Ange. As you know, we downsized four years ago but my ideas haven’t changed much. I’m just delighted to have a space which is much easier to manage and I can thoroughly enjoy pottering without getting worn out (I’ve had mild Chronic Fatigue for twenty years - lucky to have no pain).
I started a gardening group here when I retired, and we all love looking round each other’s gardens … I highly recommend anyone starting a similar group if they can - it’s inspiring 🙂.
Yes, I did admire the chap on GW who had so patiently built boxes for the swallows … in fact I fast- forwarded my recording of the programme yesterday so that I could watch his film again … amazing.

2 Oct, 2022


Sheila you were one of the members that came to mind when I was answering Ange and recommended looking through previous blogs, I agree it is an interesting blog..

2 Oct, 2022


Thanks for your comment, Callie. I like to read about different styles of gardening but that doesn't necessarily mean that I want to try out each one! The obvious change this year has been to add far more shrubs (like you) in order to cut down on work. We've added a number of smaller pittosporums, some viburnums and shrub roses. Lots of perennials have been ditched because they either seeded around too much or were just unloved! OH is budging a bit on the idea of a wildlife pond. Like you, I shall be interested to see how it all looks next year. Good luck with your changes.

Lincs, I like the idea of adapting ideas from large spaces into smaller ones. That takes imagination! That's what gardens are all about: our own imaginative playgrounds!

Yes, Sheila, I watched the wildlife gardener yesterday, too. Such a lot to learn from him if you want to keep a wildlife space tidyish! I should be interested to see his lawn next year when it has had time to mature. Interesting that he had changed his stance on that.
How good to have started your own group. Perhaps I should try that. There is a group in the village which we joined but not much evidence on the estate of any plant enthusiasts, except the honourable one or two exceptions.
I'm in the market for pottering too, so that means either fewer (or easier) plants to manage or more unruliness!

2 Oct, 2022


Have to agree, an interesting blog and again, you’ve come up with some new, innovate ideas for an area of your garden. I find I change some things annually…think as I’ve a small back garden, I get a bit bored. I do keep the ‘grounding’ plants in sitù. The backbone of the garden, my evergreens and my acers and ferns.
This year, I used more ‘annuals’ like dahlias and geraniums for colour. I will do the same next year. I’m going to keep it low maintenance and simple. I’ve replaced my ‘ dying’ lavenders potted up in a trough out front, with 3 carex grasses, a frosted curls and 2 comans bronze…they can just get on with it.
I like the idea of a naturalistic, organic, wild garden, but, in my small patch it would just look like neglect! ☺️
I’m keen to potter and still enjoy all the garden areas, but have time for work, yoga and Zumba too..

2 Oct, 2022


Oh gosh, over the last few years I've watched all these lovely new gardens take shape, new plantings, and after a couple of years replaced with more new planting. They have always looked beautiful and made me envious, but then the the lovely new perennials have to go and make room for new ones. I think we all have the urge but not the energy! And I've felt sorry for the discarded plants too, some of them so beautiful. I just cannot throw anything out if its still alive and flowering, which probably explains why I'll never have a show garden. Keep at it girls, and continue making all these lively gardens that cheer me up so!

2 Oct, 2022


When I was younger it was setting in garden paths with varieties of pavers, building a wall for a hanging garden, digging down to 40 inches to set in four garden ponds and digging in perennials Whew! Being older and weaker a few years back I asked myself a, being at this stage of the game what would be the most tedious garden work I would have to do but no longer have the stamina for? The answer was obvious ....WEEDING. So I decided to do my garden weeding chemically. A tough decision because a hate to use the stuff but I had no choice at this time of my life. Now I’m sorry that I did not do this type of weeding sooner. Using weed preventer and weed killer has allowed me to stay out of a terribly hot summer and keep a good handle on things. My new project this year was making a Zen garden which I had mentioned in one of my previous blogs. All I know is that when I am popped overboard someone is going to have a hell of lot of work to do if they want to flatten this whole business for a grass lawn and a swing set:)

2 Oct, 2022


Kate, you've obviously made changes to the hard landscaping of your garden and I expect it's altered the 'feel' of it. I like the idea of adding colour through annuals and bulbs. Unfortunately most of my summer corms have been less than successful. (I'll blame the drought!).

Glad you enjoy all our efforts, Stera. In my case I find it less difficult as I get older to remove the plants that are suffering or to ditch ones I don't like or have planted too close together. Some things in this garden just don't thrive, so much of the planting is experimental. I am planting repeats of things that do like us!

Your last comment made me smile, Loosestrife. Nearly all the gardens on my estate have young(ish) families and they are all given over to gravel, trampolines and, increasingly, plastic grass. I kow what you mean about the weeding. It is a bugbear, so I am trying to plant in a way that allows me to hoe more easily or encourage groundcover. That takes a while if you only start off with one plant. I do a lot of splitting up of perennials to increase stock. I enjoyed your comment.

3 Oct, 2022


Loosestrife ... I would love to see your Zen garden. Please could you tell me the title of the blog in which you showed it? Thanks.

3 Oct, 2022


Of Course! The title of my blog is “ Contrasts” and it was posted July 17 this year.

3 Oct, 2022


Many thanks Loosestrife ... I have now enjoyed seeing your Zen garden. I love the little bonsai, it's a very good shape!
(Sorry Ange for butting in to your blog.)

4 Oct, 2022

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