The garden was looking all shiny and pretty just before we left for Mexico, but by the time we got back, after a week of rain and then record-breaking temps, it was looking like a branch of the Amazon rainforest.
I’ve spent every weekend since then attacking the lawn, pulling up thousands of weeds, planting new stuff and mulching everything, while the garden sort of went into suspended animation because it was so incredibly cold.
My efforts have finally been rewarded over the last couple of weeks as temperatures have risen (not that it’s exactly summer yet, mind you) and things are finally starting to happen.
It’s still looking a bit messy as all the bulbs die down (and I’m not too keen on the woodchip mulch either – who would have thought that one day I would have opinions about mulch?) However, the beds have finally filled out with perennials and the lilies I planted earlier in the year (very excited to see the lilies as I can’t for the life of me remember what colours I planted).
The big news is that we finally got round to constructing and planting a raised bed to the side of the garden and also planting a climbing rose to go over the arch.
Here’s a before picture from when we first moved into the house.
I’ve put in some roses – being English it doesn’t seem right to have a garden without them somehow. I’m wondering a bit about their garishness though.
To the side of the arch is rosa ‘ Zephirine Drouhin’ a hot pink which is looking lovely with the lavender at the front of the beds. At the moment it’s perfect, but I’m worrying whether she’ll be a bit OTT when/if she scrambles right over the arch.
In the raised bed is rosa Livin’ Easy which is the most beautiful orange (hate the name though)
and also rosa ‘Christopher Marlowe’ which looked good in the garden centre, but which might prove to have been a bit of a mistake as I think it’s too pink and sugary even for me. I may have to move him to the front garden somewhere.
Behind them is a soft pink jasmine to go with the white jasmine to the side of the trellis. I’ve also planted a clematis, but it doesn’t seem to be doing too well at present, mostly I suspect, because we broke the growing tip in transit.
The most glorious iris has just finished blooming. It was so dark as to be almost black when in bud. The garden is so shaded now that I think I’m going to have to rein in my predilection for black flowers because you just can’t see them. Also pretty and very unusual were the little bell-like flowers of the enkianthus by the side of the patio
The helianthemums at the front overlapping the stone walls have been flowering well, but I think they are a bit of a mistake. I should have listened when the designer specified orange helianthemum ‘Ben Nevis’, instead I asked if we could have Ben Ledi instead and although they look very pretty when the sun shines through them, from the front the just look too RED and don’t go so well with the lavender.
The brig ht pink geranium Anne Folkard is also doing her thing and bringing a bit of colour to the shade garden at the back, where nothing much is happening at present, and the first oakleaf hydrangea caps are starting to come through. I think they’re going to be beautiful next month.