Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Focal points

Now that the weather has warmed up, the flower garden is filling up fast. Plants that self seeded last autumn are expanding and putting out blooms. It's all starting to look rather full and luscious, a sea of purple catmint, silver lambs' ears and feathery gilia and linaria.

In the few gaps, I've added focal points. One is this log planter with chives and a little pot of rhodohypoxis which will shortly emerge.

I've also started more earthworks. I decided to curve the edge of the lawn, to echo the curve of the paths in the potager. First the layer of turf has to come up, then I'll remove the sleeper edging and dig over the ground. There's more digging still to do - I have to curve it out around the apple tree and back.

These two pencil conifers will mark the walkway through the garden, one on each side. One has been planted but as you can see, one is still in its pot until I finish the earthworks. The bit I've been digging is just out of shot to the left. The apple tree is Baujade, and I'm hoping it will spread to provide a bit of shade. I'd like to put a bench under it, maybe set back a little into the garden that will soon be there. I'm also considering an arch between the two conifers, maybe with a climbing rose. But that's in the future.

In the meantime, I put the conifer into a terracotta pot and popped it into the border. It looks great - a bit of height is just what this area needed. In fact I really like this tree there, and only the fact that I need a pair of trees to flank the walkway will make me remove it. But what to replace it with? Maybe a red Japanese maple? Or another almond tree? An obelisk for twining clematis?

As much as I love the look of a neat and tidy perennial border, I don't think I'll ever be able to get rid of annuals. As long as they continue to self seed they will be welcome in my garden.

Anyway, I've got my work cut out over the next few months. It's lucky this is my idea of a weekend well spent!


  1. My friend just finished curving all her garden beds, using red brick to split it all up and even made a wee patio type thing from brick. Must say the softening of the edges look amazing, I just adore it. So i say "good idea"! My dream for what our garden will eventually turn into is something that looks great through the seasons annuals, mixing with perennials ect, lots of different plants showing their colours and fading away. We have a red maple tree (was already here) it looks great - always get comments on it. Its the saving grace of our garden until its all finished (if ever). Currently it feels a little "everywhere". :)

  2. I'm laughing at your disappearing lawn. There is always more garden needed and slowly that grass gets taken away, in fact I put my first garden in after cutting the lawns and deciding I wasn't going to cut all that grass again. I agree with you about annuals; once they start self sowing the garden is away with surprises and starts to develop its own life. Curves are so much more interesting than straight lines. It's going to all be worth it.

  3. Hi Ruth! I very much like the name of your blog--And I've never heard anyone call bed digging "earthworks" but it's an awesome word, much more significant sounding than digging. So, in future, moles dig, but I create earthworks. You have wonderful plans, and it is all progressing well!

  4. Simone - I have a pile of broken bricks (not hard to come by in Chch!) and I am considering edging the curve with them. Brick is so timeless and would look really good with a red maple... hmm...

    Miriam - Too right, more garden is always better than more lawn!

    Linnie - Yes, earthworks does sound significant, but then I always like to make my plans sound grander than they actually are ;)

  5. What a beautiful garden,,, great photos x

  6. Jane - Thanks for stopping by and your comment!



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