Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Informal formality.

One of our most exciting Christmas pressies was a box of Heritage vegetable seeds. They were burning a hole in my creative pocket, so to speak. In the light of the slow progress on the house renovating  front, we pressed on with the creation of the productive area of our garden.
Using oak sleepers stained black to create six raided beds across the whole width of the garden. The gentle slope created the stepping effect we had seen in so many formal Italian gardens. Using more of our recycled paving slabs and brick mowing strips with grass paths.


Molly was a great help in moving the 8 tons of topsoil and promptly made good use of the raised beds as a bed.!

Planting got underway immediately .
 Little in this world is as unprepossessing as a packet of seed and nothing touches them for explosive potential.

We are now practically vegetarian and enjoying freshly harvested French Beans, Borlottie beans, Courgettes, Asparagus peas, Beetroots, Perpetual spinach, Carrots, Sweetcorn (decimated by greedy Badgers)Rocket, Mitzuna,Radish and looking forward to Ruby chard Pak choi and Black Tuscan Kale.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Into the garden maud

In between the joyful intricacies of planning /designing and finding a builder for our mid century eco renovation project, we decide to take our frustrations out on the garden.
This one is a very different proposition to our former garden, crated from an old walled rectory garden, quite shaded in parts and bounded by a high wall. Wrapped round the house, packed full of rare plants and very high maintenance. My pride and joy.

The new garden is a conventional 1/3 in front of the house and 2/3 behind the house.
 We wanted this one to be a combination of three disparate elements.
(1) Italian formal. (2) Productive fruit and veg plot, (3) The wild landscape of Norway's Valldal valley location of the stunning Juvet Landscape Hotel.
The one thing they all have in common is green green green and though this may not be a marriage made in heaven  at least we hope to get them all on speaking terms.
After the studio went up we realized the long south facing border in front would make a perfect site for a longed for Asparagus bed.
The borders are lined with reclaimed bricks from our demolished dilapidated summer house and the main path uses aged but inexpensive patio slabs from the existing rear patio. Softened with grass between the slabs ( easily maintained with a hover mower) it immediately gives the landscaping an aged look. We filled the bed with compost brought from our former garden and planted five each of an early, mid and late season Asparagus. There may only be a week or two between them but its called hedging your bets. We now have to be patient as ideally asparagus should be left for two seasons to bulk up before harvesting. Tick Toc Tick Toc.
Attached wires to sides of the shed and planted twoTrachelospermum jasminoiddes. This well behaved evergreen climber turns a seasonally jolly red in cold winters and is smothered in very fragrant flowers for four months 
As a surprising bonus tomato seeds from last years compost have germinated and we are currently enjoying an self sown glut of tomato variety's.