I thought I might bring you further in today, but before that we might look at the Bird Cherries at the gate. A few years ago a madman from the council cut off their skirts, Oh horror of horrors! Quite a lot of years on they have recovered - down to the ground, but the front one went up too. The funny bit at the bottom is where yours truly has to cut it back every year to let the cars into the gate.
Now we pass through the yard described before and go past the 'new' bit, towards the Kerria japonica, fl.pl. (double flowered to the uninitiated). The shed on the right houses the oil tank and is hosting the swallows, as always. As they have chosen to go right in under the roof over the tank, I hope they will be safe. The stable straight ahead, which would house 3 horses, if we had any, is a godsend in which to store all sorts of unimaginable things.
Now we are in the stable yard. What? you cry! Stable yard, doesn't look like one to me. Well it was one once! When I came it was all red gravel with a low yellow shrub rose to the right of the wash house, with a silver birch in the middle. The first thing I did, after a year or two, was to take that lot out and plant a much needed wind-break across, Shrubs, variagated and green with a lower ones in front. Now is the moment when you find my ignorance. No labels. No names, except for the Viburnum bodnantense, which is boring from now till September. The rest of the year it has various amounts of pink flowers and is a joy in winter. The bird table is in front of it, so it provides excellent perching for the birds, especially chaffinches and sparrows. Below the table is a tray on short legs, which is used by chaffinches, dunnocks, black birds, robins, sparrows, ring doves, wood pigeons, jackdaws, etc etc. Most of them use the table as well. Alongside is a stone bird bath, made of stones from places that G is associated with in the Coquet valley.
To get to the vegetable garden etc, you pass the wash house, or you pass this side of it and got to a small gate to the front garden. In the middle, is the second bed I created, to break up too large an area of red gravel. In here there are a laurestinus, currently flowering, a Spirreae bridal veil, a cornus, an Amelanchia, which doesn't show its flowers well in the pic, but is quite a sight. There are other things too, including a Weigelia, but I can't remember the names.
To the left of this gate to the front garden is another shrub and then the house 15th century and the Conservatory (all necessary planning permissions aquired).
That's it for today. Next time we will go through to the front. See you there!