The vaguely green-fingered thoughts of a rambling rose.

Summer is over

In another couple of weeks it will be dark when I leave for work.  In the meantime I shall enjoy waking to this view while I can.
In the house, the orchids are still going strong with others beginning to join in the party.

This is the orchid I saved from work last year - it has 16 blooms this year so I must be doing something right.

The Toad thinks the centre of the flowers look light a bird in flight

In the back garden, the roses all have blackspot.  This particular one in fact does not - it has no leaves whatsoever!

The blackbirds in particular have begun to tuck into the berries on the tree.  During a party a couple of weeks ago a juvenile blackbird sat above one of our friends for ages and was quite happy to watch the comings and goings around it just a couple of feet below.

 It was a long time coming, but finally we get to see what colour the inherited hydrangea is.  There aren't many flowers, but they are a good size and the most beautiful shade of lilac-pink.  In the spring I will give it a good prune and feed as it is rather ungainly at the moment and needs a bit of tlc.

We seem to have chosen well with the length of flowering period for r. Tall Story.  It's still going strong with a great number of buds coming along.

The hardy geraniums got a good chop after being planted and they are beginning to flower again. 

The 'red' hydrangea we brought with us did darken a little to a light red/very dark pink, but it is becoming pale again with the cooler weather creeping in.

Another 'inherited' member of the garden.  This is Rocky...

The removed holly is sprouting from the base.  We did consider cutting them off and feeding it weedkiller, but we have decided to let it grow.  We plan to keep it as a small shrub as it could be a very good hideaway for birds.

There can be a lot of beauty in decay

At the moment, these little fellas are residing in an old wicker toy box we picked up from a car boot sale.  The toy box actually is going to be home for a few varieties of fern in a shady corner and the violas will be put in hanging baskets when The Man That Can puts the brackets up.

 This huge inherited fuchsia has been flowering its socks off all summer and it's a huge draw for the local bees.  Next spring it will have a good reshaping prune as it's a bit leggy.

Honeysuckle with clematis in the background.  I'm very excited about sorting out the plants that are covering the arch next spring.

Our neighbour assures us these are eating apples - we will find out in the next week or two!

I'm trying not to interfere too much in the garden as I want it to do it's own thing to show me what it has.  I do hope we have inherited some spring bulbs, but it's not the end of the world if there are none.  We brought some muscari and snowdrops which have been planted up in the front garden.  There are also some bulbs in the pots from the layering Bumblebee and I planted up last autumn. 
The two compost bins are working away well, with the inherited one almost cooked and ready to use.  I think we might have to bring in some top soil to bring up some of the levels though as we are struggling with the old tree roots.
I hope your summer was as good as ours.  Time now to replenish the levels in our water butts.  Bring on the autumn (and since we now have trees, leaf mould!)

Taking form

Summer has been hot this year.  Ok when it rained it rained hard, but the sun has shone equally hard.  It has been very similar to summers I remember as a child.  Quite different from your average British Summer - but lets keep it to ourselves eh?  I don't want to tempt fate...
So the Berberis had to go.  Beautiful deep purple as it was, it just kept snagging on the dogs' coats.

The plants have been planted into improved soil.  Here a couple of ferns, a small fuchsia and a Japanese Anemone.

The clematis have been tidied up and attached to the trellis.  They will need a better prune at the correct time.  A Dicentra and another fern have been planted here.

In place of the Berberis, Pinks, a small grass, Hemerocallis, Eryngium and Crocosmia.  I think this bed is going to take a while to establish, as it is full or roots and the soil needs topping up a great deal.

The box hedging has been planted this side....

...and being planted this side by the Man That Can

Angel looking on after the planting gets a good shower.

Much to be done in the front garden.  Bergenias and hardy Geraniums in the foreground with one of the Hydrangeas behind

The other Hydrangea far left joins the other hardy Geraniums

Nothing too impressive yet.

The decking getting a proper scrub and brush up before having a new lick of protection.

A month in, and the plants are beginning to shine, here a 'Pink' 

Clematis.  I think this might be the Comtesse de Bouchard

First blooms on my 'red' Hydrangea

A new addition.  A scented white rose - r. Tall Story

Shared View.  This is the view through the neighbour's Eucalyptus tree during a summer storm.  Red leaves turn green, but they seem to have spent most of the summer shedding all over our decking... 

Since the heavy summer rain has been spoiling the lilies, I've brought some in to enjoy their scent.

The Man That Can up a ladder - trying to bring the bottom hedge down a wee bit.  Unfortunately the chainsaw didn't want to play, so he had to do it the hard way.  It's still a bit too high, but I think for now this will suffice.

The Ash is fruiting up nicely

Inherited Crocosmia.  Ours has yet to flower, but I do like the bright red ones. 

Stunning scented Honeysuckle.  The other side is brighter coloured, but despite the label saying it's scented, I couldn't smell anything.  Not sure it will be allowed to stay.  It's a bit of a brute.

Something is eating the Japanese Anemone

Thinking space.
We have each drawn up a plan for the space at the bottom of the garden.  So far we have a willow den (Bumblebee's idea of a Hobbit home), an outdoor pool table and basketball hoop (The Toad) and a big clump of rhubarb in the raised bed (The Man That Can).  I think a bench beneath a Silver Birch with scented roses climbing and rambling along all the fencing.  It's going to be a long time in the making, so watch this space...

 A bit of research so far tells me to summer prune out the apple tree and I have thinned out some of the fruit.  I cannot wait for it to ripen and try it!

I cannot wait

They say you should live with your new garden for a full 12 months before making any changes to see what treasures you have inherited, but I have visited this garden in the winter and again in spring and looking at it in the summer now, there isn't a great deal in it that I want to keep. 

The overgrown trees and shrubs have been dealt with, and now I am eager to get on with making my own mark on my new patch.

A closer look now at the plants in the garden.

Mountain Ash.  Nice shape.  The tree surgeons have raised the canopy and it makes the perfect place for a bench below.
Either side of the gated arch above the steps winds a honeysuckle.  This one is named and yet to flower...

...the other side is scented and pale yellow, but no label was found.

An apple tree I think, trained against the fence at the bottom of the garden.  I've never grown fruit trees before so this should be interesting.

Various plants in the bed behind the mountain ash, viewed from the bottom of the garden.  This has a couple of foxgloves and some Lonicera nitida that will be removed along with some of the swamping ivy.

I have yet to discover what this can stay for now.

Interesting opportunities for planting various ferns and trailing plants in the retaining wall

The label says clematis, but I can't actually see it for the honeysuckle at the moment.  More investigating needed.

The same bed viewed from the steps

The opposite side of the steps and the back of the shed at the bottom of the garden.  The weeds growing out of the gutter needs grubbing out.  I wonder if I can set up a water but here.

Yet more Lonicera nitida to rip out.  I can see they were trying to create a hedge to screen the shed, but this plant is just not my cup of tea.  We had it in the previous garden and it needed a lot of trimming to keep it looking good.  I have other plans for this area.

It appears that there are poppies, aquilegia and a clump of what looks like Crocosmia to the left side of the arch.  I will let these flower before deciding their fate. 

More conifers.  What is it with conifers?

Needs a blooming good prune, but this fuchsia can stay. 

Another conifer, another for the bin.

While I do not want any of the conifers, this particular one is not destined for the heap - it has a home with a friend's mother in its future.

All the Clematis can stay for now.  I will give them a good prune and train them in correctly and then wait to see how they perform.

This hellebore will also have a stay of execution while I see how it performs.

It so exciting to see how things pan out in a new garden.  The plants have all been 'bunged in' with little thought it seems.  There has been very little in the way of attention after planting and the soil in the back garden at least doesn't appear to have been improved in some time.

Waiting in the wings, although some of them have passed their best, these are the lovelies I divided from plants in my old garden.  Most of them should perform well here as the conditions (once improved a little) are similar, with the exception of the front garden which looking at neighbouring properties appears to be acidic.  This will be perfect for my blue hydrangea.

Ah a rare glimpse of the Lesser Spotted Toad.  He has weeded the patio and is setting up our compost bin (beside the previous owners bin which is already rotting down nicely).

With some luck, the next step of the clearance should begin in the next day or two.