A Weekend Walk in my Garden #3: 19th April 2020.

Before we commence this morning’s walk I thought I’d tell you a little more about the garden’s aspect and the boundaries. We are part of a retirement village that includes 36 single story, two bedroom dwellings and two care homes. Our home and garden is slightly larger than the other 35 – we were lucky enough to get first pick when the development came to market in 2010.

The Eastern boundary of the development is constructed from concrete posts and concrete planks, six feet high on top of a 2-3 feet high bank, formed when the site was cut and levelled from the sloping wheat field* of which it once was a part. The other boundaries provided by the developer were light weight timber panels slotted into concrete posts.

Over our first two winters these proved inadequate to resist gales and, early in 2013, I engaged a local brick layer to construct concrete block walls. One benefit of a wall as a garden boundary, in addition to its durability, is that it acts as a heat sink, absorbing heat from the sun during the day and releasing it at night creating a micro-climate. A fact the Victorians understood and exploited in their walled gardens.

The southern boundary is ‘L’ shaped. The overall effect is to divide the garden into four spaces: a strip to the north side of the parking bay at the front, and a smaller, roughly triangular, space on the other side. The largest space is at the rear of the house and extends into another triangular area on the south side.

The concrete plank and post fence is mostly obscured by cotoneasters, variegated ivy and climbing hydrangea. I constructed a low dry-stone wall along the bank using stone mostly excavated from the rest of the garden as I cultivated it. In the background the mixed species woodland at the top of the hill is starting to green up.
The James Grieve apple on the south facing north wall of the back garden is in full flower now. Next to it, but not pictured, is a Bramley Seedling cooking apple that always flowers a week or two later.
A close up of apple blossom.
No blossom appeared on our Victoria plum tree this spring. I’m not sure whether early buds were destroyed by frost or if the tree is just taking a rest after two years during which we had bumper crops. Another part of the woodland can be seen in the background, as can two wheat fields. (*Actually, the crop could be barley. The district supplies a large quantity of malting barley to brewers and distillers.)
Marigolds (Calendula) are ubiquitous in this garden. I sowed seed in our first summer. They flowered continuously throughout the following winter. They readily self-seed, or seed in the compost germinates when the compost is used as mulch. They are not alone in this regard: Aquilegias (Columbine), Jacob’s Ladder, Alchemilla Mollis and Sweet William are among the other plants that pop up in strange places.
We end with a long view of the front garden. The last of the daffodils on the right, the tulips and euphorbia, shown in close up last week, next to the road, the bay hedge on the left. Also visible are a crab apple (to the left of the tulips) and my most recent acquisition, a pink hawthorn (to the right of the tulips). Neither is yet in flower. Just visible beyond the hawthorn is a Mahonia that flowers from November to February. Two climbing rose bushes are trained on the south facing wall.

19 thoughts on “A Weekend Walk in my Garden #3: 19th April 2020.

  1. A lovely garden, Frank. It reminds me of my childhood home, which had a huge garden backing onto crop fields. We had a plum tree that only ever gave us one year of fruit, and we had so much we didn’t know what to do with it. We became heartily sick of plum jam! Take care and stay safe 👍

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  2. A fantastic place Frank, a real haven. I hate to correct you though are the marigolds not calendula? I know how easy it is to slip up when you’re writing something down. You have one of my all time favourites in Cotoneasters including the weeping one..
    A great haven

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  3. Apple blossom is so pretty, we have an ancient apple tree in the corner of our little back garden and the new neighbours next door – talking at a safe distance over the front fence – said they ordered blossom pattern wallpaper for the back bedroom and realised it matches our blossom! Your garden looks lovely.

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