Friday, 2 May 2008

Before and aft...



It has been a funny old week.. in more ways than one..
One couldn't fail to notice that the weather has been like a big dipper this week.. warm sun then days where the mercury plummets and I reach for the central heating switch again..
Temperamental in a word!
I have been asked by a client to design some Christmas Cards for a photo shoot next week... I do find the idea of snowy landscapes and holly sprigs a little hard to stomach when I long for the heady days of summer.. when will it come out of hibernation I wonder.. or rather .. will it come out of hibernation ?
Mustn't be pessimistic... onwards and upwards and outwards.. preferably.. in the garden.
I have been flitting in and out of blog world to snatch a few glimpses at what the community is getting up to and it is fairly evident that a great deal of you are thinking of outdoor pursuits .. particularly your gardens. I had some lovely compliments about my small country pile..and a request from Lesley to show the pebble mosaic that we have set in our bottom terrace..So with this request in mind I have decided to do a makeover post.. and show you the jungle that we inherited two years ago and how it has gradually evolved into another jungle but more manageable!
When we first saw this house and garden.. my heart sank to see that the lay of the land was on a steep incline and the garden itself had been badly neglected..
Some would rub their hands in glee to see a challenge and to some degree I did until I realised that we had also inherited the national collection of bindweed and assorted vermin.. weeds!
I am a wee bit OCD about house and garden and like to keep it tickety boo as much as I can.. but it has been an ongoing battle to try and eradicate the weeds that have been long established. Little by little I will win this one!
The first task was to clear the jungle.. and oh boy.. what a tangle of plants it was..
Hard not to believe that there was a lost tribe of Bath pygmies living amongst this lot..
One man and his scythe came in and chopped it all down in a day...Then we could see the lie of the land and the space that had been obscured..
Looking up the garden to the top of the ski slope with the crumbly stone walls held together with sheer willpower and little else
The bones of the garden were skillfully rebuilt ...


This one is for you Lesley.. the pebble mosaic was the finishing touch to the last terrace and my favourite part of the garden..
The best part of any gardening project for me is choosing the paints to apply to the canvas .. and after digging in copious amounts of compost, grit and manure to improve the soil I relished the planting of my new garden..


These little tiddlers soon grew.. in a matter of weeks into this ..

The last terrace to be finished was delayed for a year due to .. the piggy bank being empty..
The top corner of the garden under the study window was a sad and sorry sight a few months ago but after putting in a few bulbs and forget me nots..

ta da!
My dear beloved professes to love gardening so I graciously allowed him to have his little plot at the bottom of the garden to grow his fern collection..
His idea of gardening is to sit in a chair sipping a cold beer and strumming his guitar whilst I flit around pruning, digging, weeding and eventually sitting back to admire..
So there we have it.. I don't think there is a corner of my garden that I have not shared with you.. oh well.. maybe the compost bin area and a few determined weeds..
I hope to get out there again this weekend and continue the tweaking and maybe enjoy a glass of something cool..
Have a wonderful weekend ..XX

30 comments:

Katherines Dream said...

Your garden is beautiful. I can imagine you both in the garden with your beloved strumming away while you potter, sounds just perfect to me.
I hope all goes well today, I will be thinking of you.
Cxx

Curlew Country said...

Michele what an absolutely inspiring garden, thanks for sharing your huge project which obviouosly has brought you so mch joy. I love your planting style, just beautiful. Looking forward to seeig it bloom this summer. Enjoy the Bank Holiday, hope you get some gardening time.
Stephx

Ragged Roses said...

Michele your garden is just beautiful. Your love for it and hard work is evident. Absolutely gorgeous, a little oasis for you, and how lovely that you created it. Hope you are able to have lots more happy times in it. Take care
Kimx

Cathy said...

What a gorgeous garden - I want to sit in it sipping a g&t! I can't believe you turned it from the Lost Gardens of Heligan to something from the Chelsea Flower Show in such a short space of time. I'm going out to prune and plant as we speak!
Cathy X

Elizabethd said...

What a lovely garden you have. Living in France, and with a new house, I am making a garden, but it goes slowly. Brittany has a similar climate to my old home of Cornwall, so sometimes it is very wet, which discourages my plants!

Dana Jones said...

Absolutely gorgeous! What wonderful fruit of your hard work now. I would never leave home with a garden so beautiful.

A Saucerful Of Secrets said...

Hi sweet Michele, I love your garden,a wonderful place to enjoy summer sunsets (here's hoping....)I particularly liked your man's fern garden, they intrigue me.Have a wonderful weekend in the garden.love from Annie x

April said...

what an amazing garden

April xx

callmemadam said...

You've done wonders. How I love foxgloves; mine are usually out for Chelsea. If I ever sat down in the garden and remarked that it was nice to enjoy the fruits of one's labours, my husband used to say that it was even better enjoying the fruits of someone else's!

julia said...

Serious garden envy going on here! How have you managed that transformation, it's gorgeous!
Julia x

Vanessa said...

Thanks for the tour, your garden looks beautiful. When we bought our house the previous owner had a thing for rockery stones and york stone slabs, stood up on end like grave stones! The slabs are now in my dining room as my hearth!

Have a good weekend

LOUISE @ HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS said...

Hi Michele, I can spy some plants in your garden I haven't got, I feel a trip to the garden centre coming on! You have a real gardener's garden, a full-time job, but an enjoyable one, and I can see how it must give you so much pleasure, when you have time to sit back and admire it? I do like your husband's part of the garden too, a perfect place to sit and strum, I wonder if this makes the plants grow faster, rather like you talking to yours! x

carolyn said...

Gosh what a lot of work all that terracing with retaining walls etc and what a grand job you've made of it all.

Sal said...

I love seeing what you have done to your garden,Michele..must have a been a lot of hard work...but well worth it eh? Hope you have a great weekend. Sal;-)

Vintage Amethyst said...

Oh goodness your garden is wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing all this lovely photos.
Love Alison x

The Hobbit said...

It's beautiful.........It would take me a lifetime to untangle such a project I probably would have cut the flowers and left the weeds with my bit of knowledge.....if it doesn't bare fruits or veggies I can't identify it nice job....

this is my patch said...

Michele, YOU ARE THE WINNER OF MY 100 GARDEN BLOG POST COMPETITION! The birdie shall be winging her way to you next week. I hope she knows the direction to Bath! Have a lovely weekend. Louise x

Becky said...

A big WOW! Your garden is so beautiful! Did you make the mosaic in the stones there? Very nice . . . everything!

Congrats on your win over at Louis blog. I will be back to visit your blog soon!

Chelle said...

What a lovely garden and a LOT of blood, sweat, and tears to get it to the after from the before. The thing I love most about those projects is the wonderful sense of accomplishment that comes at the end. Even better about gardens versus houses is that gardens grow and show their appreciation for all of your hard work. Maybe I should fly you out here to help landscape my gigantic backyard. ;)

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

Congratulations on winning the contest over at "This is my patch".

I thought I'd pop over and see the photos on your blog..they didn't disappoint....wow, you really have a green thumb...this looks like the Garden of Eden...

You really deserved to win...

Congrats again...

womaninawindow said...

Man, my crumby little circle flowerbed with ONE tulip poking up is really quite pathetic, isn't it. This just smacks of W.O.R.K! Work and love and then finally, beauty!

Kari & Kijsa said...

Beautiful, lovely, inspiring garden!! Have a blessed Sunday!!

Smiles,
kari & kijsa

Simone said...

What a beautiful garden you have. I love the pebble mosaic too. I feel inspired to having a go at making one myself!

Glo said...

Congratulations on creating a beautiful terraced garden ~ so inspiring seeing before and after photos! With the good weather finally (hopefully) on its way, your garden will be an inviting place to your time ~ I love the ferns and he strumming part too!

womaninawindow said...

Today, Tuesday, I will cut into a remaining loaf of bread and enjoy a piece for you and your mother. I feel your sadness. (In response to your comment over at my place.)
erin

Rhondi said...

Hi Michele
I came over here to congratulate you on your win at Louise's giveaway and to see your garden. What an amazing job you have done with a challenging space. Every inch of it is wonderful!
I an just about to head out into my garden now to putter around. I have afew plants that I want to split and move before it gets too hot.
Hope you enjoy your garden today too.
Rhondi

Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

What a gorgeous transformation! You have been tediously tending to the forest I see. Did you find any pygmies of sorts? Had me laughing over that one! You have a gorgeous piece of land there, Michelle! Every corner is stunning! lovely, simply lovely!

xo
Becky

Garden girl said...

the garden is looking so beautiful Michele, your hard work and love of all things green shines through. Keep up the hard work, it's incredibly inspiring!x

Cathy said...

Michele, I definitely saw a pygmy is the third photograph he was pointing down below. You know, several photographs below. The one with the ABSOLUTELY GIGANTIC ENORMOUS BEAUTIFULLY TALL AND ELEGANT FOXGLOVE that I would love to have him bring over to my garden. Pretty please.

Why oh why do you English always have plants that are 10 times the size of the poor gardens in the U.S.? I am so jealous. Jeesh.............

Thank you so much for sharing your gorgeous garden with me. I am typing with dryed out hands from digging weeds all day today. And spring has only just begun this week!

Take care,
Cathy

Nancy Lee Malay said...

Oh, wow, what an awesome garden! Here in Minnesota it's still too cold to plant, so I'm really enjoying your photos!