gillybirds

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My Beauty Spot

on April 11, 2013

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From the kitchen sink where I spend (too much) time daily I look out northwards onto the cement yard with the bins, two sheds, a high hedge and the back of the garage. It is not the most inspiring view. There is a small area of soil, where the previous owners used to grow rhubarb. Since we moved here, 19 years ago, this patch of dirt has been a real eyesore. Sometimes I have put plants into pots to make it look at little better but due to the north facing dark position, with two walls and a hedge not improving access to light, nothing ever thrived.
A few years ago my mum gave us a rowan tree sapling which has settled well and appears to enjoy its sheltered location, reaching upwards for sunlight. It provides a visual interest with its leaves and bright berries in summer and autumn. At Christmas I decorated it with bright baubles for a few weeks.
A year ago I got so fed up looking out at a tree standing in a square of dirt that I finally got round to googling “plants that like shade”- and the rest is history. I’m not a green fingered goddess at all, sadly my mother’s gardening gene has passed me by, but this patch is small enough to work with. Not too expensive to buy plants to fill, not too many spaces for weeds to flourish. We had a pile of paving bricks so I built a little low wall to hold in some fresh topsoil and got busy planting. With some success!
Now that our late winter appears to be retreating I have been adding to my plant collection.

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Out walking the dogs I get a good view of local gardens and hellebores always catch my eye. Until today I thought there were only “Christmas Roses” (which have grown very well in my garden space) but I am now nurturing “Lenten Roses” which are a lovely blend of pink and cream.
I love gardens that have the “cottage” look – informal, abundant, colourful, unplanned- but which probably take a lot of planning. For shady areas gardening books recommend foxgloves, or digitalis, which also grew really well last year, climbing up beside the rowan tree. So I have planted some more.
To add colour I planted many bulbs but none of these have grown. I’m not sure if this has been the wet weather or just a poor bag of bulbs, or both. Primulas have been smiling at me as I have my hands in the washing up bowl and hopefully they will last another couple of months.

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I adore nasturtiums and these are great for seeding themselves and coming back with wild abandon year after year. I look forward to seeing these appearing soon.
The trick will be keeping the hens away from my little patch of Eden. They can do quite a bit of damage in pursuit of a juicy slug or a beakful of wood lice. But they are good at eating the weeds. Perhaps I should refer to my patch as “The Garden of Weedin”.

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One response to “My Beauty Spot

  1. zeudytigre says:

    Well done you for persevering. I lack the ability to grow much in the garden (I keep trying!) but love to watch the changing seasons unfold outside my back door. Am impressed you can remember the names of the plants – even that defeats me 🙂

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