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Posted: Saturday 18 June, 2011

by Rosemary at 11:48am in Growing Comments closed

The garden here is lovely, although not if you like tidy, or municipal planting. We can take no credit, since all we've done so far is pull stuff out to let builders in. It's a garden full of surprises - almost every day, one of us finds a plant that we've not seen before bursting into bloom, then we all gather to wonder at it.

In spring, there was a cluster of plants in the wood - a purple hellebore, bright yellow daffodils, white bleeding heart and purple snake's head fritillaries - that was just stunning. I can only assume that it was planted like this by our predecessors, but it looks entirely spontaneous.

Many of the plants are scented - I was stopped in my tracks yesterday while hanging out laundry by the heady scent of honeysuckle that has just come into flower.

By the front gate, a fabulously scented viburnum has died back now and has been over-scented by a beautiful dark pink rose. The front "lawn" is full of different varieties of daffodil (gone back now) and bluebells. Just by the outside "convenience", there is a glorious mock orange, in full flower and scent (actually, it's overgrown the path so needs a wee trim). A scented yellow rose is tumbling through the ivy. Even the beds beside the main path are full of foxgloves, yellow and orange poppies, hellebores, hardy geraniums in many varieties and a huge array of aquilegia. Two peonies are just about to flower in the wood, alongside another mock orange - they must have been there last year but I don't remember seeing them.

Much of the planting is now self-seeded, but the original plant selection has been expertly done. The skill and challenge will be to manage it gently enough to let nature continue to flourish as it is now but to control those bits of nature that we can do without - goose grass, nettles and chickweed, in the main - and to ensure that we can use the land productively.

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