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Planting up


The garden this year has been a bit neglected. There have been various reasons for this; Not least, the weather. There are also various other reasons of a personal nature that I need not go into.

Nevertheless, a few things have been done despite distractions.

At the far end of the back garden is a garage, unused as a shelter for the car because it can only be accessed via a forest track that is really unsuitable for motor vehicles, if I had a Land-Rover or any other off-road 4×4-type vehicle then all would be well, but I don’t, a Mazda Hatchback does not qualify.

Anyway, there is an area of some thirty feet (10 metres) that slighty narrows to a gated access to the track mentioned. From gate to the back of the garage has tarmac, and is dead to all growing. Well, there is a buddlea and a blue hydrangea tucked in the left corner out of sight from the house and therefore not of active interest. I call that area a wildlife haven – I let it do what it will and encourage their growth by ignoring them until it comes time to wield the shears; This is when the buddlea overhangs the track/pathway and impedes walking; ie, when I get wet taking the dog out…

It is the area to the right-hand side that I bring your attention. Those blue bags of rubble and rubbish have now gone. The bags consisted of the original, poorly laid pathways that made up the main garden area of the back of our plot. A skip took away the dug-up refuse. Whilst the skip was here a neighbour (bless him) came along with a cutter and sliced up a line from the end of the paving to the corner of the right hand side of the gate. The tarmac was removed and dumped in the skip along with the bags of rubbish.

This all took place whilst we juggled various visitors. Friends and family come in all flavours, some are sweet and some are sour. It is a pity that the sour ones spend longer than the sweet; They even overlap at times.

Anyway, with the tarmac gone I had a strip of earth (south facing) to plant up. Any new area is always a time of wonderment. My preferred method is to let it be and think about it. I dug over the rubble-strewn, revealed earth and dropped in some compost, letting it settle for a couple of months whilst thoughts formulated…

As you may notice there is a hedge of various coniferous ..stuff.

Given a choice I would have all the hedging removed, – it surrounds the garden, front, back and sides and I dislike it. But it is there, and to remove it would be a costly and time-consuming business; I am learning to live with it. I have had to purchase a hedge-trimmer, (I can recommend the cordless Bosch trimmer. A marvel, lighweight and easy to use; Keeps things under some degree of control with a couple of trims a year).

It doesn’t show up very well in the pic above, but that plastic pot was inherited with the house and held a couple of Antirrhinum (Snapdragon) and a sapling of (at the time) an unidentified tree. The Antirrhinum have been transferred and are doing well, in fact even as I write this (December) are still with flower. The young tree, will feature in a moment. The pot has gone to the local dump – I hate plastic pots, but that is just me. They have their place in some gardens but not for me.

So, here we have a stretch of revealed earth and space for ..what? As mentioned it faces south and gets a fair degree of sunlight even taking into account the shadow of the garage and the trees of the forest that give a relatively early sunset upon the ground.

I will in future days add some bulbs. I am thinking colchicum (autumnale and speciosum). I have already split a rather neglected bergenia that has occupied the shadiest spot imaginable, and is settling in rather nicely. Oh, and I added some cyclamen hederifolium that I had in a pot from our previous house. Even so, something was needed at the end of the garden…

And as can be seen, trees have provided the answer.

Nearest to camera is a Sorbus aucuparia: Something familiar to all and robust. A good old Mountain Ash.

Next, just visible is a rather fine (and quite cheap for its size) Amelanchier ballerina. A lovely tree in flower and will go well with the Sorbus.

Beyond this and next to the gate is the sapling that was growing in the plastic pot: Fraxinus excelsior. It took a while to indentify but there it is, growing well and even now it still bears a few leaves. I am aware of the current issues with Ash, I am hoping that as this has intruded into the garden from the forest, it is seeking a haven to flourish. Time will tell.

There are quite a few Ash among the Beech and Oak that grow in the forest, I can only hope that this one will prove itself resistant to the blight that is sweeping its way across the country. – So far, so good.

Three trees. Two bought and one inherited. The future looks bright.

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Good to see you around again,FC!

7 Dec, 2012


This looks like rather a lot of very hard work, FC, Well done you - you put me to shame. I expect it will look really beautiful come Springtime. The cyclamens will look very good indeed under those trees. I do envy you your Rowan - I've been trying without success to grow them here (from seed and seedlings brought from the UK - no-one has heard of them here, I think). Looking forward to seeing more pictures as things grow in and mature.

8 Dec, 2012


hope the personal issues are resolved to a good end.

the garden has certainly had a busy year
bring on 2013 and i will look forward to seeing how the garden progresses fc.

9 Dec, 2012

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