Monday, 27 May 2013

Chelsea and The Accidental Gardener

The lower bank. If you leave this land alone at all
 then bluebells sprout up everywhere.
(More pictures below...)
Walk around my garden with me...
I spent some coffee times last week enjoying the elegant and perfectly coiffed perfections of the Chelsea Flower Show. Debora   was there, as was gardening friend   Gillian. My friend Avril  was going to go but did not quite make it.                                   

 I did not envy them, as for one thing I don't like crowds; for another I am merely an accidental gardener. Oh and there's this third thing - flower names do not drip off my tongue like honey. The only one I remember is Alchemilla Mollis because its name scans and because it holds drops of rain like tears in its exquisite leaves. And it thrives in shade and my garden has lots of that . Oh, and I know Forget-Me-Nots and Love-Lies-Bleeding from my childhood fascination with the names.

Many years ago I did plant and grow things fairly successfully but once  I plunged myself into the compelling career of writing it totally engulfed  my planting, growing and making instincts,my hot-housing  and propagating energies. I stopped sewing too.

More then thirty years ago we bought this house in the middle of a small market town,  Built in 1870, the land on which it was built was carved out of a bit of ancient woodland. So  apart from a useful  lawn, our garden is  mostly trees and a long lumpy  bank. And it cannot be tamed; it  can only be gardened by accident.

I have featured the house - in various guises - in several of my novels but only this year in my new novel has the garden appeared as a significant part of the story. To do this I had to imagine this plot of land 1600 years ago when this area was a forest. That was fun
Extract: (Elen) '... No wonder they call this Oak Place. I walk and walk and the trees open out making a green space on each side of a trickling spring which steadies itself in a pool then spouts down the hill to join the bigger stream that I’ve just crossed.  Around the pool is a low wall cunningly built without joining mortar  - a thing they do very well in these parts. In one place the wall widens into a shelf lined with golden stone. Here are wilting flowers crowded together and already smelling of decay;  three finely crafted clay jugs;  two glittering bronze bracelets and in the corner  a sheaf of barley. I add an offering from my mother for whom this pool holds happy girlhood memories: a silver pendant set with green glass. As I set out on this journey she told me she hoped Branwen would be here at the pool to meet me....'                                                  Work In Progress,
Walk around my garden with me ...

Last year we cut down this giant tree but left the base as natural scuplture.

These grow wild right at the bottom of the garden, beside the long wall.

Companion growing - bluebells and well behaved dandelions

Forget-me-nots tumble onto the curving path

Bluebells are promiscuous. They go with everything/

Bluebells against the long bottom wall. I think the deep blue says these come from seed through several years, not from old bulbs. Here and there we have white flowers which I think suggests ancient bulbs still flowering.
The bottom bank. There was an old apple tree here once, but we lost it,

Glorious greens with Love-Lies-Bleeding

Dandelions mingling with buttercups and bluebells.

Champion campions keep the bluebells company

Trees dominate the garden,

Forget-Me-Nots and bluebells near the bottom path.

And more trees 

Neighbours through the trellis in what is, after all, a town garden.

1 comment:

  1. A house with a nice yard is a pleasure to look at and satisfying to live in. Your home can be made more inviting simply by adding a container of colorful flowers near the front door. Herbs in the kitchen add freshness to the room, as well as flavor to daily meals.Guildford gardener Trees and shrubs not only provide color and shade, but shelter for birds and wildlife. Think of the garden as another room to be enjoyed whether you are inside or outside the house.



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