It’s that time of the month again(!), time to take a long hard look at my front garden, linking in to the EOMV meme over at Patient Gardener.
It was sunny earlier on today, but of course by the time I got around to taking photos the clouds had returned, so everything looks even more buff coloured and subdued than it would anyway. I don’t mind it, actually, there is still plenty that is making me happy. The colour on Hakonechloa macra for instance.
Some self-seeded pansies brightening up the base of one of the twisted willows.
The first – rather battered – flower on the Christmas Rose.
Next year’s bluebells making their presence known.
But it is two important structural changes and another in the making that have me doing my happy dance. The first change is that after years of severe plant lust, I finally have my very own Amelanchier lamarkii.
I was thrilled to discover that Burncoose Nurseries sold bare rooted Amelanchiers, not trained as standards either, which even with the delivery charge suddenly made it affordable. I had to take full advantage of the postage of course, not to mention the 10% voucher I had from the last time I bought from them, so I also have a lovely pale yellow hellebore and a Teucrium fruticans to look forward to planting in due course. The hellebore will go in the spring corner of the fence border, and the Teucrium will get planted alongside the hydrangeas in the wall border. Depending on how I get on with it, and how it gets on with my garden, I am thinking about taking cuttings and gradually growing a hedge of it to finish off the wall border. Christina assures me that I can prune it to keep it within bounds, and I dearly want to soften the wall without losing the view of the bay from the lounge.
You might argue that a tree isn’t really a structural change, but to me it is part of the “furniture” of the garden, something that I will happily wait patiently for until it grows into a proper tree but which will be in place for many, many years. Similarly the “change to come” is another tree, also coming to me bare rooted.
I have been wanting to add to the plants that will eventually screen us from the house opposite – the baby hedgelet of escallonia, the ceanothus, pittosporum, black elder and tamarisk will all (eventually) provide us with excellent privacy from the road and the lower floor of the house, but I wanted something to break up the huge slab of the building. Helen at Patient Gardener posted about Sorbus vilmorinii last month and I was entranced by the pale pink berries and slightly silvery tinge to the leaves. I had already decided on a rowan, I like the folklore that says it protects from malignant beings, the fact that it provides food for the birds, and somehow it is quite a welsh tree too, though of course I have now gone and picked a Chinese one! But at least it should cope with the exposed conditions rather better than an acer, say, and grow a lot faster too. The cane marks the spot where it is going to go, where it will provide good screening for us when we are sat at the dining table without nicking the view from either the landing or the front porch. I though it would take us ages to find the right position for the cane, but we actually got it right first time. Some might suggest I had been obsessing about this for a while and had already worked it out. I couldn’t possibly comment.
The final change is why I can empty this out and use it for something else:
This time last year I was trying to admire the coloured stems of the twisted willows and getting a little distracted by the fence behind.
Vile. And so began my quest for a black fence. Which started with my painting the existing fence. The salt winds scoured the paint from the boards. I tried masonry paint. The fence blew down. Which was actually brilliant because it was what made us realize what an amazing view we actually had! And so began the process of rebuilding the fence. And I have finished! And goodness do the willows look better for it. Actually, everything looks better for it, and I can’t believe how much difference just finishing the last section today has made.
Of course, there is till the rest to do. The bit at the bottom. Where the wall that the parish council and the county council keep arguing about who is responsible for maintaining while it falls down…
That’s it for this month. Thanks again to Helen for hosting, and do check out the links in the comments on her blog and have a nose around lots of other gardens. I shall leave you with images of the flowers that refuse to recognise that it is almost Christmas and the buds that promise so much in the months to come.