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I don’t think there have been many weekends since we moved into the new house last November that we have not worked on the garden and thankfully we feel that it has moved on a lot.

The worst area was the fruit and vegetable garden as the timber of the raised beds had rotted and you could not see any of the ground for the mass of fallen leaves and weeds. The landscapers cleared and rebuilt this area almost immediately so that we could start to plant the fruit trees which we knew would take a few years to be really productive.

Veg garden 2015

In the rest of the garden we have systematically worked on different areas, repeatedly treating the Horsetail with glyphosate in areas we had cleared whilst saving any plants that we could.

We had tried hand pulling the Horsetail in the fruit and veg area but this seemed to make it more vigorous, so after the produce was cleared, we gave in to Glyphosate.

It will be interesting to see how much returns next season.

As we had cleared a lot of the existing perennial plants, there were not many remaining in situ (although I potted up quite a few). With so much bare soil, it is surprising how much you come to love a plant. I have always avoided Delphiniums as they need staking and get eaten by slugs and snails, however I grew to love the stately form and striking blue colour of those remaining in the garden. Equally the Lupins, although white and pink (not my favourite combination) they added a stateliness to the border. Dianthus, I am afraid, I have always thought of as a ‘granny’ plant but I loved this mat of silvery foliage and the glorious scent that assaulted my senses every time I walked past it. I even went so far as to take some cuttings before I had to dig the plant out (to spray the horsetail coming through it.)

The most amazing discovery was the Crinum with its enormous pink trumpet-like flowers above large strappy leaved foliage. It really looks as though it belongs in a different time and place.

CrinumLupins

 

This November we will be rebuilding some of the raised beds, firstly because they are disintegrating and also so that the design of them better suits our needs. Hopefully the horsetail will have been knocked back and we can start to replant. We shall have to wait and see!

 

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