Sunday, 27 June 2010

The Guardian of the Garden

THIS is my Guardian of the Garden, who moved in on Mid-Summer's Day, after I found him in a charity shop. 

He plays his drum to scare away bad spirits and encourage the plants to grow and bloom - although it is so hot at the moment they all look a little sorry for themselves, despite the fact that I water them twice a day.

The garden is a work in progress.  It is very long and narrow, and was in a terrible mess (I have to admit, we had neglected it), so last year we created a pebbled hard-standing for the car at the end (there is access along an alley), put up new fencing and created raised beds with wooden surrounds around a lawn in the bottom third of the garden.  There is now a small vegetable patch there, beneath the elder tree, and so far this summer we have enjoyed three bowls of strawberries, with more on the way, as well as herbs - and the broad beans are flowering.

In the middle section is a path, with grey gravel either side, and a small wild-life pond, some grasses, bamboos, and silver-leaved plants, while at the top is a patio and more raised beds (edged with bricks) - where a sunny golden hop takes pride of place.

I have never taken much interest in the garden before, but since I was made redundant I have had time, and have discovered I love making things grow.  Friends have given me snippets of plants from their gardens, and I have been multiplying plants by taking cutttings and dividing roots.

It is like magic: from old plants I have brought forth new.  There are baby jasmines and honeysuckles, ivy, lots of chocolate-coloured heucheras taken from the broken roots of one gift, and two hydrangeas, 'layered' in pots beneath the overgrown bush which protected them over the winter.

All are flourishing and all were grown according to the phases of the moon though not, I hasten to add, by moonlight!

To aid me in my labours I have purchased a hose pipe on wheels, which stretches all the way down the garden; an old-fashioned push-along mower (it is a very small lawn) and a mini-greenhouse - a stack of racks covered with a plastic coat, perfect for seeds and cuttings.

Starlings, blackbirds, sparrows and thrushes visit my new bird feeder, and there are plenty of bees, butterflies and other insects on the flowers - some spinach which went to seed (I believe the correct term is bolted) proved particularly attractive, despite its insignificent blooms).

But the frog who appeared last summer has vanished.
I should have cleaned the pond out in the spring, and I should have pruned the hydrangea and the buddleia last year.  More net trellis is waiting to be fixed to the fences, to provide support for climbers,  more gravel is needed to cover the bald patches, a water feature would be nice - and I don't seem to have enough plants.

However, after years of looking at a wilderness, I begin to feel as if I have a proper garden at long last.  There is still a lot of work to be done but at least I can sit and read in my own peaceful haven.

1 comment:

  1. oh dear... red pen in the title :)

    your garden is very beautiful... xxx


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