You will remember from my previous post that I was leaving our Spanish garden in the supposed care of Cruella (my wife), and heading to off to see what was happening in our English garden. The aim of my visit was, in order of importance:
- Rescue and reshape our English garden
- Visit some gardens of note that I haven’t seen for a while
- Make sure our idiot son was ok
Remember that old saying “it is better to travel in hope than to arrive” well its true.
15th September 2021. Things I have been doing lately:
Cutting back our jungle. Regular readers of this blog will know that our English garden is a long narrow rectangular walled garden adjacent to the river Medway. It is designed as an easy maintenance garden as most of the time we are in Spain. It has Flag paving on the ground and the walls are adorned with a series of climbers which flow up and over the wall. I had told Cruella exactly what to do when she was last over, but she completely ignored my advice and neglected the garden apart for the fact that she touched two precious plants and killed them. The photos below show the extent of her crimes. Click on each photo for a larger view.
The worse thing was that she has place garden statuary around the garden and animated them as an alarm against intruders. There was a malign looking lamb, an evil duck with ducklings and a decapitated head. When I first went into the garden they all started screaming at once. The ducks quacked evil high pitched quacks, the lamb bleated like an old rusty door being slowly opened and the decapitated head screamed out intruder, intruder, but in Latin “intrusor”. The photos below show the evil trio. Click on each photo for a larger view.
The photos below show the garden finally cut back and generally tidied up. I fear the Box is a goner, but I will wait and see. Click on each photo for a larger view.
Sissinghurst Castle. I have always wanted to visit Sissinghurst Castle the home of Vita Sackville West the famous writer and more importantly gardener. Vita was not an innovator but she did some things very well including planting borders in a single colour. I took our idiot son with me to try and educate him and to give the banking profession a rest from chaos. I asked him if he would take a photo of me in the famous “white garden” which he did by making me look as if I am wearing a Tutu.
Another feature that I liked at Sissinghurst was the dry garden. This consisted of large rocks, gravel and pebbles with intermittent Mediterranean planting. This would work very well in Spain and I might even think of working this into my large lawn. The photos below give you some idea what it is like. Click on each photo for a larger view.
RHS Wisley. As a member of the RHS I try and make a visit at least once a year to see what is going on and if I can pick up any tips and get my moneys worth out of my membership. Unfortunately the gardens didn’t look at their best – possibly because it is late in the year. In addition the RHS has gone mad on wild flower meadows and wild planting which seemed to be everywhere. The photos below show some of the things that interested me including another dry garden that would work in Spain. Click on each photo for a larger view.
The Rangers House Greenwich. If you have ever visited Greenwich park, then the chances are that you have concentrated on the view across London and the Royal Observatory. But you will probably have missed the Rangers House which sits right at the back of the park. The house used to have a beautiful Rose garden, which again, and unfortunately now has intermittent planting of wild flowers and roses. I don’t want to seem curmudgeonly but formal rose planting and wildflower meadows do not sit well together. Judge for yourself from the photos below I am off to write a letter of complaint to the Times. Click on each photo for a larger view.
Visit to Steve’s garden. My friend Steve lives in West London and gardens on a typical London plot. Clay just about six inches below the surface that has been improved by years of spreading compost. Where possible I always include a visit to Steve’s garden because he is one of those gardeners who could stick a dry twig in the ground and it would sprout almost immediately. There is not much we Spanish gardeners can learn from this garden as everything he grows would shrivel and die in the Spanish sun.
Anyway, just to make you hanker after floriferous displays here are some photos of Steve’s garden. Ending with a photo of Steve and me. After seeing this photograph he rang me the next day and has sworn that he is now on a diet; I will make sure he keeps it up. Click on each photo for a larger view.