Sunday, 3 April 2016

Discovering the garden

Today I thought I'd show you around the garden. Mind you, it wasn't until I started thinking about this post that I realised I haven't even shown you the house yet! I'll do that soon too. I know from reading other blogs that regular posts throughout the year give you something to look back on and remember what's looking good when. I'd love to go in guns blazing and put in everything I want right now (kids play area, pond, small raised veg garden etc) but it's always a good idea to hold fire for a while and see whats growing there already. Plus ideas you had may change over time (that's already happened inside the house, plans we've had that have been scrapped or altered). 

The house was on the market for a long time, and the photo below may give you a big clue as to why (the big thing on the floor is the new shed roof)...

Yes, that's a railway line, running right along the back of the garden! It doesn't bother me at all, as we had a railway running alongside our house when I was growing up, and like anything, you get used to things eventually. Some days I stand and think 'I haven't heard a train yet' but I must have as there is one about every 15-20 minutes either way. It was a novelty for the children when we moved in, especially Little Boy - wow, his very own train at the bottom of the garden! They both still stand there waving if they are outside when one shoots past. A plus point is no houses overlooking us. Those ones you can see beyond are quite a way away, as there is the railway and then a large field beyond. 
If you've been reading my blog from the beginning you will know that it is way different from what we had in New Zealand (see this blog post for photos if you need reminding) but one of Big Girl's requests was an area of grass big enough to do her gymnastics. Well it seems to have passed the test. The photo below was taken on a freezing cold day in winter. I looked out of the window and saw her doing cartwheels in a crop top and shorts - mad!

There are quite a few established shrubs. I'm not into shrubs, but I think I know what some of them are. There is a rhododendron and an azalea (I think, please correct me if I'm wrong)...

The conservatory is a bit of an eyesore, looks more like a greenhouse stuck on the back of the house. We don't have a loft at the moment (OH is doing DIY man things up there) so at present the conservatory is a dumping ground for attic things and unpacked removal boxes). When we are sorted and have some money saved we are hoping to knock that one down and replace it with a bigger and better one. Actually somebody suggested having a proper roof on it rather than glass so I guess that makes it a sun room. That sounds a better idea, as it wouldn't get baking hot like a conventional conservatory does. 
The green pot outside is a raspberry plant we have just bought. I don't want to plant anything in the garden until we have decided what's going where. We have rather a long wait for a bowl of fruit though - I read the label and it said planting to fruiting is two years 😩

This little corner bed has a penstemon, a ceanothus and quite a few bulbs which I think are grape hyacinths with a few daffodils. 

Further on along that side bed there is a wooden bench, left by the previous owners. I imagine it will be quite pleasant sat there on a summers day, with the rose on one side and what I believe is an apple tree on the other. I'd like to replace it with one of those arbour seats but it wouldn't fit without cutting back the tree. 

In the middle of the lawn is a circular bed. A bit strange I think as it takes over the lawn, and it will definitely have to go. There's too much kiddie playing space being used up there. When I buy a house I prefer either a blank canvas, or a garden that's so overgrown it needs ripping out. I always feel a bit guilty changing a garden when there's actually nothing wrong with, it's just not to my taste. It seems a waste digging up established plants just so I can put something else there. This is where Freecycle comes in, and I hope I can rehome at least a few plants. 

By the shed there is a rather large tree stump. I imagine it would be a lot of effort to dig it out, so I need ideas for that one. Maybe a bird table on top, or grow something up it. At present, the kids use it to stand on to wave at passing trains!

So there you have it - pleasant enough to live with for now, but plenty of potential to shape it to how we want it. Hope you enjoyed your mini garden tour!


this blog post


  1. Your garden is lovely and it will be great to see how it progresses throughout the year. My aunt's house backed onto a railway and I used to love it as a child - very Edith Nesbit! We used to live on the Heathrow flight path and didn't really notice the planes after a while either. Have a great week and happy gardening. xx

    1. Thanks! Ooh, I think I would rather have trains than planes but like you say I guess you get used to even that xx

  2. I am looking forward to seeing what you do with your garden. It looks a good size space, not too small but not too large as to be unmanageable. xx

    1. Yes, it is quite nice having a garden I can manage and actually feel like I have accomplished something. Six acres was a bit much! Xx

  3. What a great garden! A good size, but not too big, sunshine, a space to make your own, but not too much of someone elses to rip out or have to clear away and some good plants to enjoy for now and reuse later on. That is all good isn't it! I totally get what you say about the trainline. You do get used to the noise and don't notice it after a while and the whole not being overlooked thing is great isn't it. We have bungalows behind us and it was a definite selling point! Hope that you enjoy your new garden and sunroom to be! xx

    1. Thanks Amy! I'm looking forward to getting my hands dirty and making my mark on it. Plus it gives me something to blog about 😀