<< New text box >>
The gardens are off an ancient deep Devon lane and were originally five or seven strip fields, then later opened up for Strawberries and Cauliflowers, used as market gardens. From a basic grass field with two apple trees,buildings and some Rasberries, the garden is developing and changing all the time. It doesn't and will not happen overnight. It can look wonderful, it can look a mess, depending on weather and if I have time to use my best friend my strimmer! It is always wonderful to be in and experience the wildlife and changing seasons and of course optimistic expectations!
There are perrenial areas, shrubs, foliage, fruit, herbs and areas that can be rotated for annuals. If I could, I would have no dig and surface compost over the whole three acre growing area.
Innitially the whole area was ploughed, rotivated and areas thought out and planted right thing right place. What a disaster! So much to look after and of course when the bad weather came you couldn't get the tractor and rotivator to the top slopes which nature naturally took over. I ended up with anemones in the wrong place which opened like saucers in the full sun and rather a lot of them! Veronicastrum, Lavenders, Astrantias, Echinops, Agapanthus and scabiosa in wonderful neat rows but ended up planting grass seed and eventually letting the sheep in to keep it tidy and ignore. They enjoy the vegetation! Each Spring I move a bit more down to lower more accessable areas....you live and learn!
The first summer was a good one ( next six a bit wet ), in fact so dry and dusty that when I planted masses of penstemon and ladies mantle and Dahlias, obedience plants and plenty more besides. I was relieved to have and allow the weeds to encrouch around the plants, to give some ease from the sun and protect the soil. They did a brilliant job in helping to establish the young plants and the insects on them (fast is friendly) seemed to help too. I really feel I would have lost loads of plants if not for the weeds, as I couldn't have watered them all.
Priority was to get perrenials in, trees, Peonies and flowers I wanted to build up over time and save seed each year.
If my knees and optimism last it will be an interesting journey. There are always ups and downs and in the summer people go 'ooh and aaah isn't it wonderful' etc. without seeing the mud and state you look in the winter when you have to give yourself a big kick up the backside and get on with it, even then I enjoy looking after the flowers, crops and wildlife!
Enjoy the gallery.