A famous gardener was once asked, "When will your garden be finished?" The answer came back, "Never, I hope."
I suspect a lot of us feel that way. My garden has had a rough three years. Neglect from me and two bad winters have killed a lot of plants. I lost my greenhouse from winter storm damage. But, following my redundancy / semi retirement in March this year I've time to do something about refurbishing my little plot. May I never be finished.
So, where am I now?
Well, here's a few views of the area I do have almost back to scratch. There are gaps - particularly on and below the south facing house wall where a lot of really tender stuff was concentrated - but I feel I'm making progress. It helps that I've got some good, mature plants to provide a framework.
This view is, basically, the view from the living room window. Yucca gloriosa 'Variegata' is prominent to the right, Phormium 'Evening Glow' provides red foliage in the centre, while my largest patch of Crocosmia 'Lucifer' is just peeping in from the right. Missing is a big Phoenix canariensis which decided it didn't like -8C for two winters in succession. In the background is my mid plot screen which hides the pool and (before it was devastated) my more tropical garden. Cordyline 'Coffee Cream' and the clumping bamboo Chusquea coulou are prominent in there. The big tree is Prunus 'Amanogawa'.
Looking south westward across the garden from the rear entrance gate you get a better view of the mid garden screen. There's a bed of annuals in the foreground to replace some other winter losses.
Looking across the garden to the west border there are Chaemerops humilis, the European fan palm, Acca sellowiana giving height to the left and Phyllostachys nigra giving height to the centre of the shot. There is way too much Crocosmia 'Lucifer' in there - a problem I intend to rectify.
Ignore the gap on the right - winter losses have still not been replaced. Though I do have a reasonable grouping alongside the bamboo. Fuchsia 'Genii' and Ceratostigma willmottianum grow at the base of yellow flowered winter jasmine, Jasminium nudiflorum. I've added Clematis texensis 'Princess of Wales' for additional hardy (hardier than my previous climbers) interest this year.
Click the pictures to get a larger view.
I'll try and give you an idea of the shaded front garden in the next post. It's a small, walled area with a steep slope. I terraced it years ago and it houses my collection of shade lovers. Again, I've had a lot of losses from winter frosts and my own neglect - but I'll build it back up again.