Saturday, 31 January 2015

End of Month View January 2015

I found that joining in with the End of Month View meme hosted by Helen over at The Patience Gardeners Weblog last year a valuable way of tracking developments in a new border I worked on and planted out last year - I have decided to continue taking part.  This meme does exactly as it says on the tin!  End of Month View.  Which view? Well that's entirely up to you.  You can join in here.

Last year, my post began when the work got under way.  There was a lot of hard labour involved in the first couple of posts but this year it's going to be different.  All the hard work has already been done.  Leaving me to do nothing else except watch the garden grow.  Again, I intend to focus on one particular spot - The Front Garden.  These shots taken on Thursday, sees the garden with a light covering of snow.  Since there is little else to see right now, it adds a bit of interest.  This is the view standing on the front step.

Looking west into the open fields over the river
A bit about my front garden.  It is an incredibly sunny spot, very open and exposed at times.  It takes a fair battering from those south westerly winds and rain.  Despite the fact the the whole property is on quite a level site, the drainage out here in the front garden is far better than the back garden.  Tulip and Gladioli bulbs survive in the ground without rotting in the winter wet.  I've enjoyed sourcing plants that will cope with these conditions.

I've left a small circular lawn in the centre of the garden, the Roses I planted at the end of summer/early autumn are intended to be the stars of the show and they will be joined by a variety of perennials throughout the year.  

View from in front of the house
Standing in the back corner, looking towards the street, you can see the Privet hedge is completely bare this year.  I really could be doing with removing this hedge but as it's home and support to the rather gorgeous Tropaeolum speciosum I am loathe to do so.  Instead, I am letting it gain some height to show of the Tropaeolum at it's best.  The shape of the lawn is a bit more obvious in this shot. The upturned baskets you can see offer protection for the Nepeta from the cats.  Kooki as you can see contemplating going for a wander or back indoors for a bit of heat.  

Looking towards the houses, I live on the end of a row of four terraced houses and we are not allowed fencing out the front more than 3ft in height.  I have added a bit of height by topping it off with trellising.  Elsewhere in the garden the trellis is square edged, I thought I do something a bit different out here.  I hoped that the curved lines would add a bit of character.  I'm not at all convinced but they are there now and there they will stay for now!

View towards the house
As yet, I've not put in any climbers to cover the trellising.  I have issues with the neighbour's Kerria japonica (to the left in this image), I periodically have to remove the slats of the fence to tear out the suckers that grows between the fence in it's attempt to take over my garden.  To the right (you can just make it out to the left of the potted Cordyline), she has planted Prunus laurocerasus - I am currently trying to convince her of it's inappropiateness a couple of feet from the house and fence. She's taking some convincing!

As for colour scheme, I originally wanted a scheme of warm reds/oranges and yellows contrasting with deep purples but some cooler blues have slipped since I toiled to source plants in the exact colour of purple I wanted.  I think know that I will need to work on softening the edge where it meets the drive - I had a bit of a 'that will do' moment when work here was nearing the end.  Do you know that feeling?

Last to go in the ground in autumn were the 200 Crocus sieberi Spring Beauty and 25 Iris (Dutch) Bronze Beauty bulbs I bought from Peter Nyssen.  This is the first time I've bought bulbs online.  I used Peter Nyssen after reading that a few of you recommended them in your posts.  I under planted all the roses with the Crocus and the Iris have been planted in groups of 5 here and there.  They should be the first plants to bloom this year.

Crocus sieberi Spring Beauty foliage End of January 2015
So there you have it, My Front Garden, at around 5m x 5m, certainly not the largest but definitely not the smallest either.  In conjunction with this post, I intend to created a stand alone page for my front garden.  It's purpose will be to profile the plants as and when they bloom throughout the year.  I tried to do this last year with the whole garden and to be honest, proved to be much more time consuming that I'd thought.   I am hoping that by concentrating on a smaller area I won't get swamp in the work involved.  The page is a blank right now but will be adding to as soon as the first flowers of the year appear.