2009 saw continued development of the garden. A new archway was added to divide up the garden more, ensuring not everything can be seen at first glance encouraging a walk to investigate further. The main pond in front of the house was relined after developing a leak following the flooding of the previous winter.
Work continued on the cottage garden for the barn, the borders having been laid out after completion of the building work. With the arrival of Spring planting began. Much of the design and work has been and still is done by Bridget’s mum.
By the end of the year there was a glorious display for mum and dad to sit and enjoy!
Earlier in the year before anything started growing we decided to improve a corner of the bottom garden that continually flooded in the winter and after heavy rain. The whole family joined us over Easter and with the help of some hired equipment a new pond was developed. It very quickly became part of the garden looking as if it had always been there as the planting grew and established. We now have an amazing display of spring flowers leading into a colourful show of summer and autumn flowering perennials later in the year. Careful netting early in the autumn helps to prevent too much damage to the natural balance when the trees shed their leaves later on.
During the year we also had a lovely display of lilies in pots at the front of the house, something we continue every year, well it is our ‘trademark’!!
2010 saw a general maturing of planting in all areas of the garden. The veg plot was extended a little to allow a wider variety of produce and some flowers fo cutting. New electrified netting helped keep the rabbits out although they have been known to burrow in from some distance away. After quite extensive flooding in the winter the drainage ditch along the bank at the bottom of the field was dug out in early spring to hopefully allow the water to escape more quickly. The stone that was excavated was very useful for edging the ponds! Our first NGS openings were a great success with large numbers of people visiting and lots of fun for all our helpers.
2011 saw 2 main areas for work. The border by the road is a constant challenge due to the row of old ash trees that shade and suck water and goodness from the surrounding area. A length of this was dug out in the autumn, extending it slightly and garden compost added. Replanting then and in the spring has hopefully created a more interesting area with more colour as far as prevailing conditions allow.We also ‘reclaimed’ a bit more of our natural garden at the bottom end of the garden, creating a border of shade loving plants along the road and a ‘mini woodland glade’ area with hostas, ferns etc among old tree stumps and fallen branches. A new seat allows another place for quiet contemplation.
We continue to raise a lot of new plants from seed and cuttings, a lot are sold on our open days and the rest find their way into the garden, often in the autumn to add to the following years displays. A new area of plants used for dyeing has been made within the veg area. Some lovely colours have been obtained from them including various shades of yellow, orange, green and a lovely blue that is miraculously extracted from green woad leaves!