It is 10 months since we moved into our new garden (there is a house attached), but I still feel as though I am trespassing on someone else’s territory. Most of the trees, shrubs and plants have been chosen by others. Some I adore such as the gigantic fig tree my children love to climb and have nicknamed “the Whomping Willow” after the tree in the grounds of Hogwarts;
Others I am not so sure about such as two Fatsia japonicas – one of which I took great satisfaction in cutting down at the weekend.
I have taken my time, carefully rescuing a Clematis armandii which had been allowed to flop down into a border, which has rewarded us with an dazzling cluster of flowers this Spring;
I have gently weeded the shady herbaceous border behind our house, planting narcissi, tulips, alliums and a Verbena bonariensis, and cutting back dying foliage to reveal beautiful purple hellebores underneath frothy cherry blossom, but not making any major changes as yet;
In the autumn, I went a bit bulb mad, planting over 200 including Iris reticulata ‘Clairette’, Narcissi ‘Cheerfulness’ and ‘King Alfred’, Muscari armeniacum and tulips ranging from bubblegum pink ‘Candy Prince’ to dark purple ‘Queen of the Night’ and vibrant ‘Burgundy Lace’. For the most part I am pleased with the effect, such as here in our south-facing front garden:
But I haven’t always got it right. I am delighted that the snakeshead fritillaries I planted have now come up, but disappointed that they clash with the blue Chionodoxa:
There is so much still to do. Our lawn is sparse thanks to the trampoline, slide and guinea pig run, and covered with creeping buttercups. The remnants of borders around the edges of the lawn need to be restored and replanted. The trees at the back need to be tamed and the grape vine has gone completely feral:
I want to grow our own fruit and veg and encourage the children to sow wildflower patches on the way to the den we are building at the back of the garden. As I have written in previous posts there is a large shed to clear out, and another overgrown potting shed to be overhauled (behind the thicket of ivy):
I am thankful to the previous residents who left behind elegant shrubs, apple and pear trees and summer-fruiting raspberry canes behind the washing line:
I am also slightly daunted by the task in hand, but most of all I feel incredibly luck to have this space to make our own. Hopefully one day soon I will really start to think of it as our garden.