Monday, July 08, 2013

"If you have a garden..."

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero 

I have a library that overflows into every room in the house. Two bookshelves in the conservatory, one in the living room, two on the landing, piles of books in bedrooms and bathrooms, more shelves in the dh’s workroom and 50 feet of shelves in my study. Plus the stuff piled up underneath them. I did a little sifting and culling before I moved, but what I have mostly came with me from the old house.

The garden is something else. We moved last year, downsizing - there comes a time when you just don’t need an acre of grass to cut - but the garden we moved into had been neglected. The front was overgrown with weeds, the lawn a mess and since it fronted onto the road, was what everyone saw as they walked past, we sorted that out first.

Serious clearance work, a new lawn, a lavender hedge against the footpath and three standard roses went in first. The bones. This week the lavender (despite the attention of neighbourhood cats which killed off three of the plants) is in flower and looking pretty gorgeous. The roses have made an appearance, too and the scent is just stunning. And we’ve filled in with geraniums, dahlias and begonias. We should have hanging baskets but they have been delayed by the shockingly bad spring. Fingers crossed they should be here by the end of the month.

The back was also a mess. We had to hack through grass that had grown a foot high and fallen into a thick mat. Remove weeds and plants run wild and the paved part of the yard needed a makeover. After that came the fun part. Choosing the climbing roses (the first buds are just showing colour), the fruit trees – nothing this year, although the blueberries are full of fruit and a raised bed on the yard that has been a non-stop treat since early spring.

The dh created a fabulous gothic window for one shady corner and the honeysuckle and winter flowering clematis are now swarming over it. And he made a heart-shaped raised bed in the lawn which we’re still having a think about. I’m up for patio roses, all in one colour, but can’t decide what to under plant it with. Something for winter interest. Vinca, maybe, or violets.  

We planted antirrhinums this spring and they are now a mass of colour, the sweet peas are breaking out and there’s a whole lot of interesting stuff on the corner bed that will just get better as the years go by. Oh, and I bought a chocolate cosmos from a charity stall when I was in Lacock last week for an RNA chapter meeting and it already has buds.

This week we’ve been ordering climbers and shrubs for the mixed border on the other side of the garden — the last major work (and expense!) Hopefully, by the end of July we’ll be able to just sit and watch the bees, a glass of something cold in our hand, and relax.

If you want something to read in your garden, Harlequin Mills & Boon have released a three-in-one anthology – The Sheikh Who Loved Me – in the UK and Australia, where I’m cwched up with the lovely Susan Stephens and Kate Hardy.

This link will take you to Amazon where ever you are -


Di said...

Well, I have the library in every room, but I need to work on the garden. One of my outstanding projects is to find out which annuals to plant. It's been so hot the last few weeks that I just haven't had the energy to think about working outside to get some things planted.

Pat Cochran said...

Love the description of the results of your
very serious gardening, the gothic window is
quite striking! If Honey & I were just a bit
younger, we would be able to put more time
into the yard. Oh well!

Pat Cochran

Mary Preston said...

Your garden sounds beautiful. Feel free to come & sort mine out any time!!

Liz Fielding said...

After the worst spring - and coldest May in fifty years - we've suddenly been hit with a heatwave. Any work is done before 9 am or it's not done at all!

Liz Fielding said...

It is jolly hard work and neither of us is that young! Getting down on the hands and knees is No Fun!

Liz Fielding said...

Thanks, Mary. I've had a few offers for the dh in the last week or two, but I need him here to cut the grass!

CJ Carmichael said...

Liz, reading your description of your garden was almost as lovely as taking a stroll in it. If only you could pass along the "scents" that go with the pictures!

Love your new book cover by the way! I'll be looking for it!