Saturday, 16 May 2009

A walk up the garden (2)

So, onwards and upwards…but first look to the right a bit (lane-side) and you’ll see one of the newly planted borders. There are three, two are herbaceous and cottagey and the one that curves behind the pond is mainly shrubs. In between the two herbaceous borders there’s a sunken bit where daffodils, hellebores and ferns grow beneath a dawn redwood and another shrubbier tree whose name escapes me for the moment. I’ll think of it eventually. Amelanchier. That's the one.

Beyond the pond there’s a curving line of yew trees beyond which is a second area of lawn that we’ve named the Spring Garden because it already has a carpet of daffodils (now in their scruffy dying-back stage), crocuses and bluebells. Further up still is the little formal knot-garden with its low box hedging. This is still in progress and has not yet been fully planted. Again, the top part of the bird-bath (the huge stone leaf) was left behind by the previous owner who used it as part of a waterfall. Now with a new pedestal it forms the focal point of the little garden. (I don’t know what the stone is but it turns the water a strange crimson colour. Another quirk of our strange garden.)

Catch your breath, turn round and look back down the garden towards the chapel and across the dale to the western bank. My favourite, favourite view…now up we go again…

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1 comment:

Jane Smith said...

I love your garden. It's glorious and so very grown-up.

As for your bird-bath leaf, I've asked Big Dave and he says that if it's local sandstone*, it might well have high enough levels of iron in it to turn the water red; or if you've got algae growing in the water. He suspects that it's unlikely to have high enough levels of iron, though, so wonders if you're just spilling your Campari into it when you traipse around the garden at night.

There is, according to the same Big Dave, a simple test to decide whether it's sandstone. Knock a little tiny bit of the stone off, and rub it between your teeth: if it feels gritty then it's sandstone, if it feels chalky then it's limestone. I've suggested to him that you're unlikely to want to knock a chunk off your birdbath so he's suggested you could try biting the edge of it, just to see.

He has pointed out that you're probably going to laugh at this suggestion and ignore it until the next time you get drunk, at which time you'll zip up your garden like a ferret up a drainpipe, and your lovely husband will have to explain to your neighbours that you're just testing the stone of the bird-bath, and not really trying to eat it.

My husband is such a charmer.