Here’s a copy of my gardening column from the October issue of Eastlife Magazine, which is a fabulous magazine all about ‘Living life in the East’.  The full version of the magazine can be viewed online at www.eastlife.couk

IMG_7816At the time of writing, we now have a gaping great hole in the garden where two of Percy’s borders used to lay, and a sloping mud line leading down to it where the hazardous York stone offered a chaotic path.  The contrast between this and the neighbouring rose garden, which we are slowly restoring, is phenomenal.  It took four men three days to lift and relocate the stone slabs to a friend’s house in the next avenue.  They too are restoring their garden and we were able to help each other out, with the added bonus of knowing Percy’s beloved York stone is being put to use nearby.

Next week the landscapers will return to level the area using diggers before dressing it with a few tons of topsoil and lastly seeding.  I have also made a last minute request for a few Himalayan silver birches (Betula utilis jaquemontii).  I have been besotted with them since I saw a photo of the spectacular Winter Garden at Anglesey Abbey.  It will be some time before we can recreate that, but I am hoping the introduction of an initial family of five will be the start of a rather beautiful glade.

I have also been busy mulching the beds with plenty of organic manure.  Two pallet loads to be precise!  Gazing down from the house onto the beautifully dressed chestnut brown flower beds is so fulfilling, although my back may beg to differ.   Hopefully by next year we will have our own composting system up and running to enable us to fully recycle all the organic matter created within the gardens.

The next job up is to plant a serious amount of daffodils, which over time will naturalise.  I have also sourced half a dozen Cyclamen hederifolium, another naturalising spring plant.  I find their dainty pink flowers totally adorable, however it will be a good few years before they can establish enough of a carpet here to have much impact.  It will be a delight to take a few moments out in the spring, cup of tea in hand, to enjoy the glorious glow of new beginnings as they burst into flower.

The latest copy of EastLife magazine can be viewed online at www.eastlife.co.uk

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