Country cottage garden

SlumSlum Posts: 168

We moved into this garden/house in August 2013. These first pictures were taken in Jan 2014. Up until this point I hadn't considered myself a gardener - other than cutting a patch of grass and hacking shrubs back once a year. Anyway this is what we started with...

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The pictures taken from the house are north facing. We are on top of a hill in south Leicestershire and exposed to the prevailing westerly winds. The hedge running along the left of the pictures give some protection. To the east the garden is sheltered and shaded by a copse.

The house was built in 1915 as a home for the local estate's game keeper. I assume the garden was started about then. There is a decent structure and in recent years somebody has put in a few David Austin roses, thankfully leaving the tags on most of them. The old lady who was a keen gardener died about 8 years before we took it on and since that point it had been fairly neglected. Lots of thistles, nettles, dandelions, etc have had a good go at colonising the borders.

Nestled in one section we found an old greenhouse. Sadly well beyond saving.

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This is the view looking towards the house. As well as a garden project we also have a house project :-)

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  • SlumSlum Posts: 168

    The area furthest from the house was very shaded as the hedges had been allowed to grow tall so one of the first jobs was to hack them back and open the area up.

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    You can see the pile of logs on the right from some of this early clearing. In the foreground on the left is a hardy fuschia. 

    By Aug 2015 I'd made some compost heaps using pallets building materials had arrived on. These have now been lined with plastic sheeting to insulate them a bit from the wind.

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    The next photo is from June 2016 showing the same area from a different angle.

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    This is the same area but looking the other direction back towards the house. I let the grass grow long with paths cut into it. My daughters playhouse in the background.

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    I'm told the large apple tree was planted the same time as the house was built. To be honest the apples aren't particularly good and they grow too high up to be picked. When they fall and damage we tend to throw them over the hedge for the sheep to enjoy. However it makes a good swing and I like the shape.

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    The long grass in this top area is enjoyed by our cat. When we bought the house it was infested with mice, as were the sheds. She has been very effective at handling this problem. 

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  • SlumSlum Posts: 168

    In one area I decided to make 4 slightly raised beds. It was an area with a lot of nettles and other weeds along with a few gooseberry bushes and a redcurrant bush. The redcurrant was moved to a large pot which it seems to be enjoying. These were taken once the clearing had started.

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    Then the bits of wood screwed together and filled with soil from the paths.

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    The bricks came from a stack I found in the copse next to the house.

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    And with the first time attempt at growing things in them.

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    It is a bit on the shady side for a veg patch but I'll figure out what grows and what doesn't. Garlic did OK - the bulbs are small but perfectly edible. The potatoes got a bit leggy but yielded a small crop.

    I hope those that have read my ramblings and looked at the photos aren't too bored. I'll share a few more photos later. I'm very much a novice gardener, learning as I go.

    Simon

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 46,949

    Welcome aboard Slum image

    I'm really enjoying watching the transformation - I used to live in a similar very rural spot - brings back some great memories ... Looking forward to your next installment image

    If you stop taking chances, you'll stay where you sit. You won't live any longer, but it'll feel like it.” 
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 16,817

    Welcome Slum. 

    Keep up the good work. 

    I've been gardening for over 40 and I'm still " learning as I go"image

    Devon.
  • Muddle-UpMuddle-Up Posts: 11,129

    This is a great project, Slum...you're going to be kept busy but what a transformation already!  All gardens are 'works in progress', perhaps that's why we love them so much!  This one reminds me of ours....even after a quarter century we're still battling away at it!

    And you've even got 'my' green compost bin!

    Keep up the great work and post pictures to show us how things develop! image

    Aberdeenshire, NE Scotland 🌞
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 6,828

    You're doing a great job there slum - welcome to the forum! image

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Can't wait to see the rest of the progress

  • SlumSlum Posts: 168

    Thank-you all for your words of encouragement...

    We decided to split the beds up that run from the house with a new grass path. There were 3 roses that we decided to keep in position and put the path around. There were a couple more that we dug up and put in pots. Both survived so will be put back into the garden next spring. The grass was sown from seed last spring and this photo was taken just after it started growing.

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    I've now started weeding the beds either side. The ones on the left have been cleared of weeds (although I fully expect some to return in spring). The next photos show one area cleared ready for planting and then in flower 2 months later. I've also put in some acquilegias and alliums for next year.

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    This photo gives an idea of where the beds are located in relation to the rest of the garden.

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    This is the area by the patio doors. There are rose suckers which need to come out and it is particularly wind exposed but I threw in a few annual grown from seed. I was pleased with the effect. There is a crocosmia from a plant I divided from elsewhere in the garden and nasturtiums, cosmos, snapdragons and weeds. The rusty old kettle was found in the old greenhouse.

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  • SlumSlum Posts: 168

    I'm off work for a few days and yesterday got the chance to do a few jobs in the garden. I emptied the compost bay I've been filling all summer into the one next to it and gave it a good mix up. I'll probably move it again in the spring and then again to the last bay in the summer. By then it should me a good mulch. I also spread another 8 barrow fulls of mulch onto a couple of beds. I also started clearing out the greenhouse with the intention of washing it today before I move all the potted young plants into it for the summer. Anyway, here are a few more photos taken over the summer.

    I guess there will be differing opinions on the use of garden gnomes...

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    An unidentified rose. I love the colour...

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    Gertrude Jekyll planted bare root last winter...

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    another rose...

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    A dwarf sunflower called Waooh...

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  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 46,949

    Garden gnomes are absolutely fine as long as they earn their keep - just lazing around all day with a fishing rod in their hands isn't contributing much - whereas those little chaps with wheelbarrows can do lots of little jobs while you're at work, if you leave them a list image

    If you stop taking chances, you'll stay where you sit. You won't live any longer, but it'll feel like it.” 
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