Our back garden is divided into three separate little gardens, commonly known as the top lawn, the patio (used to be the bottom lawn!) and the bit by the chicken run. I am trying to implement a name change for the bit by the chicken run, calling it the AA garden (Amber and Amethyst before anyone starts looking for juniper and damsons) but my family are being a little slow on the uptake of this new title. Any reference to the AA garden at home has to be followed by ‘you know, the bit by the chicken run’
The AA garden has had many guises over the years, it was originally designed as a potager. It has eight wooden raised beds, four square ones in the middle and a triangle in each corner with not quite wide enough gravel paths in-between. The vegetables lasted about three years until the weeds beat me, I do have one lovely memory though of James, aged about 4 years, wandering up the garden, pulling up a carrot, wiping it on his shorts before eating it. You can’t get any fresher than that!
The AA garden was inspired by Monty Don’s jewel garden which is full of jewel colours, ruby, sapphire, amethyst, amber etc. Somehow the colours just weren’t working for me until I decided the colour scheme I liked best was amethyst and amber. This spectrum varies from rich blue to purple and yellow/orange though to the rusty end of amber. I seem to have suddenly acquired the taste for orange flowers this year, having avoided them for the last 20 years for being a bit garish, maybe its an age thing! Put next to a strong blue flower, the orange ones look amazing. I now have coneflowers, day lilies, veronicas, perennial wallflowers, violas…
Earlier this year I made an obelisk for the centre of the AA garden, its seriously big but it makes a good focal point for the garden. I’m planning to grow roses, honeysuckle and clematis up it.
One advantage of having several small gardens within a garden is that after a couple of hours in the garden you really feel you have achieved something. I can weed the AA garden, or even just a couple of raised beds and I can see the difference. I can look at it as a separate entity and see what I have achieved. The rest of the garden could be knee deep in bindweed (it will be if I don’t get out there soon!) but I can turn a blind eye to that as long as I can see what I’ve done.
Hopefully next year the AA garden will fill out nicely, always room for a few more plants though….