Uncovering The Far Garden: Recovering the garden after two years of tenants

Uncovering The Far Garden: Recovering the garden after two years of tenants

Returning to a garden occupied by tenants is a little like playing Weed Bingo

After getting the house ship shape it was time to get into the garden. I’ve already tidied the Immediate Garden, replanted the front containers, filling the greenhouse, and now it’s time to tackle The Far Garden.

This area is our main summer eating area and it gets the evening sun which is perfect for lazy drinks at the end of a hard day.  The idea is that it’s going to be a bright, colourful space to immerse yourself in. I like the idea of tall planting enclosing you in a space. It’s private; you can’t be seen by any of the neighbours, and it’s quiet. That’s the dream. The reality of returning to the garden was a little hard initially. I’m not sure my tenants had a good idea of what weeding should entail and we seem to have accumulated a few more perennial weeds.

The view from above

Uncovering The Far Garden: Recovering the garden after two years of tenants
The Far Garden from above

This gives you an indication of the space as a whole. It’s a not-quite-square square, paved with beautiful flagstone and bordered on two sides by dry stone walls. The End Border is a slim dry and sunny patch. The Right Border gets a lot of sun and is backed by the neighbour’s shed (which is due to be replaced at the end of the year which will cause some disruption initially but will be a good opportunity). The Left Border is moist and supports some shadier conditions.

The Left Border

Uncovering The Far Garden: Recovering the garden after two years of tenants
The Left Border: Before

The dominating feature has become the Buddleia in the middle. I think it’s a Buddleia x weyeriania variety and was grown as a cutting from the in-laws’ garden in Surrey. The idea was that it gets cut back each ear to provide a shortish colourful shrub at the back of the border but it obviously hasn’t received the brief. The Acer isn’t a favourite of mine but since it is so established I’ve decided to leave it in place. That too is getting too big for the border to accommodate.

Uncovering The Far Garden: Recovering the garden after two years of tenants
The Left Border: After

Even though it’s the wrong time of year, the Buddleia had to be pulled back into line so that’s been the biggest change. The Acer has been trimmed and the weedy undergrowth cleared. You can now see the Rose ‘Moody Blue’ struggling for light and another small Acer looking unhappy. I have a Echinops ritro at the back that I’d forgotten about and wouldn’t have been seen behind the Buddleia.

Uncovering The Far Garden: Recovering the garden after two years of tenants
The Left Border: Current plant contents

This child-like sketch is my plant plan. There’s still a fair amount in here and I’ll watch to see how they recover after being unearthed. I’m hoping the extra light and water will bring them on a bit.

The End Border

Uncovering The Far Garden: Recovering the garden after two years of tenants
The Far Border: Before

The Vinca had completed dominated this far end of the garden. Most of the interesting plants were craning forward to get away from it.

Uncovering The Far Garden: Recovering the garden after two years of tenants
The End Border: After

The hedge above this border is due to be cut shortly and that will tidy the whole garden and hopefully bring a little bit more light in again. The dry stone wall looks lovely but I think some crafty sowing into the gaps might make more of the space. I have two Eryngium planum middle centre, both grown from seed, with slightly different foliage patterns. The tall spire is another Eryngium, I think probably paniculatam (for a while I was sure it was agavifolium). These were all sown from the same mixed seed packet as the planum and I love them all.

Uncovering The Far Garden: Recovering the garden after two years of tenants
The End Border: Plant layout

I’m sad to see my Australian Mint Bush ( Prostranthera rotundifolia) doesn’t seems to have survived but it was looking great when I left. I know where to get some more, however. The Salvia ‘Hot Lips and’ and Nepeta are still there, just a little flattened by competing with the vinca.

The Right Border

Uncovering The Far Garden: Recovering the garden after two years of tenants
The Right Border: Before

As much as a like the flowering currants, they’re not behaving the way I wanted them to. The idea was they’d provide a vertical element to reveal the garden as you take the slight turn to get in. They’re reaching over the box and giving a crowded feeling. The climbing rose is being as pesky as normal – flowering on meter-long growth that’s way too high to pick or enjoy. It had a thorough prune 3 years ago but not much since. I’ll likely take it back down when the shed and it’s trellis support get removed at the end of the year.

Uncovering The Far Garden: Recovering the garden after two years of tenants
The Right Border: After

I can now add Bindweed, Wood Avens, Brambles, and Nettles to my weed-list. I had none of these two years ago and it’s a real shame. I’ve pulled out as much as I can but I’m watching like a hawk for regrown so I can attack it again. The Alliums are bravely coming on though and the Larkspur never fails to perform. It’s such a good substitute for Delphiniums who get slaughtered by the slugs each year.

Uncovering The Far Garden: Recovering the garden after two years of tenants
The Right Border: Plant List

I’ve got the bamboo on a watch-list too. Depending on how ugly it gets this year there may be more work in the top right corner to do. The Box balls are now trimmed and looking handsome which is really pleasing.

Overview

Uncovering The Far Garden: Recovering the garden after two years of tenants
Far garden from above

The Australian dining set has been pulled out of the way to allow maintenance of the garden, and broom the flagstones, but I’ll re-position it now to create useable seating. There’s a lot of replanting and soil care needed in this bit of the garden but I feel I’ve made a huge start in bringing it back into line.

 

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