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Saturday, 28 March 2009

Introducing the front garden

OK, it looks like a bit of a mess, but that's kind of the idea. This isn't the best angle to view it from, but I had to step back quite a bit to get the full height of the palm tree in.
The tree, along with the bigger yellowy-green euonymus to the left, were the only plants that we inherited from the previous owners - the rest of the front garden was entirely paved over. One of the first jobs I did after moving in was to pull up most of the slabs - luckily they hadn't been put down particularly securely so the main hassle was just wheeling them down the hill, then back up the other side to dump them in the skip behind the house. We only had the skip for a weekend, though, so the few leftover slabs got piled up along the left side, making the raised bank. It's still not entirely stable and the soil still tends to vanish after a while, but I'm hoping that all the shrubs I planted there will eventually hold it all in place with their roots.

Under the tree, there are a few tulips and perennial cornflowers, plus a little conifer that we had in the garden in Brighton, making a nice bit of colour before the actual flowers come out. This whole front flowerbed area is infested with Lords & Ladies (as well as dandelions, willowherb and other persistent weeds) so I'm hoping to get some ground-cover down this year to keep that under control.

The left-hand beds mainly have lavender in, with some shrubs (including the pieris, pictured, one of the only flowers out at the moment) at the back and some heathers at the front, all of which went in last year and seem to be doing pretty well. By the window there are a lot of lilies and liatris which are just starting to sprout, as well as some mysterious other bulbs that only seem to produce long, tubular leaves. I planted all of these last year, and have completely forgotten what the Mystery Bulbs are supposed to be - I vaguely recall they may have been irises, but without any flowers to show for it, it's possible that they're just onions or something.

Along the right is what will, eventually, be a hedge; at the moment it's just a bunch of sticks. Starting at the house and moving forwards, it goes Dogwood-Hawthorn-Spindle-Hawthorn-Honeysuckle-Hawthorn-Guelder Rose-Hawthorn-Hazel-Hawthorn-Blackthorn-Potentilla Fruticosa. Entirely unimpressive at the moment but should be better once they get proper leaves on.

The patchy grassy bit in the middle is actually the world's smallest meadow, which is sown with various wildflower seeds as well as all the birdseed that's fallen off the bird table and been missed by the squirrels. Should look better once they all start growing a bit.

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