So it’s been a busy day today. Unusually I’ve been at work today. We’ve had an open day to allow families in to see the nursery. Just one at a time with Covid restrictions. It’s been nice to have them visit as many parents haven’t been able to come in ever. A chance to see where their kids spend a large part of their time. Then I’ve been busy with a bee activity set with Alice from Catkin and Co. We made a sandwich wrap and candles. Strangely satisfying. So it’s a later six this week. Coming in and out of the house it has been nice to see how much the front garden has progressed. From starting it afresh over a year ago it has established well.
The front garden
The basic concept of the front garden was to create something that would be fairly low maintenance by using lots of ground cover. I wanted more of a focus on foliage than flowers. The garden is North facing, shaded by the house, thick clay and is exposed to strong sea winds. So, on the face of it not the best conditions. But, I think I’ve found a lot of plants that are the right plants in the right place. The brick spires are looking good. The foxgloves have shot up the last few weeks with lots of rain. The ferns and hostas are returning well. Alice refers to it as the jungle as a lot of it is now as big as she is. Eventually it should fill out to that point where you have to push through the foliage to get around the stepping stones.
Lamprocapnos spectablis ‘Alba’ Bleeding heart
This was a little bare root purchase from Wilcos the year before last. It is a bit lost behind a foxglove but it is poking through nicely.
This was a spurr of the moment purchase. It doesn’t quite suit the garden conditions. Ideally I think it likes full sun. But it seems happy enough so far. I took the chance as I thought it would be nice to extend the snowdrop season.
Allium ursinum-wild garlic
Allium ursinum has a bad reputation for spreading badly. I’ve taken the risk as it’s quite a short plant and I don’t mind it acting as an understory plant and spreading around the gaps. Much of what I’ve growing is larger and will drown them out so they can fill the odd space left. I like it hough. The flowers are pretty. They are edible if I want to harvest them and they add another food source for pollinators.
Many of the hostas were bought cheap from a local church sale. These are looking very nice currently. They all seem to be coming back strong currently. The beer traps and frogs seem to be keeping the slugs in check currently but I could probably do with applying some nematodes. One of the reasons for growing the wild garlic was a vague theory that it might put the slugs and snails off chewing the hostas. People spray hostas with garlic spray so surely surrounding them with the scent of garlic plants should have a similar effect.
The view from above
I like taking photos from above on a regular basis as it shows areas that are working well, which areas aren’t, which plants are complementing each other and which are not. Currently the foxgloves are dominating a lot of areas but these are making nice spires as a contrast to the spreading hostas. The ferns are producing the wonderful bright new fronds. The heuchera are providing a few pockets of contrasting foliage. All in all I’m happy with how it is developing. The Ilex creanata hedge along the edge is growing painfully slow but hopefully it is rooting in well and will get going.
I’m glad I made the decision 2 years ago to overhaul the front garden. It is much nicer returning to this than the weedy gravel. We see a lot of people stopping to admire and they often stop to talk and compliment it if I am out working on it. I’ve got to know more of the people on the street through my front garden than I would otherwise know. Hope you’ve enjoyed this brief snapshot.