Wednesday, 22 July 2009

The patch of sloping clay behind the house

Here are some of the things that make me smile outside my back door


Mini euphorbia and weird foxglove

Self seeded hollyhock

First carrots

Scabius, knautia, allium

Mini potentilla


First sweet peas.

The clematis finally took off...

White delphinium, past its best.

Gorgeous dog

Garden ornament


Anonymous said...

It looks pretty damn good for a "patch of sloping clay".

I'd say you were a fairly competent gardener, well done!

lilith said...

The secret, anon, is to plant things that don't mind it a bit rough ie. floods, drought or being ignored. I would say I don't do annuals but in the early days many things didn't last more than a season (the salvias for example). A lot of succulents went this winter.

fuchsia groan said...

All looking good Lilith. Meanwhile, here in the Peaks, I am still waiting for summer to start. My sunflowers have only grown a measly few inches, and most other things have been chomped by slugs. I am good at doing the 'ignored' thing when it comes to plants, but I obviously don't have your green fingers.

lilith said...

I have to acknowledge Elby here, Fuchsia. He gets out there with the hose. We have aerial slugs and snails here..they dive bomb plants and climb many feet to get to the tasty bits.

Tuscan Tony said...

A thousand curses, Lil, was at Longleat two weeks ago and it was only when the satnav started shouting "[redacted]" (LilTown) at me I realised it was your nape of the woods. Apols for not even saying hello. The Tuscan is useless.

lilith said...

TT, no worries! Liltown is well hidden and nobody ever drives though it by accident. The fact that Longleat is only 4 miles from our front door escapes relatives as well as friends :-)

Calfy is in Florence at the end of August but only for 3 days so that may be another near thing :-)

Barnsley Bill said...

The daffs are just starting to pop out here.

Elby the Beserk said...


That'll larn yer to scarper off :-)

What Lil encountered when she moved in here was a slope with at the most an inch or two of top soil, underneath being hardcore for some yards I suspect. Previous occupier had terraced it, which has been a great boon, but apart from that they planted shrubs, which are utterly inappropriate in such small garden, and celandine as ground cover, which you can't ever get rid off without removing a couple of feet of soil it seems.

So it has been trial and error; lots of manure and compost put on it (back to that shortly), and we have planted things rather at random. The rose is the same - Gertrude Jekyll - as I had at my previous abode, and seems to thrive with little care. That's cool, as I had always been under the impression that roses were a bugger to grow well. Plus - it has the most exquisite fragrance. Everything else has been a case of pop it in the ground and see what happens, and then pop some more in the ground and see what happens then.

So this year, the knautia has overwhelmed plants on either side of it, and has had to be contained. Plus point of that is - less weeding, and the fucking gastropods have less space to devour the garden.

Likes of lupins, tho', which I adore (as do the gastropods), and which I know grow wild in the meadows in Lil's (and BB's now) home country, we grow in huge pots. Penstemons usually fine, tho' very poor this year, phloxes in bliss this year. The honeysuckle has been magnificent, and when we sit on the bench at the top, by the heavily pollarded ash tree, clouds of honeysuckle aroma envelope us.

Lots of poppies earlier, self-seeded, and the self-seeded hollyhocks, whilst glorio9us, will have to come out as they hide everything behind them.

We got - as one does - a composting bin - but soon realised that you can't really make compost with 9/19 kitchen waste and 1/10 garden cuttings. You end up with a rancid slime instead.

So I tried a wormery, mixing kitchen waste with the little garden waste we have, and some compost. Ended up with rancid slime again. And dead worms.

So next ply is Bokashi bins, which ferment the kitchen waste; this can then either be dug straight into the ground or added to existing compost. My plan is to try the wormery again, but using the Bokashi'ed kitchen waste, with some bought compost to leaven it, so to speak, and then see what happens.

We really should show the front garden as well, as that has come on hugely in the past two years, and is becoming one large herbaceous border. First in show this year, a Verbascum Olympicum, which is quite magnificent. Sadly, the tree verbascum we had in the back garden in previous years all failed to return this year; I think they are really annuals, tho' sold as perennials or bi-annuals.

See a mighty verbascum here!

Verbascum Olympicum

Ours is about 8 feet high, I'd guess

Vinogirl said...

I love the gorgeous dog.

lilith said...

Vinogirl, the dog is a honey :-)