January is a great month to take stock of the garden and plan the direction of the garden year and this year we’ve started work quite early. The mild winter has brought the new spring growth so far forward that now is the time to start, although I must admit I step gingerly on to our lawn sometimes as I feel it gently yielding like a soft green cushion under my feet. As our gardener remarked as we toiled away “I’m usually still in my winter hibernation now!” still as our garden has been formed over the last twenty five years now, some areas are ready for reassessment and rejuvenation to allow the garden to breath again with fresh new growth. this months diary looks at :-
- Garden rejuvenation
- Planning garden changes
- January photo album
One of our early jobs this year was to tackle a vastly overgrown pampas grass, that whilst dramatic in the past was now overshadowing the entrance into the main courtyard garden beside the house. An entire afternoon was spent snipping and pruning before carting the old foliage away to real the massive spreading base of the plant. It was quite nice to see our slate “Ednovean Farm” once more in the daylight. I’ve decide to live with the new open aspect for a few weeks and put “pending” on the decision as the whether to dig out the miscreant plant, reduce is mass by a quarter or just allow it to make new spring growth! As I said decision pending!
Our next job was to start to clear one of the borders in the outer garden, of the winter debris first removing the long dead leaves around the base of those useful Phormiums that give tough layers of interest to a coastal garden before gathering up the palm leaves and cutting back tall overwintered grasses. Every now and again I would glance up at the perfect blue sky and soft green expanse of lawn but I’m afraid I didn’t stop to take a single photo that day. All in all we filled five, one ton builders’ bags with rubbish that afternoon, that all needed to be carted away back through the courtyard to the bonfire and by the end of the afternoon and I was rewarded by the sight of the newly revealed daffodils and sedums pushing up through the exposed soil.
For a while I’ve been contemplating making an archway between two of the lawned enclosures in the Italian garden to fill with two small very English type formal gardens, surrounded by the existing tall hedges………I wonder?!
But in the lane the overgrown buddleias have been trimmed back severely this year and I hope to under plant them with a marching rhythm of box balls using the ones that usually line the parterre in pots – they are looking a little wan of late and I think their time as pot plants has come to an end. Mind you perhaps I should reflect the more exotic strappy planting of our Mediterranean garden here for a more relaxed less formal feel – Oh the indecision!
January’s Garden album
I hope that you have enjoyed a peek at our garden in the winter months ad some of the work that goes into preparing the garden for our summer guests. To compare the garden with last January try this link.