I’ve got a little behind with my blog posts. Not that I’m keeping to any kind of schedule, but I like to keep a record of the changing seasons in the garden and further afield.
So here are some photographs of the garden a few weeks ago, when most of the perennials were reaching the height of their growth. As you can see I don’t plan any formal arrangements, and a lot of the plants here are wildflowers. I don’t have loads of time to spend in the garden keeping it neat and tidy, though I could do with being more methodical. I do prefer the wild and slightly unkempt look of old English gardens.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Quite frequently a certain plant will get ideas into its head that it wants to take over the entire flowerbed – the purple deadnettle or forget-me-not are notorious for this here. I just pull up big sections and they all settle back and work together… for a while.
Having lived here for over twenty years, you get a feel for what grows well and what doesn’t in your soil and position. It’s important for a garden to be given time to settle into its own cycle. You never know what is waiting to emerge. So many of these plants have arrived from seeds blown on the wind, or dropped by birds. Some, like the poppies, only appear if you’ve turned the soil the previous year.
A lot of patience is required to allow a garden to reveal itself to you, rather than try to impose your own ideas on to it. In the beginning I bought a lot of plants from a garden centre which, while pretty and unusual, had the effect of upsetting the balance here. They didn’t look right, they took a lot of extra care and attention, and most of them failed to thrive.
I suppose it is more of a partnership – you work with the garden and it works with you. Though I don’t do a lot of planting now (I work with cuttings or reseed what is already here), it is best when I plant the native British species that suit this soil and micro-climate, or at least those that have been easily and readily naturalised (These orange and yellow Californian poppies seem to love it here. They are not invasive and easy to pull out if I wanted to – I don’t 🙂 ) This way, I am less likely to be disappointed in the long run, and the garden seems to evolve in a more healthy way… better for the plants, and better for the gardener!