We’ve had a glorious weekend here in Yorkshire, hot and sunny, very rare for a Bank Holiday weekend, it’s a standing joke here that it always rains on a bank holiday, not this one! It’s actually the hotest Early May bank holiday since they started in 1992! Great for the Tour de Yorkshire too which came through Otley yesterday.
I’ve spent most of my time in the garden, even better my OH decided to help me and even more better, he admitted he actually enjoyed it, so good result all round. It’s amazing how much more you can do when there’s two of you working together. He didn’t even quit after carrying 20 bags of gravel up our steep drive!
I spent a lot of time sorting out my potted corner, this is the corner where the clay was so bad (like silver clay, not brown clay that can be improved!!) that I flattened it many years ago and made a display of blue pots. I moved all the pots off, realised a few needed re-potting – the acer had grown a large set of roots through the hole in the bottom! I had to go and buy a new pot for that one as it’s fairly big, it needed a 20″ pot! I bought the tree when James was born so it’s over 23 years old!
This is the view from the arbour now when I’m having my morning coffee.
I leveled out the weed membrane and spread a few bags of gravel, washed the original stones, mixed them all up and then rearranged the pots. The mini pond pot was full of duckweed, so I emptied it, cleaned it out and now I’m leaving it for a week or so, hoping that if there is any duckweed left it is less likely to survive being cooked in the sunshine. My plan is to fill it up again soon and buy a mini waterlily.
I’ve planted up the bed next to the conservatory too. At the Harrogate Spring Flower Show I saw a demonstration garden by one of the nursery’s that was all whites, blues, soft greens, it was actually a herb garden but it just looked so peaceful, it planted a seed in my mind! When I bought the beautiful white rhododendron my plan was to put it up by the fence, but it’s scent was so gorgeous that I decided to plant it near the house, luckily it’s a dwarf variety! That was the starting point, I then surrounded it with pale coloured flowers, I’m not going for a Sissinghurst White garden, more of a peaceful bed with pale lemon aquilegia, white broom, purple sage, creamy white wall flowers, blue and white aquilegias, astrantias, the beautiful tulips above were already there!…the gap in the middle where the duck is at the moment will have a standard rose eventually.
The scent from this garden is amazing at the moment, with the rhododendron, broom, wall flowers, daffodils…it’s beautiful!
In the meantime my OH made a great job of rotavating the old chicken area and laying a temporary path to the new compost heap. It’s probably going to be moved a foot or so across but it’s amazing the difference just putting a few stepping stones across makes to the feel of a garden, it suddenly looks like a nurtured area.
A couple of years ago I planted a flowering cherry right at the top of the garden, behind the compost area. This is the first year it’s really been big enough to be noticeable, the blossom is really pretty.
My OH then decide to tackle the little gravel path between the pond bed and the lawn. I laid it over 10 years ago and it was now over run with weeds. To be fair I don’t think he realised what a mammoth task he was starting, but to be fair he saw it out to the end. He lifted and weeded all the gravel, storing it in bags whilst he got all the roots out of the soil underneath and pulled all the roots out of the membrane too. We then relaid the membrane and put the gravel back with a few new sacks to top it up.
The AA garden is looking like a garden now, we’ve topped up the gravel, planted yet more plants, I just need a seat to go under the arch now. The Autumn bed above it is taking shape with an acer, a eunonymous alata (spindle tree) and a photinia red robin. I’ve a lime green cotinnus coggria, a hebe and a spirea waiting to be planted too.
My next area to tackle is by the big fence, I gave it a second coat of paint earlier in the week, today I hung some pretty bird boxes on the fence posts. I know it’s too late for this year but at least the birds should be familiar with them in time for next year. I’ve put my stone owl on one of the uprights too, he looks great up there. We nailed some green wire fencing onto the uprights too to give climbers something to hold on to. The strip in front of it needs rotavating and then planting up, I’ve got a few clematis and shrubs waiting to go in and a few more on my shopping list!