Rain, rain go away!

Hah – no sooner had I typed the heading, than the rain did go away. But I can see more coming in over the sea, so I’ve only got about ten minutes to sort out the greenhouse / find more logs / weed / work out where on earth I put the seed trays at the end of last spring. (They have to be somewhere; everything’s got to be somewhere, even in my ‘shed’ – the old outside ty bâch, aka loo).

One thing I can do, though, is really think about the garden, and what I want to do with it. For the past few years I’ve concentrated on the veg plot, so that’s in hand and doesn’t need any radical attention.

The meadow – the top garden – is now well established and there’s not a lot I need to do there, either. It’s a tapestry in spring, and a gorgeous small flowering meadow later on.

It’s just beginning to get going; the first of the daffodils are out and there’s the occasional primrose amongst the snowdrops. I think I’ve even detected the start of the fritillaries.

No, it’s the middle garden – which is almost flat, the only place that is – and the bottom garden which need the work. The priority has to be the bottom one. Parts have been sadly neglected, except for a bit of panic weeding; just left to get on with it while I concentrated on my veg.

Maybe it’s time to get a bit of balance back.

My last garden, which I left nine years ago, was also my first. And it was a plant garden. I didn’t really do veg, partly because I was pushed for space and wanted room for about a hundred alliums and five million hardy geraniums (I love hardy geraniums). Ironically, I bought many of the geraniums up here in Harlech, took them down south, planted them, then dug them up and returned them to Gwynedd. Some have even survived. And I’ve got space for more – in the bottom garden. Maybe.

The main problem is a giant Portugal laurel at one side. It blocks a lot of the wind (good) and looks spectacular for about a fortnight (also good):

But it casts a deep gloom and is far too big (bad, very bad).

Beneath it are two white camellias, behind is an overgrown buddleia. There used to be a Rhododendron ponticum, too, but I did away with that ages ago – which revealed the existence of an old Magnolia stellata, now thriving. Below the magnolia the ground is covered with ramsons (wild garlic) and the leaves are just beginning to show themselves – great, I use those in various recipes. But beneath the laurel is a disaster area.

Mosses and liverworts grow there and very little else, though there are a few ferns, some arum lilies and maybe an erythronium (it’s a theoretical erythronium because it may have been weeded). The lawn – OK, the moss – is just too overshadowed to be any good, plus it’s a pain to cut. And the overall dampness of this corner is not helped by the fact that my 200-year-old soakaway is beneath the grass.

It needs sorting. So: time to cut back some of the damn laurel and almost all of the buddleia, then  extend the bed into the parts where grass doesn’t grow, find the erythronium, plant more ferns (I can move them from other parts of the garden, thus freeing up useful hardy-geranium space) and maybe move the arums forwards…

At least they look healthy – which is probably more than I will, after working my way through that list. Once it stops drizzling. Oh good, now we’ve got sleet.


4 thoughts on “Rain, rain go away!

  1. Karen - An Artists Garden

    We have just taken a clump of windbreak laurels down from about 80 feet (ok I might be exaggerating here!) To about 10 – they do make fantastically good and much needed wind breaks in this area don’t they!

    1. kate Post author

      We really need those windbreaks, don’t we? That laurel ought to come down, or be severely attacked, but it would alter the microclimate of the garden. The Capel gives me some protection, but not there…

  2. Hanni

    What a lovely garden. The drift of daffodils on that slope is so pretty…it looks like you have an established garden with plenty of nooks and interest – I just love gardens like that. 🙂

    1. kate Post author

      Thank you – I was lucky, in that a keen gardener had lived here six years before I moved in. But he hadn’t been too adventurous, thank heavens, so I’ve had plenty to build on without having to make major changes – though I have eaten into the lawns with beds and broken up some of his straight lines (he’d been in the services). Ideal situation, really…


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