Sunday, 24 June 2007

I am so sorry to have kept some of you waiting for the next stage of the guided tour. I really think that it is time to cross the 'drive' and go onto the larger lawn.

This is looking back towards the 'drive' from said lawn. It was taken a while ago so now the Aubretia is going over. The dead flower heads are still there and are great value. The blue stuff is going over too.

I think that I do not have a pic of the Clematis - Ernest Markham - which has been lovely but is now looking delapidated due to the rain, to the right of the front door. The other side of the window is a red rose.

When G came here, he didn't like the lead downcomers (extra-ordinary man!) so he planted an upright conifer in front. This was not liked one little bit by the rose, which somehow survived and occasionally produced the odd flower. Two years ago, (24 years later) I finally managed to achieve the removal of the conifer (which showed up rainwater damage to 16th Century stone!) and the rose gave one terrific cheer and then put all its energy into recovering. Now it is growing well and covered in red flowers.

The herbaceaus borders are growing well but have little colour. They are the least satisfactory things in the garden. They need a lot of attention and I am physically, or interestedly, not up to doing them properly. They run in front of the east end of the house - the 18th Century addition - with a path between. The back one is quite wide, but because there are two windows behind it is difficult to plant. I have a shrub between but the space is not really wide enough. The Paeonies in both borders were lovely but when the rain came, they turned into big brown blobs. I have at last got them cut off. There is lovely Geranium, which was there when I came. The picture does not do justice to the very strong colour.

The area at the East end of the house, when I came here, was just grass with a pear tree in the corner against the outside wall. It is a difficult area.Everyone says how lovely and sunny and sheltered. But in fact it loses the sun by at least 3.00 and the East wind hits the end of the house and comes back down and the West wind hits the wall and comes back over! At the back, from left to right, is a new Buddleia, (not visible) replaceing one which got too tall to prune, having been there for 20+ years. To the right is a Pyrus salicifolia pendula (Willow-leafed weeping pear) It has not been there very long but is doing well. It is not really suitable but at least it likes it and is growing! In front is a red shrub rose - loose growing and I can't remember what it is - it grows to at least 15feet and has red urn shaped hips. To the right of that is a shrub that I don't know the name of and it is not of much value. Then on the wall is a forsythia spectabilis (I think!) It is meant to absorb the wind coming off the house. It flowers quite well but is a bit wild! In the front row are
Hebe Diamond (very good value), and Cistus x hybridus Gold Prize planted in September 05. Beyond them is a small growing Buddleia and a small red-leaved Berberis. Geraniums act as ground cover and are currently flowering, so it is quite good, though the only other colour is the shrub rose.

Facing East, the next plant is an ancient white rose of some unknown age. It does very well, considering everything. Next to it is a Russian Vine, planted to catch some of the W. wind and deaden it. It does that quite well but ... it is enormously vigorous so I have to do a great deal of controlling! Most of the year the wind is in the West and it grows up and over the wall, taking some of the starkness away from the Green side. However, at some point every year (usually about June) there is a strong wind from the east, which blows it back into the garden and it looks dreadful for a while! 2 years ago, about 2 weeks before a step-daughter's wedding, that was exactly what happened. In fact, on the day there was the mother and father of a thunder storm, with accompanying rain so everyone made a mad dash for the marquee and only 2 or 3 came to look round the garden!

Next is Penelope, which I planted when I first came here. It struggled while partially shaded by the Prunus mentioned below, but is now doing well.

Beyond Penelope, when I came here, there was an Ash tree, which was a seedling in the early 20th Century. It finally grew so wide at the base that it pushed over the old wall. God bless the Insurance Company, who funded rebuilding. Having felled the ash, we put in a door in the wall, which is down some steps, as at some point the ground had been leveled off in the garden, so the difference between the garden and the Green is about 4 feet. I planted an old yellow shrub rose in the corner which I had brought with me from about two houses before! Also there were very old red shrub roses, probably planted in the 40's or 50's. In front of the ash was a Prunus, with a stem whose bark went round in a spiral, planted in the lawn. The spring of the wedding, we had to remove the Prunus which was dying, which left great scope for change. The new planting there has mostly been there for 2 years and now looks like this................
Not bad really for our position at 650ft and mid Northumberland, where everything takes for ever to get going!

We are now (in the pic) facing South. Go on to the right and you come to a pond in the lawn, with my Helebore/hosta bed behind. The pond went in exactly a year ago and is coming on well.
You can just see, to the right back of the pic, a holly which is called the Policeman. It is quite big but kept clipped and guards the front gate. Between it and the gate post is a Philadelphus, the old-fashioned single sort, which has a terrific scent.
So, roughly, that is that for the front of the house. Lots of plants not mentioned, of course, but I fear it gets pretty boring as it is, without adding any more!!!
Next time, we will go round the veg and cutting/holding/anything goes bed and the back lawn, or some of it anyway!
By the way, the reason this did not go up several days ago is that I took pics for back then and when I came to take them off the camera, the card was already in the printer, so there was nothing in the camera!!! How stupid can one get? Then we had nothing but rain or bad light, so only took the pics again today, IN THE SUN!!


bodran... said...

A lovely tour thank you x. i'm just going out to do some dead heading an ongoing job at the moment then ragwort pulling, my least favourite job..xx

LittleBrownDog said...

Goodness, your garden is truly amazing! Must be a full-time job just keeping on top of it.
Lovely, lovely colours - something we really lack and must put our minds to. Are those geraniums Johnson's Blue? Beautiful colour.

Withy Brook said...

Don't know! They were there when I came here. They may well be.

Suffolkmum said...

I have Johnson's blue geraniums too, they look the same. Your garden is spectacular - I can barely keep on top of my cottage garden though, I don't know how you manage it!

Posie Rosie said...

Wow, what a fabulous must work very hard to get such beautiful flowers, and have very green fingers. Thank you for the tour, I love flowers.