One of the joys of gardening is that you have a wonderful photographic studio outside your own back door. I find it a constant source of inspiration throughout the year and it brings a real appreciation of the seasons and nature’s life cycle which are just begging to be photographed at every opportunity. I’ll be using my blog to share my garden and the photo opportunities this brings. I’ve decided to start this part of the blog off with an overview of the garden and how it’s developed so far.
The garden is about 0.5 acre in size on a challenging slope which drops away from the house. When we first moved we were presented with a large lawn surrounded by conifers and laurel hedging, the predominant colour was green, all shades of green. Now I like green as much as the next person but you really can have too much of a good thing.
The first step was to bring in design to alter the blandness of it all and introduce colours other than green. This saw the dramatic removal of 100m of leylandii hedge in 2002 and the planting of a beech hedge (right of picture below), the building of a terraced lawn in 2003 including the delivery of 30 tonnes of top soil and the installation of sweeping borders whilst keeping the mature trees and opening up the view to the Forest of Dean.
Looking back through the archive of pictures the garden seems to have come into it’s own in around 2010, after 7 years of maturing and umpteen planting developments, which coincided nicely with our first garden opening as part of the National Garden Scheme Longhope group opening. This was terrifying! The prep work to open the garden took on a life of it’s own. I had to be reminded more than once, that it wasn’t Chelsea it was simply our garden, there were a few more choice phrases wrapped around those words but they simply aren’t suitable for publication.
These pictures were taken in 2011 and show a few of the main borders in the garden during what appears to be a gloriously sunny day…..we do have them occasionally. The picture on the right shows the retaining wall that was built to support the upper terraced lawn. There is also an early shot below of the recently developed ‘woodland walk’ which runs along the shady bottom half of the garden. This looks surprisingly mature despite being only built in 2010.
I’ll taking a more detailed look at the garden in future blogs and sharing our latest project.