Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The fun is in the journey- seed-catalogues in autumn - and a "before" and "after"

When the wind starts to blow and the rain starts to fall, it's a great time- to snuggle up warm and to start planning the garden for next year.
I have spent may happy hours at breakfast this year with the seed-catalogues of  Mr Fothergills , Thompson and Morgan and Bakker , deliberating what to grow and making lists - what to buy.
I don't have buy everything I want to grow - I save the seeds from the plants I grow myself .I let the seeds dry , then save the seeds in brown paper bags with a label and description .

This year I had a big project on- the front garden.
Let me show you the before-picture. It was an enormeous evergreen conifer , a tiny bit of lawn, and a whole hedge of Leylandii that had got out of hand.


The conifer never stopped growing- and eventually it became too hard to wrestle yourself out of the car if you wanted to get into the house.
The Leylandii- I thought they were cute as they made the house look like a little cottage lost in an enormeous forest. But my neighbour was not happy and complained about evergrowing darkness, depression and headaches, roots, drains and poor soil, - those trees just had to go.
We swallowed deeply and called a tree surgeon with mountaineering skills.

That was very traumatic.I looked at the emptiness when the mess was cleared up and nothing sprang to mind.
Then I started to read my beloved seed-catalogues .Eventually I came up with a plan.
I did this : I planted a row of evergreen laurels where the conifers had been.Eventually this would provide some privacy throughout the year again. I also planted three rambling  Rosa " Albertine" against the fence.
In front of it a hedge of Rosa Rugosa- a trouble-free vigorous shrub with wonderfully scented roses and enormeous red rose-hips in for autumn colour.
This is the first rose on those little sticks of wood that are supposedly rose-shrubs. I watered the sticks  every night for about 3 months.
Then I came up with a symmetrical design  with an apple tree in the middle- for the area where the enormeous conifer had been.

I dug up the area and made raised beds from leftover wood.
I grew quite a few perennials and a whole lot of annuals as well, which were all growing away all over the house and in the garden shed.
Vita Sackville-West used to say, "grow a new plant from seed every year- surprise yourself"- and I grew
two annuals you can see below- which I never grew before - Nicotiana Sylvestris  and Nicotiana Landorfii.
The soil where the Leylandii had been  and which was full of roots, was thoroughly rotovated by yours truly's beloved partner till it was soft as eiderdown.

After the beds at the front were finished it looked like from this 

to this:

then later like :
                                                              and even later like this:
                                                              Dahlia" Bishop of Landaff".

The beds to the side where the leylandii had been and what had been rotovated  and first looked  like this :

                                                           looked later  on in the year like this :
                                                             and then even later like this :

                                                                    and then even later in the year like this :

                                              and like this ( above is Nicotiana Langdorfii)
                                                  (Above is Nicotiana Sylvestris)
The wind is blowing and the rain is falling , it's time to start planning the garden for next year.
What new plants are you going to grow??
Happy deliberating  and planning !!The fun is in the journey!!



Vanessa said...

Oh my! That was so incredible to see the unfolding of your garden and I absolutely loved seeing it in all of its stages! We have Laurels along our fence and I absolutely love them with their waxy leaves. Thanks so much for linking this up to the party this week!

DIYbyDesign said...

Beautiful garden. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I became a follower of yours. Please follow mine too. Thanks.

Vicki said... incredible transformation. It is gorgeous.

Fishtail Cottage said...

Transformation of your garden is beautiful! Thanks so much for linking up to the Garden Party! Hope to see you back next week! We all have so much to share! xoox

Nita Stacy said...

Oh...I'm so jealous of that urn! I am dying for one to go in the middle of my backyard. I'll just have to keep looking and hoping I can find one as nice as your's.

Kelsey said...

Oh, my goodness what a lovely garden! Where did you find the garden bench? Lovely!

Fishtail Cottage said...

beautiful garden & i love love love that bench!
xoox, tracie

Thea said...

Jeetje, dat is ook nog geen kleintje!! En dat is je voortuin. Heerlijk zoveel bloemen! Daar word je vrolijk van!!

Liefs Thea ♥