Wednesday, 15 April 2015

garden tales # 1

Once upon a time I lived in my house with a man called Alan and our back garden looked like this. I did the planting and Alan did the weeding and kept the lawn neat and tidy, it was a great place to spend a sunny day.

Needless to say, my tenants didn't look after the garden quite so well, and when I moved back here, the garden looked like this (you might spy my brother behind a bush), with a rockery, large flower bed, lawn and raised patio at the back.

On the right, just in front of the kitchen window is a gravel area and then a small pond.
The white wrought iron furniture got moved (one chair sits in the front garden) because it's not quite my cup of tea, but it was free.

This was the view then, back to the house.

And after a lot of weeding.

I had to stake the Arum Lily last year as it grew so big (due to no frost the winter before that), at one point I counted 38 flowers. What's wonderful is that it flowers for months and months, unlike the Australian Bottlebrush that unfortunately doesn't flower for very long.

I tidied up the area round the pond too and half buried a terracotta pot amongst the rocks with another smaller one inside it. There's a sort of potting bench area to the right, but I'll save that for another day as it needs a lot of work.

Unfortunately the Saxifrage to the left of the terracotta pot didn't survive, and it's one of my favourite plants along with Armeria.

My absolute favourite though is Agapanthus, and I have quite a few in the garden. The large clump on the left has been there for years; I'm trying to fill up the rest of the flower bed so you can't see any earth, so far there are a few Lavender plants, a Hellebore and a Ceanothus, and of course the Bluebells that are starting to flower now but die back before summer.

The Agapanthus are a little shaded by the Acer tree here, hence them straining to find the sun.

I divided the plant in the pot below early last year and now have Agapanthus in about six different places, though they didn't flower last summer so fingers crossed for this year.
This is the raised back patio with the strange zig zag edging which I'm not very fond of - I have an idea to disguise it, it's on the never ending list.
This picture is also for Maureen, who asked to see my Bay tree. It self seeded in a tiny spot behind a pine tree that we cut down and when I moved back here it had grown............somewhat.
There is so much I want to do in the garden, but I think it'll take a few years, especially as my house takes priority, but I just found out that I can have some reclaimed wood to change the path and make it wider and then I want to have some more paved areas......................
I really should get my brother onto it, as he used to lay paving for a living !


  1. This is inspirational as I am just starting to establish my back garden for this coming summer. So much work to do! But so rewarding.

  2. Oh my, Fiona...this looks amazing! I love it!

  3. You have done amazing things already, Fiona! Just the weeding alone, which can be a daunting task, is enough to refresh your beautiful space. Yes, those Agapanthus are, indeed gorgeous, and I never would have thought that your English weather would allow for Australian bottle brush to thrive! We have two bushes in our front pathway, and they sprout with new blooms twice a year!

    Looking forward to the next phase!


  4. it's a very charming space, fiona:) love that short brick wall with pots (in first pic.) you are lucky to have a brick layer in the family--that will save your back and wallet!

  5. Everything looks lovely!

    I was just telling my daughter that I have been trying to have the "perfect" garden since the year we moved in. It gets better every year, but it will never be perfect.

  6. Now that is a perfect garden!! I love the feel of it. It already has such a great layout which is something people struggle to accomplish for a long time.

  7. Beautiful and cozy! I am not familiar with a lot of these plants, but I will keep reading to see what happens.

  8. Fiona, there are so many wonderful elements in your garden: the brick walk, the water feature, the raised area with the garden shed, and you've already done so much with what you have. It can only get better! xo ~ Nancy

  9. Looks like there are many beautiful areas that will show very well once you (and maybe your brother?) can find the time to make it the way you'd like. The colors are already there along with so much greenery. That's a huge plus! Time is what's hard to get when you have so many projects on the list, right?

  10. Fiona, you will die laughing when I show you the little stick I call my "bay tree". But, I am determined to have it someday be as wonderful as yours! I'll have to bring it inside every winter so I have it in a very large pot. Your garden is exactly as I have always imagined an English yard to be.


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