The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Seven random garden facts

Ten days ago, Sara from Farming Friends tagged me for seven random facts about my garden.

I have lived here for fifteen years now, creating and maintaining my garden is how I keep vaguely sane.

When I first moved here it was just after I had been released from a short, unhappy marriage. A marriage that was so brief that all I tottered away with was half the wedding presents and a tattered heart.

I am extremely lucky in “The boy stood on the burning deck” sort of way. My aunt had unexpectedly died and left me some money. I could move to this cottage and start a new life. This life would not include a man, or a therapist. I found two new interests that would not give me any time to dwell on the past. I trained as a computer animator and spent three days a week making a garden.

Guinee RoseAfter a few months I realised that I needed more of a focus than just filling beds with shrubs and flowers. I decided to create a garden full of mystery and surprise, with a whole range of different areas to delight and soothe. I decided to create a backdrop for the greatest love affair of all time. This made creating the garden far more exciting as I was playing with the feel and effect of the plants within the space. Five years later I peered over the parapet and spotted Danny. This was just after I had planted the last rose. Guinee is a rose that begs you to loose yourself in its velvety petals and heavy scent.

hedging in the gardenI divided the garden into three distinct areas using mainly yew hedging, with box edging small borders and beech hedging along the north side of the garden. Danny finds this useful for drying the washing when the line is full.

the bowerLast summer I created this bower in the large herbaceous border in the first part of the garden. At the moment I am busy replanting the side to the left of the path. The Min Pins enjoy standing by the bower and barking at the bank manager next door.

yew archA few years ago we cut an arch in the yew hedge creating a bit more mystery. It is planted with flowers and a honey scented euphorbia. There is also a large statue of a dog holding a basket of flowers in his mouth. This is invisible in high summer.

Years ago a very old friend admitted to me that he would be happy to sit beside a pond and watch the fish all day. I think of him when I stand and lose myself in our stretch of water. The pond is 28 feet long and a haven for wildlife.goldfish in our pond

orchard and kitchen gardenA small brick path leads to the orchard area, chicken run and kitchen garden.

This is the hub of vegetable, egg and fruit production. I spend a lot of time in this section of the garden particularly the greenhouse. I love that special greenhouse smell.

aubrietia and Min PinYears ago I made a red border, designed to shock as it was planted at a time when everyone was into pastel colours. This was eaten up by the yew hedge eventually. The aubrietia are still clinging on and have a tendency to grow flat on the grass. I love the splash of colour at this time of year. Inca, our youngest Min Pin is always nearby when I potter in the garden.

Now it’s my turn to tag – here are the seven sites that I would like to share their seven random gardening facts (in no particular order of preference);
1. Little Foodies http://www.littlefoodie.blogspot.com/
2. Purple Podded Peas http://purplepoddedpeas.blogspot.com/
3. Joanna’s Food http://joannasfood.blogspot.com/
4. My Dutch Garden http://mydutchgarden.blogspot.com/
5. Kate Smudges http://katesmudges.blogspot.com/
6. Fluffius Muppetus http://www.coopette.com/blog
7. Garden Dogs http://gardendogs.blogspot.com/

The rules:
Each player starts with 7 random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to then report this on their own blog with their 7 random facts as well as these rules. They then need to tag 7 other garden blogs and list their names on their blog. They are also asked to leave a comment for each of the tagged, letting them know they have been tagged and to read the blog.


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11 Comments

  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Sarah,

    I am so pleased that you have completed the challenge! Also that Basil and Berry have created their own challenge. Typical of Min Pins – they can never be left out…

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