Monday, 2 March 2009

Out into the garden once more





We have spent the day in the garden and it has rejuvinated me, and no doubt done a world of good - to my body, my mind and most of all to the garden. It was so warm and sunny that it was good to be outdoors and so I decided to clear my potager-patch (herbs and herby sub-shrubs) whilst Raymond tackled the veg plot. Three of my six 8ft x 4ft raised beds have had all the dead growth cut back; little spring bulbs are emerging everywhere though not in flower yet, sweet violets have spread and seeded themselves throughout the beds, and new juicy herbaceous plant growth is pushing its way above ground; whorls of sea-green columbine leaves and mint-green alecost and valerian. The buds are almost bursting on the elegant Jargonelle pear; crocus flame like purple stars in the grass of the 'Plum Patch' (a triangle of grass between two plum trees and a damson); hellebores hang their demure heads all around the shrubby areas of the garden in numerous shades of pink, apricot, purple and smokey blue. I love them, because they look after themselves and flower so early, whatever the weather. I succumbed to a new variety last Friday when we called in to one of my favourite, but rather distant, garden centres on our way back from sourcing a new camera lens for Raymond.

Today's endeavours were particularly special because we have not worked seriously in the garden for about three years now whilst we have been stone-by-stone rebuilding our barn - 33ft x 17ft x 28ft high (to apex). We have planted our veg and 'done things' with our fruit, but maintenance has been almost nil, hence it is SOOOO overgrown; brambles and nettles have re-established themselves and elders seem to have sprung up everywhere. Little by little we will take it back into our own - it was a joy to see that underneath all the tangle, the bones of the areas I created so many years ago are still there. 

Raymond took some pics but I haven't seen them yet, so will post some of my own: the hellebore display at the garden centre where we love to eat as well as buy plants; close-up of the 'Ruby Glow' hellebore with which I fell in love, the 'Plum Patch' with spring bulbs which are gradually spreading to my great delight, and  a close-up of a group of miniature ones that have opened like stars in the sunshine. For once, I do not feel daunted at all there is to tackle, though my arthritis is playing up and my right hand is very swollen this evening. I can put up with that, to see the garden in all its former loveliness once again. It is not a manicured garden by any means; really a sort of tamed wilderness that has 'got away' for the present.

10 comments:

  1. Love to see a picture of the barn.
    I am excited today because we are having some misty rain!

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  2. Rain can be such a blessing; let us hope it dampens down the scorched earth. I will do a posting on the barn at some point; we catalogued its progress in photos.

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  3. What beautiful flowers and I can't believe how green your grass is.. ours is still dead brown and not a flower in sight.

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  4. Aha you had a day like mine yesterday - except I had to stop weeding and thread my seven year old's needle about 600 times. But who's complaining when she has just started embroidering!

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  5. Sounds like you have your own "Secret Garden" to work in. You make me so anxious for spring. We managed to escape the winter snowstorm that swept up the east coast of the country, but our wind chills are in the teens. I hope it warms up soon. Your pictures make me smell grass and flowers.

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  6. Well it looks lovely. I adore hellebores too. I identify with the wilderness garden. Mine is really just a big field with varying degrees of cultivation. In my dreams I see a wild country garden. When I go outside I see a lot of very young planting and some sticks! I love it though.

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  7. Your crocus coming up through the grass looks just like ours halfway round the globe in Oregon! I love how we can share some of these riches. Could I have a yew tree, do you think? I stopped tonight at a local store to look through the plants. There are lots of "stepping" plants: Corsican mint, Scotch moss, chocolate ajuga, ones that can take a lot of foot traffic. I'm tempted to begin planting! - Jeanne

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  8. Ah it is a beautiful garden. Here in the U.S. we talk about "white fertilizer" - snow. A snow is supposed to help the garden in spring. Do you have the same saying or thought? We were supposed to get snow, but we didn't. 70 miles north they received up to 8 inches. B

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  9. for some reason, my comments don't seem to post! love the hellebore. A friend of mine has a lovely photo of hers on her blog. chickory (you can link from my own)
    I miss your chestnut tree. last seen, it was covered in snow. will you take another picture of it soon? alicia

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  10. I have a lovely plummy-coloured Hellebore which seems to have been transplanted somehow to the paddock - perhaps I thought it had died? Anyway, it's in full bloom there now and I shall transplant it back to the border when it has died back.

    Your garden looks lovely - I love a garden which draws you into it, as yours does amongst the trees. I too am reclaiming my garden after neglect whilst I had the horses/nursed mum. This will be the year when it gets sorted - hah, then we will be going on the market to downsize!

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