Rebecca Smith - Garden design & consultancy

The Perfect Sunday

I hope you were all outside yesterday. It was a great day - less wind, more sun - and thankfull it happened at the weekend!

My Sunday started in a relaxed fashion. A bit of a lie-in, followed by a bowl of porridge, a mug of coffee,  and in the background Radio 4 Desert Island Discs featuring Dan Pearson. Bliss.

It then continued outside into our garden for the first 'real' day of gardening of 2015. Those who read this post regularly will know there have been two years of building works here at Wyck Farmhouse. As a result, let me just say, that the garden is not up to much yet. The orchard, which we planted in November 2012, is thriving. The yew hedge which we planting around the orchard exactly this time last year, is suffering from a bit of stress and though it has had some tender loving care in the form of a good thick mulch applied, in reality, I think the winds that sweep right through the farmland here are making the yews wish they were still wrapped up warm back in the nursery.

But it is my own garden and as such acts in parts as an experimental ground for me. The huge pile of spoil which was dug up to enable the installation of a new septic tank and soakaway did not get carted away at great expense but has been fashioned into a mound by the pond. The pond, by the way, was the ONLY thing in the garden when we moved in and my original idea to fill it in has changed. It is such a great addition to the garden. I lie entranced in the summer watching the drangon flies flit across the surface and in the winter it is home to moorhens and ducks. It is the dog washing machine. It's presence is soothing as it reflects the seasons in its depths - a fine coating of ice covers it at present.

icy pond

But the pile of spoil needed a home and so it become last summer the Wild Flower Mound. I think it is a trait amongst designers to name parts of their garden. In additon to the Orchard, we have the Path to Infinity, which is in reality the gate from the garden into the neighbouring farmland, the curve of the lie of the land makes it appear that the path leads to the end of the Earth. The Mound is in reality more of a lump, a kidney shaped curve of earth which echoes the edge of the pond and it about a metre tall with sloping edges. 

 purple poppies

The Wildflower Mound sprung into life this spring with the most amazing display of annual poppies I have ever seen. Day after day of double and single poppies opening slowly to glorious blooms and fading in scarlet, purple, mauve and pale peach. The remnents of seeds in the ground have done what they are designed to do and grown and bloomed to my delight. Confetti of petals drifted down and still the poppies grew and bloomed. It was, for about a month, a source of complete and utter joy for me. And a real lesson in being humbled by Mother Nature; sometimes it is right to leave her to do her best. 

more poppies

scarlet poppy

palest lilac poppies

The Mound did not look like that all summer. I threw across it seeds of orlaya grandiflower, ammi majus, digitalis, and many others in 'wildflower' mixes. Some worked. Some didn't. And the thistle which was present in the land is making a headway into the Mound. 

bon fire

But this time of year all the growth lies on the ground. We didn't touch it; just let it fall where it did and release seeds onto the top of the soil. Until yesterday, that it. Yesterday it was sunny and dry. I raked up all the fallen growth and made a bonfire on top of the Mound. Skeletal seedheads of ammi majus and poppies disappeared into the heat of the fire. And in a few months time, it will start all over again. The digitalis I scattered has taken root and it will be interesting to see if it is apricot from my seeds or the wild digitalis. 


ammi seed head

poppy seedheadpoppy seed head

But I look forward to the poppies most of all. 

 sunny me

I also must remember to put suncream on, even in February. 

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