Thursday, May 03, 2012

Playing in the garden

This time last year the weather was hot and dry - the sunshine unending and I was busy making changes to the garden which you can see here

What a difference a year makes!  It's still a work in progress.  

I spent 3 hours yesterday tidying up the front gardens - there is still a bit of weeding to be done, and a makeover to complete in the Autumn. 

Yesterday afternoon and evening I spent in the back garden.
  I mowed the lawns three times until I goT the grass down to a neat level.  You can see the pond has gone, and the garden room has appeared.   I spent the most wonderful summer and winter in the garden room.  It's got a special UVA reflective glass roof - so it's great for me as I don't have to worry about the sun's rays.   In the winter we spent every spare moment out/in there as it's lovely and bright.  It's felt like we have been in the garden - with all different extremes of weather and there is always something interesting going on.

It's raining hard today - so being the daft old lady I am - I went out to take some photos to remind me of the results of my hard work yesterday.
I've not spent much time in the studio of late - so many appointments, but after next week things should get  back to normal - and I'll be in there with the doors wide open doing some crafting.
(Oops I didn't notice the lime green Euphorbia poking its head at the bottom of the photo.)
Once Mr Lottie was out last night, I finished off the lawns - they look a bit patchy as the grass had got long.  It'll soon green up though.  I weeded all the woodland bed on the left. and I have  added some lupins.
I just love their leaves!  It should look a picture this year as there are lots of flowers and shrubs in it.
 I moved the compost bins to their 'final' place and weeded the other woodland bed, and transplanted some gorgeous yellow primroses which had self seeded in the gravel.
On the right I have a jostaberry which I have grown from a 12 inch cutting from a bush up the allotment.  This one I am keeping shorter - the other was 6ft tall!  I am hoping that it will fruit this year - or maybe next year.  I have other cuttings of shrubs which are just starting to 'take', but I think I'll invest in some colourful perrenials to fill up all the gaps.
Now  you will probably think that this is a bit of a mess. But we need a clear route around the garden so that the trees and shrubs can be pruned.  In the gravel there are self sown flowers mainly grannies bonnets - which look lovely and hellebores.  The 'cage' used to be the chicken run, but now I have netted it and grow fruit in there.  It's a bit 'Heath Robinson', but when I finally get too old to work up the allotment, I'll have a proper cage built or maybe a polytunnel  - no rush - as I am not wishing my life away!

 Around the garden room on the right, I have created a flower bed - it's 'Kath's Garden' and still in it's infancy.  I've had to cover it for a while to keep the birds off as I sowed seeds and cuttings and little summer flowering bulbs.

The grass seed we put down in the autumn didn't fare well - lots of snow and freezing weather - so the germination rate wasn't good.   But it did grow long enough to have a light trim and doesn't look too bad from a distance.  The chooks keep off it so don't do any damage.
 I spent an hour or two on this raised bed that runs along the back - oops left a couple of pots on the gravel.  I tend to empty any old compost out of pots onto the raised beds.  This shrub at the end has taken six years or more to get to this size!!
 I love these little pottery birds from Indonesia - they stay out all year round.
They remind me of the quail I used to keep, and with all this heavy rain they are getting a lovely mossy coating which makes them look very vintage.   I got them from an antique shop in the village which has since closed - and have never seen any like them anywhere else.  They are very tactile too and you just can't resist running  your hand over their backs as you pass.
Looks like the alliums haven't minded the rain so much
I bought three apple trees last year - one of those spur of the moment things as I was walking around a supermarket.  I chopped them down short as I didn't have the space for tall ones - and it seems that they didn't mind in the least - lots of blossoms on this one - and my pear tree - which had been hard pruned - was covered in blossom too.
After a total of 8 hours working in the garden - bad light stopped play!

The torrential rain today finally beat me - and my photo session had to end abruptly.
Even the bantams charged back in their run - it was too much for them too.
Willow laid an egg on the lawn then ran in too!

Hope you all have a great weekend and that the sun shines on you. 

Especially if you live in the UK - it's our Bank Holiday Weekend - so an extra day off work.

Every day is a 'day off' for me though!


  1. Lottie, how do you have such a perfect lawn and free range chickens??

    Ours destroy all grass in minutes!

  2. Your garden is looking so lovely, its nice seeing the chooks running around and the fact they don't do alot of damage as well. Wish I had room for apple trees.

  3. I love your garden spaces (& chickens do too), and the studio and garden room. You've created quite the well-loved space there! - Paula

  4. Such lovely photos! I can't wait to get down to my allotment again but it was a swimming pool last tie I went to visit :-( Love 'n' hugs, Mel xx

  5. Anonymous2:26 pm

    The garden is looking absolutely lovely Lottie, well done :)


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