I hope you are all having/have had a fabulous weekend. It’s been a bit of a blustery week here, in fact I seem to have spent more time picking up fallen branches than actually gardening. However, finally everywhere is looking, well, springlike! This most endearing of seasons is doing her thing, enchanting us as always and beckoning us to move the entire show outside.
So without anymore rambling from me, come and take a quick stroll around our spring garden. These old metal gates long ago ceased to form any real use other than to look pretty. But we could never take them away, they are a climbing frame and support for so many plants.
Lunches, suppers, a quickly grabbed cup of coffee or a well deserved cup of tea are often taken at this table, right now it’s in the sun, so we can make the most of the warmth, as the weeks progress it will end up under the olive trees in full shade so as to offer a respite from the heat.
Our terrace is filled with an array of mismatched containers, a mixture of old terracotta pots, even older zinc buckets and plenty of ancient stone tubs. I fill them with an equally inconsistent selection of plants, brightly coloured annuals, summer flowering perennials and plenty of herbs and lavender. The result giving year round interest.
A new addition this year has been the herb bed in the guest house garden which we made from the old stone we managed to move. Millie is the pyrography expert and Roddy the pro at cutting the hazel, between us I think we’ve made rather a charming addition for guests to pick and use at their leisure.
Likewise the stone bench we made is a big hit. The number one perching place for everyone. The children can often be seen just sitting and chatting together. There is something about staring at water, a pond teaming with wildlife that is just so peaceful.
In the opposite direction our pink flowering Horse Chestnut almost steals the show in early May, we have to pass under her drooping branches to enter the chicken garden
where our hens and one rooster scratch around as happy as can be.
We have an addition this year too, Indian Runner Ducks. We raised them from one day old ducklings. Millie dug the pond by hand, they are now four weeks and growing so fast. Lots more on these another time, but needless to say they are great time wasters!
Our summer kitchen garden has received lots of attention this spring. It has dappled shade and I feel it has never really been appreciated, so I set about changing things. I found stone urns at a brocante which now frame the entrance
and we’ve added a bird bath, because I just love shimmering water.
Climbing up the entrance to the summer kitchen itself is this pretty rose. I bought her at a plant fair last year. She had no name, was about six inches tall and in a tiny pot with a label stating she was a climber. She was also only a couple of euros. I bought her, planted her, fed her and waited. This year she has rewarded me with a mass of blooms, coloured like strawberry vanilla ice cream. As I have no clue as to what variety she really is that’s what I have called her!
We have roses everywhere, old fashioned varieties with the most incredible scent, where possible I have teamed them with lavender.
Our vines are supporting hundreds of tiny bunches of grapes, the season looks very promising. They form the boundary of the potager, which I am slowly planting out with summer vegetables.
Garlic and onions are nearly ready for harvesting, the roses here too are blooming, ideal for cutting to be put in vases inside the house.
We’ve kept plenty of areas wild for the insects, so beneficial for the garden. I find it is best to let nature do her own thing whenever we can, she has a knack of sorting things out much better when we don’t interfere!
Walking back up towards the house, the iris in the long herbaceous border have really been magnificent this year.
The cherries are ripening fast and we are trying to eat our fill before the birds get too greedy.
We are lucky to be surrounded on three and a half sides by old stone walls.
Virginia creeper climbs wherever it can get a hold and campanula self seeds all over the place in tiny cracks.
There’s plenty more to see and I know it’s difficult to fully understand the lay-out, but I hope this has given you a little insight into our spring garden.