Monday 26 May 2014


Well the day for the open gardens arrived, above you can see the tickets that were sold on the day.
The weather was lovely dry and sunny but not too hot and we were very lucky in that we had one of those days where everything fell into place! The flowers were open , the garden was tidy and presentable.

We had been visited by the committee members the night before and given our number for the gate, the two ladies had asked for a tour as they would be working on the refreshments on the day, so would not get to see anything. We were more than happy to show them round and they were very complimentary about the garden.

So on the day we shut the house up, for security and taking a book and a magazine we sat at the patio table to wait and see if anyone would actually come to visit, we expected it would be a few people here and there with long gaps and waiting.

The garden was enter from the side gate under the carport. So this is the view on entering.

Stepping into the garden you can see the tool shed to the left, the gazebo straight ahead and just make out the pond on the right at the top.

Turning to the right you enter the patio area with brick outhouse covered with roses and clematis beyond the garden furniture.

Turning to the left you are now looking at the rose arch with the raised pond in the foreground.

The rose arch with the statue of Venus in the distance.

Looking towards the gazebo from the rose arch.

The path towards the Flower garden with a view of the flower borders on the left in what we call the first garden or house garden.

Looking back in the first garden towards the rose arch you can see a raised bed made from the broken slabs we found in the wilderness at the end .

Swinging round to the other side you can now see that we have given the gazebo a roof. Inside are shelves with my Auricula's and a patio table and chairs for people to shelter from the sun.

Next is the view from the gateway to the flower garden and the Cloisters beyond.

A view of one side of the flower garden , a padded seat cushion ready for a weary garden visitor or two!

The opposite corner of the flower garden towards the cloisters showing the roses and flowers in bloom.

Another corner of the flower garden by this time we had rounded the corners to deepen the beds to allow us to add more flowers.Here you can see that the honeysuckle in the corner and roses are hiding the trellis.

Then we turn back to the Cloisters with roses both sides and a wisteria on the right. We had added a screening of trellis to the top of this area to give dappled shade on hot sunny days.

Looking back into the flower garden from the Cloisters and beyond through the gate towards the house.

Another view of the Cloisters showing all the lavender and stone planters and gargoyles.

And then turning into the Formal garden no longer a parterre because we have planted roses between the box hedging and a standard rose in the centre.A bench awaits a tired gardener who may wish to rest and enjoy the garden. You can see how full the lavender is now making the pathway appear much smaller than when first made.

A last view from the Lych Gate before we turn and enter what had the year before been a wilderness and was now the raised garden.

So we enter the Lych Gate and then the raised garden beyond.

From the Lych Gate you can see how the garden flowers have come on in just a few short weeks , helping to fill the space with colour and scent.

Walking along you can just about see the corner of the shed by the back gate.

The fruit and veg plot with a net over the cherry tree to stop the birds getting the cherries first, there are also strawberry plants at the bottom of the tree. The veg all starting to grow along with the Tomato's.

Then along the path to the shaded seating area where two comfy seats allowed people to rest in the shade.Unfortunately the neighbour's had still not replaced the fencing but in the end we resolved this ourselves at a later date.

Then from the very back of the garden in the shaded seating area looking back towards the Lych Gate showing that in time the planting should grow to obscure the area so that it is a place you come across by chance having followed the path to it's end.

Well we did not have long to wait for our first visitor a man and his garden designer daughter who had been sent to our garden by the ladies who had visited the night before and soon we had a steady stream of people wandering the garden, sitting and enjoying the flowers . asking what a certain flower was? how long had we been living here? How did we come up with the design? Did Paul make Lych Gates to order? At one point there must have been over sixty people or more from one end of the garden to the other. It was a very tiring but very enjoyable day, in all over 400 people bought tickets and over £6000 was raised for the church. We even had a local lady from the manor ask us if we were in the National Garden scheme! We said No, she said why not!!

Looking back at these photo's for this post, the garden looks so fresh and ordered. Now around 5 to 6 years later the garden has changed in places but the 'bones' of the garden still stand.
The garden is ever evolving as we come up with another idea that we would like to try or some thing has not worked so needs to be re thought.

We hope you have enjoyed this post and will join us for the next for there is always something happening here!!



A year after we moved into the Village some of the Gardens were opened to the public to raise money for the church. The village is split by a main road, so the gardens that opened were on the same side where the church sits.
We enjoyed walking round seeing how other people had made their gardens.
Then a year or so later a letter was put through the letterbox asking for people on this side of the village to open their gardens for the church the following year.

Before thinking it through we signed up and then we remembered that we had fifty foot of wilderness at the end of the garden!! We considered pulling out but then saw it as the push we needed to get that space completed.
So in January of the open garden year which we think was 2009? but could have been 2008. We set about making a garden.

The view into the wilderness!

Now we were lucky because we have a good friend who is a builder and he came along with his mini digger and and by taking out one of the back fence panels and a post he was able to bring his digger in and pile all the earth into one corner for us.

Here you can see where the earth's been piled to one side.

The view back towards the back fence that we had erected a few years earlier. In the foreground are the roots from some very big shrubs and a tree that our friend Tom pulled up with his digger therefore saving us hours of digging.

This is the back of an 8 x 6 shed that we had erected but would now need to be moved to fit the new plan for this area. To the right hand side you can see some of the large pieces of concrete and rocks we found. We also found buried metal roofing and part of a motorbike!!

This is the right hand corner of the back of the garden, you can see where next door have removed some of the fencing because they were putting in some hard standing for a shed.

The left hand side where you can see the back gate which still as the original path running to it which once went from the house all the way to here.

This is a view of the back of the workshop the trellis used to have a very large crab apple tree between but unfortunately we had to remove it for our new garden plan to work.In our plan this space became a gateway with a sloping path to enable us to take garden waste by wheelbarrow to the compost heaps.

So Tom had cleared all the earth to one side , we had a plan  and it was now January and we had five months to get it ready for People to walk round!

Paul spent every weekend out in this part of the garden working, I helped when I could but he worked longer and harder on setting out the bones of the garden, I was more general dogsbody.
Somewhere I have the plan for this and I will add it here when I find it but until then I will try to explain what we planned.

From the box Parterre we wanted a Lychgate ( something I had wanted in my garden for years!)  from which you would step down onto a path that would curve to a central point, from the central point the path would split with one taking you left to the original path taking you on to the back gate, where the shed had been moved and space for a greenhouse would be left and the right hand path curving round towards the right hand corner of the back fence which would open up to a circular shaded seating area.
The beds would be raised to take all the extra soil in this area and the plan was  that by curving these paths and borders the planting would in time obscure the seating area in the right hand corner and also the greenhouse and shed.
The third and smaller lower bed would be used for growing vegetables.

So five months later this is where we were, this photo shows the sloping ramp that takes you from the workshop/ Cloisters down back onto the original path to back gate and to the compost bins that you can see on the left. The trellis to the right is the back of the veggie plot.

This photo shows you part of the lychgate which is under construction, resting in the soon to be veggie plot with buckets etc left on the concrete base that was laid for it's foundation. You can see the curving path that we constructed from granite sets and rectory paving, I would like to at this stage tell you that I laid all these sets !and Paul cemented them in.
You can also see that we used log roll to form the sides of the raised beds, these we have stained black.The view of this photo is looking from the largest raised bed across back towards the parterre.

Here we are looking from the Lychgate towards the back gate where the shed is now in place with a large empty area in front awaiting a greenhouse.
The circled paving is at the centre where the three paths meet. The planting on the right is shrubs which will add height to help block the view to the back seating area, the left is the soon to be veg plot and in front the flower border.

This photo shows the widest part of the path looking from the left hand side towards the right hand side of the garden. To the right you go to lych gate and back to house to the left to the shaded seating area.
Just in case you have forgotten, I laid all of those granite sets by hand.

This view is from the veggie plot showing the path curving round to the back corner, you can see more of the space for the greenhouse up on the left.These photo's were taken in May and the garden was to be on show in the June, luckily we had been collecting plants since the year before but we also split some plants and grew some from seed , so we had a fair few plants we could put in to help fill the space.
The only problem we have found is that because we needed to get it planted up, this bed is forever having weeds appear, which if we had had the time we would have covered the bed in weed killer and left it for six months before planting.

And this is a photo of the circular paved area in the far right hand corner at the end of the path, the view is over the edge of the raised bed where the greenhouse will stand.

The Lych Gate under construction. It was made using two sleepers for the bottom and 4 x4 inch fence posts for the rest.Again the base is raised to give a change in level to the garden.

The paths are a mix of mainly granite sets with some rectory paving in the larger spaces, with tiny gravel between.

More paving by the circular seating area.

With only a week or so to go before the open garden, the Lych Gate is roofed and stained a deep brown, it still needs to have roof tiles and some paving for the base but that would have to wait for another time.

A view of the rails.

The inside of the roof.

A straight view of the Lych Gate, we have hung a celtic stain glass cross to the roof to add some extra interest.
So after five and a half months hard work we are ready.The fact that we had a deadline was perfect , we would never have completed this area so quickly otherwise, so although it was hard it was well worth it in the end.

I am so excited about showing you the photo's of the open day. I will put them on later tonight, I hope you enjoyed seeing how we reached this point in our garden.


Sunday 25 May 2014


These next set of photo's were taken a year after the last posts. The garden was ready for visitors who were coming to help celebrate my youngest daughter's 21 st birthday and my 50th being as our birthdays are only ten days apart.

This is a view of the pergola , we have removed the old rotting workshop that sat beside it opening it up to the garden from three sides, we have also added some two foot trellis panels to help give some shade due to the garden being mainly south facing.

From the patio you can now see the trellis that was erected to split the garden, the gate way has been given a roof, which still needed to be tiled.
Closer to the house there is now three black metal rose arches that have been linked together by some posts with trellis which as been stained black to match the arches.

The archway leads your eye to the statue of Venus in the distance. There is now a stepping stone style path that curves over to the gateway to the flower garden. I laid the bricks that form the pathway beneath the arch from bricks that had been used in a small wall that we removed. Sorry that the photo is on an angle but these photo's were hard to scan due to curling up at the corners!!.

looking back at the house.

The flower garden had now gained a path of square stepping stone paving which took you round both sides of the sundial.

At this time the borders are still square to the fencing filled with roses and flowering perennials.

We still have the old path running through this part of the garden and have added some trellis above the fence panels for privacy and climbing plants.

in this corner you can see the start of next doors hedge which runs to the back end of the garden on that side.

From the Cloisters you are looking back into the flower garden towards the house.

Looking from the Cloisters down into the formal parterre garden, you can see how the box plants have begun to fill out and we have placed an antique chimney pot in the centre on a paving slab.

Another view of the formal parterre garden but this time you can see an arch forming the entrance to the wild unfinished part of the garden. We were using a small part just beyond this to grow Raspberry's, rhubarb and apples.

A final view back to the patio and house.

Tomorrow I will show the next stage which involves the wilderness at the very end of the garden.