Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I remember picking the pretty white flowers on a walk and how they wilted before I gave them to my grandmother. Ha.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Out and about

Yesterday on my way back from climbing at Bowles Rocks I went to see an NGS garden in West Hoathly called Duckyls Holt. I enjoyed it very much. I won't post pictures of the garden because it doesn't seem right (since I didn't ask). The site stretched along a busy narrow road and it was interesting to see how they'd managed this. The garden was above the road and ascended a little in a terrace. It seemed very well-established - big flowering shrubs and very solid topiary. I went in through a little wooden gate in a wall, to a courtyard area. There was a small conservatory and patio, and beyond that a formal area of box and perennials (some loveley poppies) with wisteria trained over the centre. Beyond that was a lawn, with statues. Continuing past some sad ruined greenhouses and cold-frames I came to a rose-garden, not quite in bloom yet and with little other planting. Nice structure though. I turned back and went to the upper terrace. This consisted mainly of a covered swimming pool and a very posh greenhouse. There was a series of big mature shrubs in flower - very beautiful - and a small enclosed area with a water-feature of a terracotta sphere. On the other side of the house is a further area of lawn, perennials, and some ferns. The garden had a settled and accomplished feel about it. A lot of work had clearly been put into it over many years. I loved the feeling of someone growing to love and understand their spot. I felt a bit sad about the ruined greenhouses - perhaps there's a story behind that - and I wondered whether the road had been quieter when the owners had moved there. I had the feeling they'd been there many years. The thee ladies I spoke to were all very friendly and the eldest exceptionally so, despite being very tired from doing a lot of work in the heat. I hope the little euphorbias she gave me take, as a lasting souvenir of their garden.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Presents for the garden

Today I went shopping and I bought... (when I was a child I knew a game that began like that, and each person added something to the list. It was more fun than it sounds, if you made up disgusting or silly or rude things). Anyway, I bought what you can see on the table. A chicken planter, a dog hanging basket, two wire cups and saucers, and some plants (odd things, why did I buy those?). I think they're all rather sweet - particularly the dog! I wasn't a great one for novelty things in the garden until a few days ago. Very reluctantly I'd taken some rubbish to the tip, and as I drew up there I saw the staff carrying some metal items from the general household (landfill) section over to the metal recycling skip. I pounced immediately, and became the proud possessor of four metal frogs, just over 2 feet high, each playing a musical instrument. It helps if you know that my husband plays in several bands. And now they are all arranged round our pond, with stones on their feet until we sort out a better arrangement:
Just in case you can't see them, here they are again:
I think they're great! Something to look at if there's not much in flower just around there. So I treated myself to a few more fun things. Here are some more snaps of the garden over the last week. First here we are having the first barbecue for a while (you can see the chiminea lit too)
The smallest apple tree and the bluebells:
Tulips and friends:
And the oval bed about a week ago:
I have a friend coming for lunch and to see the garden on Tuesday so I'm using that as a focus to get it looking as good as it can at the moment. If we have some sunshine just before then, I'll take some pictures and put them here - otherwise I'll wait until we do, it seems to make all the difference. But at the moment I'm happy with it. Today I planted some late summer bubs and corms (I've never grown gladioli before) and the first of the summer containers. Lots of things to look forward to!