31 Jul 2017

Hestia visits ... a brilliant wee garden

So, yanno the Open Gardens Scheme? Well we had a yellow sign go up in the town this weekend.  An Open Garden HERE? In the middle of TOWN?! I couldn't possibly imagine it.

Tartarus was dragged away from some racing on the tv and off we trouped.  We followed arrows up a lane and lo! Along to our left was a GEM.  I had NO idea that this wee garden was here.

Here it is - Marlene Hills lovely little space.  This is one of two gardens.  Which is the front and which is the back, no idea.  Both glorious!

There are the most pristine little grass paths.

Tip 1:  Trimming the grass edges neatly makes everything look fabulous.

Tip 2:  If you like the look of something, just  PUT IT IN YOUR GARDEN.  Peas and Sweet Peas snake up the same frame.  Broad beans brush shoulders with bright annuals.

I particularly liked the Ammi Majus and the other little flower here - lovely colour and delicate, isn't it.  What in the hell is that other flower called?!  It has gone right out of my head.  ASTRANTIA!!!!  

Tip 3:  Frame old mirrors and add them to walls - and if you are clever with the glue and bits of wood, make it look like the window is opening AWAY from the viewer.  This trompe l'oeil is used to great effect (and frequently) in Marlene's garden.  I honestly thought that they were opening out into another space, behind walls and fences! Also, it gives you something else to train a climber around.  Or Over.

Tip 4:  Add height and drama with a pergola painted in a dark colour - acts as foil for flowers - and another climbing frame!  Marlene's hubby made this - isn't it fab?

Tip 5:  Make your lawn borders undulate - much more interesting than straight lines.  See how beautifully it's clipped?! Marlene's hubby again!

Also - she's got her fig outdoors.  Our Figgy is in a pot and I'm thinking she doesn't like it!  *resolves to plant her outside against a south-facing wall, like Marlene*

Tip 6:  Paving stones (again REALLY neatly set!) leaving just a little pocket for some lobelia.  And another nice wavery edge to add interest.  

Tip 7:  Let things self-seed!

Tip 8:  Dead-head until you are doing it in your sleep!

I thought that I'd taken a photo of the little archway just behind that yellow flower in the last photo.  Although the front garden of her little cottage is not huge, Marlene has created a little room (where the bench is) accessed by the arch or this little path.  Keeps the garden an interesting shape.  And arch adds height!

Isn't it a pretty garden and get this.  The whole thing - front and back - was created in 18 months from nothing more than lawn.


I've lived here 20 years and my garden isn't a fraction as attractive as Marlene's. Take heart everyone!  EIGHTEEN MONTHS.

Thank you so much for the lovely tea and cupcakes, Marlene! You and your garden are inspirational! I hope that you have raised hundreds of pounds for your chosen Charity!

24 Jul 2017

Hestia suffers ... social media angst

So, I'm looking idly at Facebook, as I do most days.  Most minutes, if I'm honest. And I notice that a Facebook friend has posted something - a poem - and attributed it to a very worthy and poignant backstory.

The attribution is made in good faith, clearly, but I feel that it's not correct. I google it and I'm right, the attribution is wrong.

Here is the God's honest truth of what happened next:

Explore the ruined citadel of m'blog: