Two Dutch Girls on a Road Trip to Wiltshire

Road Trip 2017 (2) - Richmond to Chawton to Salisbury.

Good afternoon! Would you like to join me for the second part of my road trip in the South-West of England? A long time wish of my daughter...

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Gardening Season in the Wetlands Officially Opened!

Suddenly it is a done deal: temperatures above 10 degrees C and dry weather.
In The Wetlands this means a quickening of the gardener's blood! Like the sap stream in a tree, our own sap stream cannot be stopped and we wake up with pleasant anticipation and tingling fingers. Out of bed and into the garden we go!

We have plans. But then, we always have plans. Every year for the last 21 years we have changed things in the layout and planting of our suburban garden of 25 x 16 meters, North-East facing mostly, and in the front West facing.
Some years we have put a lot of money and effort in something large, for example a greenhouse, or the pond, and other years we simply change the planting of the borders around because it turned out not to work in the way we thought it would.

Gardening in the Wetlands, on heavy clay (great for potatoes, not so great for the Roses I adore) is challenging to say the least. And we face an even greater challenge (not counting the North-Easterly winds which howl across our plot in March and April), for the largest part of our garden has, as the locals call it, "hunger soil". In other words, it is poor soil.

It took some years before we sussed out that this soil made our plants struggle (we were absolute beginners with this garden), but after that we have started mulching, mulching and mulching.
Also, after April the prevailing wind is Westerly, bringing with it the sea salt from the North Sea which is only 13 kilometers away. And there usually is a lot of it, wind, even in high Summer.

This is our third Camelia, the first two died. But this, finally, is in the right spot, sheltered from the wind by the fence on one side and a hedge on the other.

Today we have emptied the planters on the balcony, and have planted them with purple, pink and orange pansies and the white creeper from the photo above. And we have tried to get some order in the rest of the garden, and I've been planting out seedlings of the Digitalis which I love.

They seed themselves in between our cobbles, and I painstakingly uproot them and plant them out again in the borders.

This year we have decided to uproot some shrubs next to the pond and move the compost heap (also next to the pond), as the best place to catch the late evening sun next to the pond is...on the compost heap. We will ask our son in law and both kids to help us, and hopefully we will be able to do all this in one day. It also means uprooting the box hedge, and resurfacing with pebbles. But when it is finished, we'll have a wonderful place to put some chairs and watch the fish and frogs in the pond.

Viggo loves gardening as well. He has 'helped' me today by digging up my Digitalis seedlings as fast as I could plant them. I had to resort to locking him up inside.