Tuesday, 22 April 2014

New home, new space

We moved into our new home last week. 

So between carrying things around and lack of internet access the blog had to wait.

Having down sized we are currently falling over too much furniture and earmarking things for the salerooms. Needless to say there are lots of things I currently can not find, one of which initially was my camera.

Now found, and whilst things get sorted, both inside - and out - this is the current rear outside space.

 From the rear door, we have an "L" shaped area with this gate at the end.

Like most owners of a small Victorian terrace house this is as good as it gets for an outdoor area. 

However, after 7 months enclosed in a first floor flat the opportunity to sit in the sun is just brilliant, though the surroundings could be better!

The back yard has a good aspect, having sun most of the day and a great feeling of intimacy and enclosure which I like.

Downsides are the lack of greenery - if you discount the weeds and imported pots - no height to provide interest and no focal point other than the paving slabs. Looking at brick walls is fine (short term) but not my preferred option.

Clearly needs some changes (slight understatement?) but until my thoughts have crystallized I shall put in as many flowers as possible to see me, and our promised list of visitors, throughout the summer.

 Given time all will change and I aim to post each development as it happens.

My first job however is to dispose of all the rubbish which the previous owners kindly left us.

And figure out how to hide all these hideous recycling boxes we have inherited.

City living!

Monday, 7 April 2014

April Garden visit

In the last blog I mentioned two of my favourite gardens.

One of them, the Walled Garden at Helmsley, I visited on Saturday.

As a registered charity, it's one of the few "not for profit" gardens I know. 

And I love it.

 More than a garden, it has a long history and a very special ethos. 

Rescued from a sad demise by Alison Ticehurst and a group of enthusiasts more than 20 years ago it has slowly but surely regained its former grandeur and a unique raison d'etre. 

The setting is without equal, sitting as it does in the shadow of Helmsley Castle and with rising green hills to the other side it has a very special feel.

Long since my last visit when the garden was under the direction of head gardener Paul Radford it has made giant steps in terms of design, planting and caring for this five acre plot and its historical walls.

Early April is not its best time, but the bones and structure of good design are in place and there are signs of glorious displays in the hot border to follow later in the year.  

There are however lots of little neat touches which I enjoyed.


 Plenty of resting places for people and insects.

Not just a garden and cafe to enjoy, or buy gifts and plants, it is a living breathing place.

On offer are horticulture courses, which are proven therapy for many conditions, beekeeping, painting and many others. It's a wonderful setting in which to enjoy these.

The mission statement of the garden from the beginning was to be community based and community inclusive. Both garden users and the caring army of volunteers are drawn from the locality. 
Unique and very special.

There is a Spring Fair on Saturday April 12th 2014.
Unrestricted entry is just £1.

Do go if you can and support them. They deserve it.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

The end of March

This weekend saw Mother's Day and British Summer Time coincide.

As usual my Mother's Day treat would be a garden visit, but since two of my favourites, 

Helmsley Walled Garden


Scampston Walled Garden

were not yet open it had to be RHS Harlow Carr. Again.

Not that I minded but since we had a lecture booked early Sunday morning on
"The discovery of the king in the car park" I decided Saturday would be more enjoyable and leisurely and so off we went.

One of the joys of garden visits is that in a well designed and planted garden there are always new arrivals, and not just plants, to see and enjoy. And ideas to copy!

And so it proved this time.

New willow sculptures in the form of poppy seedheads had been sited in a bed already prepared for planting.

Just imagine how these will look surrounded by flowers.

Many years ago I did a one day willow weaving course at Harlow Carr which taught me, amongst other things, to appreciate the skill and artistic interpretation needed to produce something which looked identifiable. In my case a very sad looking willow goose to which the dog took an instant dislike.

There are more willow constructions which I loved 

The battling hares

The drinking deer

The boundaries created within the vegetable garden 

and used to increase the soil depth within the raised beds.


       Even willow supports in the raised beds.                                                                                                                                                      

                and I adored the shape of these hanging baskets. 

Wonder if I could copy those?