Tuesday, 6 October 2015

My garden, a brief late September walk though.

Inspired by Loree over at The Danger Garden I decided to do a bit of a walk through of the back garden, to give an idea of the general layout. It's quite a small space but I tend to cram a lot in, lush foliage abounds. When taking pictures I often focus on small details, individual plants or showing compositions, rather than taking a step back to show a more general view.
Most of the pictures were taken on my phone a couple of weeks ago, the quality and sharpness of some ain't amazing but here we are.

The entrance to the garden, along the side of the house. There is planting behind where I'm standing but it needs an overhaul so will not feature in the blog today.
The chairs are incredibly comfortable, but they are quite stark, their whiteness shines out and slightly jars, I'm trying to relax about them, though it didn't help when a friend suggested that they looked like two bath tubs.
The cat isn't ours, he has started hanging around, as cats tend to do. I honestly don't know why he has decided to choose our house. 
We've called him Jim and it seems to fit.

Looking left, the Lophosoria is becoming rather triffid like, some plants in this bed need trimming back while others providing less interest will be removed.

Moving along the rear of the house is the micro patio and seating area, this has not been a summer for dining out, the rain and general greyness was not conducive to outdoor living. Damn metal manhole/drain cover! Ignore it please.
One of my container plantings, a mix of hardy and tender plants, little in the way of flowers, relying heavily on interesting foliage for colour.

Having children, toys can be found anywhere, the raptor fitted in with the jungly, Jurassic feeling, especially given the presence of Tetrapanax papyrifera 'Rex' in the background.
A new border, planted up in June this year, so just establishing and will need a bit of tweaking to improve its look next year.

The Dicksonia was only moved here in May, and has settled in nicely. It was originally located close to the back door (and before that at my parents' place) but its arching fronds made progress difficult and downright unpleasurable when dripping wet.
Partially hidden behind the tree fern is a shady planting with three slowly establishing Trachycarpus wagnerianus, Musa basjoo, Borinda papyrifera and Bergenia ciliata. 

Moving farther along I've created a path leading behind the oil tank (damn it but I hate that massive green plastic thing) This is the sunniest part of the back garden so I'm trying to make the most of that with my plant choices.

The Sonchus fruticosus behaves as a semi herbaceous perennial, having survived three or so winters outdoors. Normally it concentrates on producing lush green foliage but this summer it has decided to push out these yellow flowers. I'm not keen myself, but as you can see the insects approve so I've let them stay.
Honey bees have been making a bee line in order to indulge for weeks now. 'scuse the pun.

Looking down and to the right the planting mix is filling out, enjoying the extra light since removing a Fargesia 'Simba' recently.

Doing a 180 degree turn and looking at the scene I'm less that impressed overall, a jumble that doesn't work from this angle, more tweaking will be required here.

Though there are elements that I'm happy with, the planting in the middle distance is a bit of a nondescript fuzz, 
Winter will give me time to ponder what needs to change to give a more cohesive look that works better from all view points.

Friday, 2 October 2015

From above

While it's lovely to be down there,  among the plants in the midst of their multiple shades of lush leafage, I also enjoy the fact that living in a two storey property I can also check things out from above. Looking at the structure of the plants from a very different angle gives an entirely different perspective of the garden and it's layout.
It also gives me the opportunity to look with fresh eyes at the overall picture I'm trying to create. When in the garden proper my attention tends to be grabbed by the individual plants, you know, distracted by what's currently looking good, what's blooming,  what has been munched by a slug or whose leaves have been notched by adult vine weevils. From this distance such imperfections and problems melt away. I can see clearly what's working well and what needs to change. 
The leafy crown of the Dicksonia antartica  spreading its lush arching cartwheel of frondy spokes looks incredibly telling when viewed from such an alternative angle. It will be fighting for space next year as the green parasols of Tetrapanax papyrifera 'Rex' reach ever increasing dimensions.  
I'm thinking the Aralia elata growing behind may get the chop, it's removal will allow for better growth from the Borinda papyrifera behind, which is currently in a little too much shade. The Aralia is a bit of a suckering beast so I won't miss having to pull up its spikey offspring which seem to be popping up with increased regularity.  Of course if I do decide to remove it I will be plagued with them for the next few years anyway while it protests and tries to fight back. But it's a plant that needs to have manners put upon it.