Thursday, 24 March 2011

Front garden

Serious Box Appreciation!

In the usual Spring Madness, I subscribed to Gardeners' World magazine in March 2010. "Joe's plants for problem places" in the April issue was on shallow front gardens, suggesting box balls with roses, allium, iris, geranium and salvia. Having a fondness for the smell of box (roses aren't bad either, just less surprising!), the design seemed appropriate when we found our new house. Funnily enough, Granny J had two box balls that Neighbour Eric gave her that were looking for a home, so of course this concluded the matter.

Dad and Mum L came to visit one weekend in early summer. The rose of sharon was reduced; the laurel-type-thing, the dead climber and the ivy removed. Pah! We're not wasting a good south facing wall with those! Four bags of manure were dumped on the beds either side of the front door and planting began after a trip to Wisley Plant Centre to buy two roses, two iris, a clematis and some lavender. Fortunately we had vouchers as a wedding present (thank you!) and were also able to buy a bird feeder. Dad and Mum L gave us some geraniums, some wee box lumps, more lavender and some verbena. Joe Swift's plan was put into action, with some modifications, and the front garden looked a whole lot more inviting than previously.

Very newly planted front garden
Of course, it will take a while for the plants to spread out and cover all the soil. The mahonia was able to stretch out after cowering under the rose of sharon and is less lop-sided. About two weeks ago (March 2011), three white calla lily bulbs were planted under the window. These were donated in October 2010 by Sister Assumpta from the Bermondsey convent garden and travelled home in a large sack by bus, train and taxi. I potted them into large pots and they survived the winter without rotting - hurrah! For his birthday in March 2011, Husband received three pots of alliums that can go in as soon as possible (he probably really wanted Screwfix life membership or a garden shed but alliums is what he got!).

View front the front door, December 2010
Opposite the front door is a manky bit of fence enclosing some telephone company gubbins. Grandpa L had been growing cuttings of climbing hydrangea and kindly gave us two, one of which has taken off up the fence (the other is in the back garden against the wall next to where the elder was removed). A large box has been planted in a dark corner (thank you Auntie Margaret and Dad L) which will also help to improve the view into the front garden from the kitchen.

Climbing hydrangea, March 2011

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