Flower Garden

I changed to organic gardening 20 odd years ago. 

Our first year saw nothing short of devastation as the nasty bugs/diseases etc completely overwhelmed my plants. Things were nibbled away almost overnight by slugs and snails. Green and black-fly, thrips, earwigs and all manner of wee beasties invaded leaves, stems, roots, bulbs and flowers.

The following year was a little better but I had to keep on top of squishing all manner of things as soon as I saw them. I put down beer traps, picked up anything moving that was an enemy and got rid of it. I admit at one stage, I even resorted to 'wildlife friendly' slug pellets.

In the third year – well, that was the start of a really good garden. Small infestations of greenfly were immediately squashed and their remains left in-situ. Somehow, it seemed to help stop more hoards alighting. I noticed an increase in ladybirds, bees, weird wasps, butterflies, hover-flies and moths.
Both the front and back gardens have seen much redesigning until I settled on a gravel garden for the front. The back garden has hopefully undergone its last change, but who knows. Every year without fail, much to my husbands disgust, things needs moving or tweaking, rebuilding or dismantling. I usually find a hug, thanks, a few cups of tea and the odd cake or two help out.
The two long right angled raised beds in the back, finally disintegrated last year. A new design (the 7th and hopefully last) was called for, drawn up by me and built by us both. I have to admit, the unexpected heat of early spring 2010, was not the best time to be filling 4 x 1 ton bags with your garden soil. We persevered, built 3 new 1 x 1 metre raised beds, preserved then lined them before refilling.
An area previously used as a lawn was cleared, lined and topped with gravel. (We live in an area subject to drought, gravel is good at keeping in moisture). All fruit bushes and shrubs have now been planted inside our new fruit cage.
Each of the garage gutters runs into its own water butt. Their overflow pipes run firstly into an old plastic dustbin, then out of there via a pipe, into a sunken back plastic dustbin that acts as our back garden pond – very effective it is to. We have quite a few mature frogs and toads as well as new baby frogs each year. 

We have a bird box in our cooking apple tree, but no feeders as pigeons feed on them and flatten any plant underneath. Instead, we gave ours to our neighbour and he has loads. We also have as yet, a tenant free butterfly hotel!

There are two compost containers into which all our kitchen peelings go plus soft garden rubbish. We have found that hard stems just don't compost so they go in our council garden waste bin. Each year one bin is emptied, giving us around 150 litres of beautiful top dressing compost. The other one is then emptied into it to finish off and the cycle begins again.
We have what we believe to be a nursery colony of Pipistrelle bats that returns each year. Bat droppings arrive on the patio late Spring early Summer and disappear late Summer/early Autumn. You can count more than 100 coming out in the evening. One year we found a baby bat, no more than 1” on the patio, still alive. After much trying, a long ladder, a mop with a duster on it, hubby finally managed to return it underneath the top point of weather boarding – we hope it lived.
The front area is a gravel garden. No-one seems to have a good lawn, its just too dry and chalky. It too has seen many manifestations but is now all gravel with a circular area left clear of planting to walk around and a long straight piece where the dustbins get hauled up and down. 

We have a tightly cut Leylandii hedge and archway to give us a little privacy. It is always full of different species of sparrows, dunnocks, black birds and the odd dove or wood pigeon. We used to have song thrushes but they are far and few between. Robins, tits, finches and others come to forage and drink from our kidney shaped pond. Every year, despite netting it, we have to haul out drowned baby black birds, it breaks our hearts.

What have I got in my front garden and where are the photographs I hear you ask. Here it is in mid Spring, not the best, but it'll do until I can get a better one. A converted treadle sewing machine on which sits a small alpine bed is to the left along with a bench. The black beehive compost bin on the right has now disappeared and been burnt on the fire. It used to house wood suitable for kindling.
Then in Summer


Below is the first of my 'stock check' table of permanent plants for both gardens that have flowers in them. As and when they flower, I will photograph them and add their pictures. Anything in brackets (), indicates more than one variety but some, like the Aquilegia's are too numerous to add them all. 

The plants are not in alphabetical order as I'm sure I will still have more to add as they grow - bear with.… bear with...!
Plants in my garden: 

Lavender



Mexican Orange
Thrift
Snowdrops
Daffodils
Hyacinth
Valerian
Peony
Lupin
Borage
Phlox
Centaurea
Hydrangea
Crocosmia
Pink Toadflax
Purple Toadflax
Cerinthe
Aster (1) Aster (2) Iris Siberica
Violet Giant Scabious
Geranium (1)
Geranium (2)
Primula Florindae
Dicentra Formosa
Aquilegia (1)
Aquilegia (2)
Euphorbia (1)
Euphorbia (2)
Spirea
Miscanthus
Phyrethrum
Bergenia
Clematis (1)
Clematis (2)
Japanese Quince (1)
Japanese Quince (2) Lady's Mantle
Rose (1)
Rose (2)
Rose (3)
Rose (4)
Rose (5)
Dahlia Poppy (1)
Poppy (2) Astrantia (1)
Astrantia (2) Japanese Anemone
Solidago
Crocus (1)
Crocus (2) Campanula (1)
Campanula (2)
Hibiscus



2 comments:

  1. Nice to read about your garden - it is often hard to visualise someone's garden as they are writing about it - love the collage of all your plants. I am looking forward to reading your posts on this lovely new blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I shall be keeping my vegetables and fruit on the other blog but feel flowers are more suited to this blog.

      Delete

I love hearing from you, will read all your comments and try and answer any questions you leave. Don't forget to come back and read my reply! All comments are moderated so if you try to link it to a commercial web site, it will not be published.