Friday 6 May 2011

Other people’s gardens, and what to do with a pile of old rubble?

I like Bank holidays....lots of time to do gardening and other things.  Land wise I’m quite confident at the moment as the tide has turned from potting up seedlings and tubers to planting, and when gardening I am being left at the end of the day surrounded by empty pots which is nice.  Still lots to do: this weekend will be Dahlia, Cosmos and Tithonia planting, weekend after that I will set the gourds free.
I also managed to get to see our first NGS gardens of the year which was exciting as I’m now uber analytical of all things NGS from oooh I wonder how many mugs they have, to when did they last cut their lawn? Steven and the parents are also in on this and are now hyper analysing the price of cake...much heated debate about this.
We saw two gardens, the first was on the Chase in Clapham.... strangely unexpected garden surrounding an amazing Victorian house...they are designers and it showed, and I loved how they had painted their window frames gold! The garden wasn’t that big but was cut in half by a fence, with a large field/plot full of tulips in front.  It then rose to a mound which had a large bull sculpture on top; it was all positively dripping with testosterone. Good lessons to learn about subdividing a space and it got me excited about creating a mound. I also loved the free glass of wine on entry (they open one evening then again on the Sunday). This seems a good ploy as it will be a mega pain of September is very rainy and no one comes, and at least if you open twice you limit the odds.
The second garden was a hard core NGS garden in Burbage Road, Herne Hill. Hard core as they had been there for 30 years and open to the NGS for 12. Gosh this was a manicured and perfect garden, and in a way the opposite of the Chase which was a bit more wild and natural. Beautiful...again lots of different spaces, one lawn separated from the other by a row of box clipped into mounds, and good use of trellis. Dense planting, and with automatic watering which would be a joy as I’m not liking watering the garden in April/May!
Lots of garden rooms with clipped box....lovely to contain the jungle, and could be very South East Asian

The fox isnt gong to eat that goose!
We ended the weekend at Clandon Park in Surrey, a National Trust property which is ‘one of the finest examples of Palladian architecture in the UK’ all very nice especially the Maori meeting house in the would make for a lovely shed!

Available in kit form from Ikea next year
The rubble question: still undecided about what to do and if to make something creative....I really like the idea of a mound, but wonder if this will jusrt look like a mound I have made to hide a pile of rubble. Like Mark/Gaz suggestion of a raised eating area. Also getting in to gabions which I need to investigate...these are big mesh boxes that you can fill with rocks. Seems a great way to make a retaining wall or benches. Mmm. answers on a postcard (or comments box!)
Current pile of rubble...probably up to 200 bags. picture makes it look smaller than it is....pile is probably the height of 10 double decker buses

Potential site for a mound.....this corner is still completely unplanned.

And now for some other random pictures....

Bergenia ciliata at Burbage Road....lovely and furry, on my wanted list
Lovely fern/geranium mix...Im a big fan of ferns
Hydrangea aspera....Im in love with its new leaves as they are so lush (well they were before the winds)

Paulownia....beginning to grow very fast even before I pump it with 6x!

New earthworks...Stevens corner. he is clearly should have been a JCB earth mover type person
Gladiolius byzantium...I was hoping these would flower late summer! I bought a bag of bulbs that was far too big so they are all over the place. Im hoping they spread and naturalise


  1. Go for gabions. I think they look good and are practical. Form and function in a gabion design!


  2. Looking at other gardens opening for the NGS is a good idea to prepare yourself for your own big day!

    If you do a raised seating area using deckboards and wooden stilts, you have an option to shove all of your rubble underneath it, hiding them and you can take them all out again for use in the future, say if you want to paved pathways etc., you can use them as hardcore.

  3. Think gabions are the way forward...just found an inspiring link here

    would love to make a massive pond!

  4. Another good one...not as creative as the other which is great, but practical