Garden, Garden blogging, Restoring a garden

Restoring a Hampshire Garden – Chapter 1

‘The Beginning’

I mentioned in a recent post that my youngest daughter and her husband have recently moved and inherited once loved garden now sadly neglected and over run with brambles and ivy. They have been very kind to allow me to help them restore the garden and let me take photos and blog about our progress. This is the first chapter.

This photo is taken from the end of quite a substantial sized patio area. Don’t be fooled into thinking, this is not a large garden. Behind the trellis running across the middle of the garden, which is thick with ivy and brambles…

…is this!

Happy days!

Absolutely fabulous! It is going to take a lot of clearing and full of weeds, which will take a great deal of time and hard work, like the rest of the garden this part has clearly left to do it’s own thing for several years. The plan is to clear most of it, take down the hedge which cuts the garden in two and make the actual garden area larger. The wonderful old wooden greenhouse is cedar, and the big bonus is it has electricity. Once fully repaired, with a new roof, it is going to make a splendid blot hole at the end of the garden, complete with a kettle and perhaps (note this daughter and SiL) a small fridge for the occasional G&T at the end of the day. In front of the shed there are several concrete bunkers that have been used for compost.

To the left of the garden as you look from the patio is a garage set back from the house down a narrow drive along the side of the house. We are not sure why it was built so far down, but understand the previous owners stored a boat here.

Have you seen the dog kennel?

Amongst the house documents my daughter and SiL came across is an A3 landscape garden design dated 2002. We can see where some of the design was implemented, although by no means all of it. The plan has, however, given us an idea of the planting scheme and it will be interesting as summer approaches what plants are growing.

The trellis along the garage wall was covered with rampant honeysuckle, and roses. The garden design shows ‘Albertine’ rambling roses. The honeysuckle is growing into the roof of the garage, I managed to cut back quite a lot, but you can see from the photo there is more to do. The keen eyed of you will see the stump of what was a Wisteria so that needs to come out. We are trying not to remove the trellis as it is secured firmly, and probably built in situ. However, with so much growing behind it this may be a job that has to be done. The coloured hanging pots are from my garden.

This side of the garden needs a lot of work, and you can see the wood edging has broken. As the beds are higher than the lawn they will need replacing. The previous owners loved their raised beds! Again the beds are full of brambles, nettles and wretched ivy, so there is a lot of clearance work to be done. There is a very high laurel hedge behind which runs the length of the garden, and they are getting ‘a man’ in to bring the height down, all the leaves are badly nibbled too so it needs some tlc.

It took many walks with the wheelbarrow and garden sacks to the skip at the front of the house. Once I get going I could go on for hours clearing etc., it becomes a mission. Everywhere I looked I saw something else to do. A cup of tea and a sit down called late afternoon and then it began to rain, so we had to give up for the day. I will be back and am really looking forward to sharing the transformation with you.

My move update:

I’ve still not moved, we had a fall at the last hurdle when last Friday 4pm, on the expected day of exchange, the other side’s solicitors emailed with a spanner in the works, which could delay things by another 3 weeks. I am speechless and don’t want to say anything further at the moment.

Flowers, Garden blogging, In a Vase on Monday, Photography

In a Vase on Monday – In Celebration of Spring

It’s the middle of March and another bitterly cold day, and to make us all feel better about it the weathermen gleefully inform us that Spring is just around the corner and will be warmer tomorrow.      I do hope they are right, we could all do with a little sunshine and warmth that comes with it.

I decided it was time to bring flowers from the garden into the house for a spot of positiveness.  The temperature is 1C and it feels colder! There is a big difference to being outside on an icy day with sunshine and blue sky to it being icy cold, overcast and grey when it seems to get into the bones quickly.  After just a couple of minutes outside cutting a small posy, my hands are still taking time to warm up.

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According to the meteorological calendar Spring started on the 1st of March.  It is not the same with the astronomical calendar in which we find Spring starts tomorrow Tuesday 20th March.   Why the difference?  The meteorological calender splits the year into four seasons, so accordingly Spring is 1 March until 31 May.  The astronomical calender is all to do with the Earth’s orbit around the sun and the dates change each year.  How do I know this?  Good old Dr Google!

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Daffodils, anemones, crocus and a sprig of skimma in a pretty blue glass jug with a sandblasted surface go together to make my first ‘In a Vase on Monday’ of 2018.

There are some very pretty combinations which can be seen if you make a visit to Rambling in the Garden, Cathy is celebrating the anniversary of her 6th year of blogging today.

Garden blogging

When Winter Meets Spring!

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I have been writing my blog since January 2011, it provides me with seven years to look back on and compare seasons, year on year.  This year, 2018, in West Sussex we had a visiting of snow a few weeks ago, a little more yesterday and when I woke this morning there was more snow, but unlike other parts of the country, fortunately it was not a heavy covering.

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Everything in the garden is way behind, when I look back over the years, it was full of daffodils and narcissi by the middle of March. The above photo was taken on 13 March 2017, there isn’t anything to match that this year. I know all too well that nature catches up eventually, but today was a picture of when Winter meets Spring.  I quite like that thought and it gave me the idea to capture and post some photos to depict this clash of seasons.

My last photo is of the first early tulips this year.  They are  a variety called Kaufmanniana, although nowhere near advanced as last year as you can see from last year’s blog post A Tulip Surprise at least they are making an appearance which means that Spring is just around the corner.

Let us hope that this is the last of the snow, although I do have memories of snow at Easter in past years. It is so sad as it damages blossom on the trees and beautiful flowers like camellias.

Flowers, Garden blogging, Garden Meme, Photography, Silent Sunday, Six on Saturday

Six on a Bitterly Cold Saturday 17/03/2018

It was my plan to do a Six on Saturday blog post today. After a couple of warm days that fooled us, and plant life, that Spring was about to arrive, it is snowing today and bitterly cold – a shock to us all.

My little tree peony, survived earlier frosts but now it has a flower-bud, so this morning I lovingly wrapped it up in fleece to protect it from the snow and next couple of frosty nights that have been forecasted.

Not to be deterred by the outside chill, this afternoon I took some photos for my Six. Slightly battered by this morning’s snow, the trough of tete-a-tete give a cheerful two fingers up to the cold and bring light and colour to the garden.

These little anemones closed their petals tightly today, but are good to see coming back year after year. Sadly, this is one pot of many I won’t be taking with me when I move. I have friends lined up to take orphan plants, so I know they will go to good homes and be cared for.

Life is full of compromises and my new home does not have a garden – eeeek!!! It does have south facing french doors which open out onto a patio area, hence the need to limit the number of containers I can take with me. All is not lost though because my youngest daughter and husband have just moved into a house about a mile away that has a large overgrown garden. They already have at least half a dozen of my pots full of spring bulbs. I am so lucky that they have granted me the privilege of being allowed to work in their garden, so I will still be able to blog about the re-birth of a much ignored but clearly once loved garden. I diverse and more about the move once I have a date which fingers crossed will be very soon.

Back to ‘Six on Saturday’. This Sedum is from a broken sprig I literally shoved into the soil during last summer. I love the way raindrops sit on the leaves. I will put a few cuttings in a pot for daughter’s garden.

Walking around the garden this afternoon, not thinking I would find too much for my Six, I was pleasantly surprised and now writing this post I am having to decide what to add and what to ignore. It’s mid-March and I couldn’t bring myself not to include these Wallflowers, it doesn’t have a label but looking back at my old posts, I think this one is ‘winter sorbet’.

My final Six photo is one of the Peony bursting through the soil. I can never ignore these when photographing plants in the garden – I adore the colour of the fresh shoots and how they start off looking like little lipsticks and then tiny hands with lots of fingers. Beautiful!

I have always enjoyed reading other ‘Six on Saturday’ blog posts and this is my first contribution there will be more.   Thank you The Propagator for hosting this meme and  Horti Hugh  and  ThomasHort for your Six on Saturday posts which spurred me into joining in.