Thursday, 16 August 2012


Our little sun-filled garden
When we bought our house the garden was dwarfed by a tall, spindly sycamore tree. At the very top was a snug, young family with chicks. We couldn't begin our time here by evicting the previous occupants and so we waited for the young ones to fledge before removing the tree. Now we have a sun-filled garden and can see through our windows.

 Although the tree had been gone for a couple of months, when we moved in, worryingly, there were almost no weeds growing. I mean, if a dandelion wont grow then what hope do we have. On closer inspection we saw the tidy soil was covered in a thick layer of sawdust from the woodcutting, and under that, years of unwanted stuff - including shoes, jewellery, and many, many broken silver-glass Christmas baubles. Once we had cleared this layer we attempted to dig planting holes only to find that just beneath the soil is a complex labyrinth of tree roots. With stubborn determination we found some soil and squeezed in a rose, veronica, clematis, rosemary, chives, parsley, foxgloves and ten tiny little lavender plants (each a different species). 

 Last weekend we visited these tranquil gardens and almost completely changed what we want the garden to look like. The gardens are set against the backdrop of the River Mersey which changes colour and mood as quickly as a turning kaleidoscope. It was a very still warm day and the pools had become such a haven for dragonflies and damselflies. At one point we saw at least twenty darting across the Japanese pond. I took many many photos, trying to capture one couple of the larger dragonflies. One was red and the other blue. From our point of view they looked exactly like miniature helicopters, although with some advanced manoeuvres we are not yet capable of! 


Cornflowers and the River Mersey

A dragonfly in flight


Teasels and a hoverfly

Lythrum salicaria (Purple loosestrife)


Poppies and cornflowers

Corn Chamomile, Corn flowers and bees!

All the flowers and plants are native and as such are a haven for the local wildlife and in turn a haven for the local people. Such sympathetic planting is so refreshing and good for the soul! Come spring I know what we will be sowing.

1 comment:

  1. Hello - So many pretty flowers! We will be trying your white bean and roasted garlic soup this fall- Thank you for sharing your recipe. I can't even imagine taking on such a huge project as you have with your new home (we feel overwhelmed working on one room at a time!), but it promises to be lovely. I look forward to seeing your progress through your blog.