Friday 25 April 2008

Green and pleasant land

Oh its been a long week and I hadn't meant to be away but the dreaded lurgy finally caught up with me and I've spent most of it in bed. Thankfully I'm on the mend now although its still annoyingly hanging around but I won't bore you with the gruesome details.

David Austin Roses - St Swithun's day (climbing) with a lovely scent for the corner of my border close to the seat where I can sit and enjoy it on a warm day.

What do you think of my new roses? The David Austin website is running a half price offer for all of April so if you're quick you can grab a beautiful bargain. I was looking for two climbers and I can't, can't wait for them to begin flowering, perhaps a few summers off yet though.

My little garden has really been keeping me going. Just being able to pop out onto the patio with a brew in the sunshine (in-between the hail storms!) was a complete tonic. Finally everything is starting look green, the birch tree is in leaf, our hawthorn hedge is that beautiful acidic shade and finally it feels that spring is really here.
David Austin Rosa James Glaway (Climbing) - no thorns so perfect for garden shed where the boys play.
The novelty of having our own space, plants and peace & quiet still hasn't worn off. The garden at our old place was sweet but pretty much un-useable because it was hidden away behind a garage and we had to go out on to the street to get into it. Not exactly ideal for nipping out to do a bit of deadheading in your dressing gown on a bright, sunny morning! (or is that just me?)
Here, I find myself staring at the new garden obsessively. I'm quite a novice and I've only really been gardening with any amount of effort for a couple of years, but since we've arrived here my passion has grown. Its a small space with just one tree, a lawn, deck and a raised patio. The main planting spaces are two borders, one shady beneath the tree and the other, quite a deep curved one that runs below the patio with drystone walls holding it all in.

Not very big, not very exciting really - apart from the huge matter that its mine. My own little kingdom, well for gardening in at least. Woody is no plantsman and as long as there's a space to bat and bowl with the boys he's a happy chap. So this Gardener's World belongs to me.
I spent my first evening of the year outside on Saturday, planting a half-barrel with sweet peas, an old tin bath with stocks, put achilleas, poppies and verbascum in the patio border and even managed to mow and edge the lawn. Amazing really what the rush of a fever bubbling under the surface can spur you onto!

Slowly but surely the planting is building up. There are a few, lovely clusters of forget-me-nots and the lupins, hollyhocks and delphiniums I've put in are coming on a treat. Almost everyone has told me not to bother with any of these because the slugs will gorge themselves on my dreams of soaring, colourful spires but I just have to try. I've armed myself with some organic slug pellets (if they're good enough for Monty Don they're good enough for me) and we shall just have to wait and see.
I raided mum's borders a few weeks ago so now hardy geraniums, pulmonaria, iris, superbum, persicaria and geums are filling out the gaps. It all looks a bit weak and feeble at the moment but I've got everything crossed for May, the wonderful month that turns my garden doubts of "nothing is going to grow!" into "help, I can't keep up!", which in this brand new garden is just what I need.
Better photos next time and I'm really looking forward to catching up with what everyone has been up to this week. Oh look though, four hours are up - Sudafed here I come - yet again!


The Fairy Glade said...

Hi Steph, isn't it lovely to have a garden..I posted a few pics on my blog to give you an idea of what mine looks like. It is 4 acres in total with most of it being woodland and about half an acre for my beloved hens. We cultivate a veg plot and perhaps a half acre for flowers. You need a lot of plants in a border!

driftwood said...

gorgeous roses, and how lovely to see your garden!

Alchamillamolly said...

Have you been to Katherines Dream there is news and pixs that will make you broody!

pinkgreen said...

Glad you feeling a bit better and are able to enjoy your garden in the sun. It doesn't take long for things to take off. When we moved here the garden was just gravel and we dug it all out and laid a small lawn and beds. I filled it with things pinched from other people, and despite buying plants too, the things that have endured are the ones I pinched! Your garden looks lovely already, and in a few weeks will be in full bloom!

French Knots said...

It's such a brilliant time of year to be gardening, everything bursting into life - especially the weeds in my garden!
Glad you are on the mend.

Deb said...

What a lovely garden you have Steph. Love the roses!

julia said...

Can't offer any advice about gardening, sorry, I must be the only person who managed to kill a David Austin rose!
I was so excited thas week as the first of my big alliums popped up, but this morning it's ina very sorry state, the snails have eaten through the flipping stem, I didn't even knoe they liked alliums - Drat!
Hope you're back on top form soon
Julia x

julia said...

Goodness knows what happened to my spelling up there, it's the trauma of the half eaten allium that did it!
Julia x

Heidi said...

Hi Steph, Happy Monday! First of all thank you for letting us know that the David Austin roses are on sale! I bought many last year & they are all doing amazingly well! And about your have a lovely space! Your photos look like out of an issue of Country Living magazine, UK edition!!... one of my favorites! Just keep puttering my friend, you will be a wonderful "gargen-ess"!...Off to give my plants a bit of water....Heidi :)

Heidi said...

Me again Steph...My sorry spelling???..I meant "garden-ess"!...happy planting!...Heidi :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Steph, we're probably at about the same stage with our gardens. I planted some David Austen roses last year and was delighted when they bloomed, beautiful old fashioned scented blooms. Already I've noticed the little green blighters are attacking them so I will have to get the spray gun out. Our daffodils have only just sprung flowers, can you believe it? Isn't May just lovely though. Sigh..can't wait to be sat out on a warm evening with a bottle of wine. Hope you feel better soon.

Lucy Bloom said...

HI Steph, I thought that lurgy was long gone, but obviously it was waiting to get you. The rose is beautiful, glad you are enjoying your garden, it's lovely to gaze out and see all the colour gradually appearing this time of year.
Lucy x

Miss sew n sew said...

We have been having some weird weather thunder and huge hail stones then warm spells in between! Hope your garden rewards you with lots of lovely blooms it's all a learning curve for me to I sometimes don't know where to start I think you just have to start!

Ragged Roses said...

Hello Steph, hope you're on the mend. Your garden looks wonderful, it will look even better in may! I love gardening but at the moment the snails are eating all my seedlings, it's war!!!

Carol said...

Hi Steph, your garden is looking really pretty. Your Roses are so beautiful. I love to have a wander up the garden and see what is pocking it's head up through the soil...I often forget what I have planted!
I do hope that you are on the mend. There has been so many horried bugs about.
Carol xx

Carol said...

me again, I was just thinking how funny blogging is at times...I ramble on to some people like I have known them for years!!!

prettyshabby said...

Hello Steph, glad you're on the mend from the lurgy!
I love David Austin roses but they are so expensive aren't they, well done for getting them half price!
I know just what you mean about staring out the window to the point of obsession!! I'm always doing it at this time of year..everything looks new and fresh and you can see changes almost iris are out earlier this year and I'm dying to move things about and plant more plants but with the house up for sale i'm having to restrain myself! (sorry bit of an essay there!)

Sal said...

Your garden is lovely.I am sure you'll have lots of fun in it.

mollycupcakes said...

Hello Steph,
Sorry to hear that you're not to good these mean bugs are just sticking around.
Hope you're back on form soon.
Beautiful photos of your garden, it sounds and looks amazing already. Can't wait to see all the other flowers when they pop up.
The sweet peas and stocks are some of my favourites, they smell of yummy.
Good luck with it all sweetie and get well soon.

Catherine x

dragonfly said...

Hi Steph
Sorry to hear that you've been poorly.
Your garden looks wonderful and your choice of plants sounds perfect too. I'm useless with roses, they just don't want to flower for me...
(Thank you so much for your lovely comments)

alice c said...

Your border will be lovely this summer - the plants that you have chosen are just the ones that I would chose myself.

The best tip I can give for filling up a garden is to go to garden centres regularly and pick up plants in season which are normally on special offer. If you are buying herbaceous plants you can split them before your plant them and they will quickly spread - that way you get two for the price of one! Church sales are another good source of cheap plants but sometimes you are not sure what you are buying!

Cowboys and Custard Mercantile said...

Hello dear Steph..
So sorry to hear you have been bitten by the bug... when will they ever end? Hope you are feeling stronger and fitter today..
I totally understand your obsessive staring at the garden.. A garden is a wonderful ever changing canvas and I know it will bring you much pleasure as it evolves..
Enjoy the sun.. when it shines.

Anonymous said...

So glad you are feeling better, and your garden looks wonderful. I'd don anything for a little brick wall, don't think I'll be getting one any time soon but I can dream.


Your roses are so beautiful! I have always dreamed of travelling to England and hope to do so one day....while I wait I will visit lovely blogs like yours! Thank you,


gayle said...

I love the stone walls for the borders Steph. They are very natural and create a beautiful background for the plants. My favourite flowers are blue cornflowers , blue 'Love in a Mist' and red autumn sunset sunflowers. All stunning...and of course the first things I planted 10 years ago in our first garden. Never achieved the same look since. our garden here is huge and was well planted up when we moved here. It is a disgrave, and I am doing the veg as it is manageable. The fields don't crawl into the retained beds but my flower beds are very grassy! You are motivating me though!

Unknown said...

What beautiful roses! i love these old fashioned flowers. You have a great garden. sorry to hear you caught the lurgy, hope you are feeling much better now.

Rosie x

jessica daisy said...

What beautiful roses Steph, I bet you can't wait till they flower, I'm not really the best gardener, and most of our little garden is filled by a rather large outhouse, and shaded by next doors huge sycamore tree so I'm rather limited on spots to grow lovely things. I would love some more fragrant lavender but It need lots of sun, but at the moment I do love the odd patch of forget-me-nots that have appeared (I need more to fill in the gaps) and the hardy geraniums do well. I love tulips too, but Lily the dog seems to have developed a taste for tulip buds, and has nibbled most of them off before the have had a chance to bloom! I'm learning by trial and error!

Anonymous said...

Hi Steph, just found your blog for the first time and would like to say that Port Isaac is my most favourite place in the whole wide world. We go twice a year...spring and autumn with my sister and brotherinlaw and stay in a twee little cottage near the Slipway Inn, I never want to come home-its magical!