I have always wanted a big garden. Actually, I wouldn’t mind a huge garden, a garden where I could have a shed for my tools, another shed for potting, a greenhouse for tender plants and early vegetables, an area for composting, a vegetable plot, a garden big enough for several mature trees, some fruit trees and some berry bushes, a barbeque next to a seating area and a Jacuzzi, and lots and lots of my favourite plants and flowers of course. And I wanted a garden with different themed rooms with plants according to each theme. Unfortunately, to have a garden that size living in London you need very deep pockets, as property prices come at a premium here. I don’t even own my property, I rent it, but I have lived here almost 11 years and when I moved into this house I couldn’t wait to start developing what was then just a piece of overgrown jungle in the backyard.
I must admit most of the things on my wish list are still just on my wish list – and not in my garden. I don’t even have a shed for my tools. But I have tried to make some ‘rooms’ in my tiny garden. And it really is a tiny garden, by any standard. The actual garden is 11.7m x 4.7m (38.3' x 15.4') with a small passage leading from the kitchen backdoor where I keep my tools and have a nursery area which is 3.15m x 1.55m (10.3 x 5'). This view of my garden is the one I usually show my readers, taken from the backdoor steps, and the different seasons makes the view change as the different plants in flower changes. I haven’t been able to screen off different areas and make actual rooms in my garden, there isn’t enough space for that, but the concept of making rooms with different planting is something I haven’t left all together even if the space is very limited. Because my garden is filled to the rafters with plants most of the year, you can’t see the whole garden in one go, so the effect of having different ‘rooms’ is still there. (Click on the photos to get bigger size, they look much nicer then!)
Let me take you to a ‘room’ I haven’t taken many overview photos of before, it is at the bottom of the garden, at the end of the gravel path, just to the left of the woodland corner. Sorry about the neighbour’s washing, kind of unavoidable when you live in London terraced housing! Right now this room has a mix of plants already finished flowering, like the Lilium regale which you can see in all their glory from my post earlier this month, and the astilbes the same. Right in the middle of this bed there are two obelisks which are so overgrown with clematis you can hardly see the black metal, but there are two of them. The clematis’ are just coming into flower, a whole 8 weeks late, thanks to all the cold, wet weather we have had.
|Here are the two obelisks from the other side, the clematis to the right is called Clematis texensis ‘Gravetye Beauty’ , the one to the left is Clematis 'Niobe'.|
|‘Gravetye Beauty’ is so big this year that it has made a bridge from one obelisk to the other and is now smothering ‘Niobe’!|
|Close up of some of the hundreds of flowers on Clematis texensis ‘Gravetye Beauty’.|
|And here is ‘Niobe’, both of the clematis’ are 8 years old in my garden. Right behind you can see some large white flower heads...|
What you can’t see from this picture are two plants which can only be seen in the winter, when all this have either died down or lost their leaves. Right behind the acer and between the two clematis’ is one large Azalea called 'Geisha Purple' and a large Skimmia japonica 'Rubella'. Early in the spring, when nothing else is visible or not even out of the ground, they are flowering their heart out and keeping interest in this room in my garden.
That was one ‘room’ in my garden, the way it looks in this late July. I will be back later on presenting more ‘rooms’ for you from my tiny London garden. Until next time, take care