Prompted by Cathy, at Rambling in the Garden (and Helen, at the Patient Gardener), I too have spent a happy hour with the felt tips, creating a plan of my plot.
My starting point was a Google Earth photo which I traced and updated with the changes we’ve made since moving in just over five years ago. What’s surprised me is just how busy the plot is with structures – some inherited, like the office and decking, but others new like the garage, the chicken shed (currently empty of chickens) the greenhouse, and the pergola with swing. I’m surprised I’ve got any space for plants!
Unlike Cathy and Helen, I haven’t marked many plants at all, but instead thought I’d go round the garden from top right, sharing some favourite photos of each of the beds from the past year.
So, to start with, the veg beds
the swing beds,
Grass bed (spring, summer and autumn),
the left hand lavender bed,
the oak bed (spring and summer).
the melianthus major,
raised cutting beds,
right hand med bed,
and the troughs.
So, if you’re still with me, what about the two areas shaded with red dots, described in the key as ‘Decisions’? Well these are areas where I’m considering removing lawn to create new beds. The first, marked with hose below, looking towards the chicken shed, I was envisaging as a rose and peony bed. I can’t see this bed from the house (due to the changes in height which I haven’t really conveyed on the plan), but it would be very obvious when looking west from the swing. And swinging would seem more like a rose time activity than spring or autumn.
The second potential bed, would be on the northern edge side of the smaller lawn. As you can see from the oak bed photos above, the bed is good in the spring, but in the summer is less interesting, once the canopy of the over-the-road-oak is established.
The advantage of the envisaged new bed is that the oak’s shadow wouldn’t reach it and so I would have a new, sunny, south facing patch to play with. If we eat outside, we sit under the verandah (see wisteria photo), and the new bed would be in full view of the table and allow for much more interesting summer planting than I currently achieve in the shady beds.
The planting I imagine here is coppery toned (as a break from all the pink in the rest of the garden), with plants like Bupleurum ‘Bronze Beauty,’ Calendula ‘Sunset buff’, Scabiosa atropurpurea `Fata Morgana’, ‘Hordeum jubatum’ and maybe a rose or two – ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’ or ‘Summer Song’.
So any thoughts? I don’t think funds will extend to both as the lawns are on very heavy clay and we’ll have to dig well down and replace with better quality soil to have any hope of success.
My preference is for the coppery bed. The lawn here is poor anyway (in many ways I’d like the whole lawn up, but that’s another story) and it would be lovely when eating outside to have some blooms to admire, and maybe some scent too, but what do you think?