I have, for months, been promising those of you who used to follow the trials and tribulations of my garden at Lawn Road to update you on the new garden at Hampstead Lane – so here goes. Although to call it a garden at this stage is definitely taking liberties with the term!
To set the scene for those who like to orientate themselves, the garden is approximately 14 metres wide and 10 deep and faces south so we get sun in some part of it from 8am to, at this time of the year, 8pm.
Here it was last spring, looking west to the quirky, but fruitful, Bramley apple tree. This leans heavily (but apparently perfectly safely) to the south because there used to be a large willow tree to its left that it was trying to escape.
So, quite a lot of grass, a very overgrown border to the left and a brick wall completely obscured by rampant (and flowerless) honeysuckle, viburnum, ivy and Virginia creeper.
Looking east across the garden and separating me from the other half of my ‘semi’, was a massive wall of ivy, well over a meter deep and three high, and a holly tree through which the ivy had grown in ropes as thick as your arm.
When we resumed operations this spring it was time for the builders to get involved and they made short work of the remaining ivy and the crumbling wall beneath it leaving only a skimpy bit of plastic netting between me and my next door neighbours!
So it was utilised to level the back of the garden while I got to work with my new Japanese secateurs and elbow length leather gauntlets and got rid of the rest of the ivy and assorted overgrowths from the back wall.
Not that the ivy, the honeysuckle and especially the creeper are going easily. All are sprouting again and in just a month, the creeper is nearly two metres up the wall! For now I have left it – will resume taming operations later. And if you are wondering what I am planning for this ploughed field area – a big herbaceous patch which will include fruit bushes, vegetables and flowers. And along the wall, a seating area (the space beneath the wall remains delightfully shady and cool throughout the hottest days) and some sort of ferny water feature to act as white noise and distract from the road noise which, sadly, does filter through from Hampstead Lane.
Meanwhile, since none of that will happen for many, many months, I have dug out the pots, chairs and tables that all came from Lawn Road and created a temporary garden for this summer.
The only further developments since then are that I have painted the fence slate grey and planted my climbers: three jasmines (two white, one pink) a deep pink clematis montana, a white solanum with a yellow edged leaf which apparenlty turns pink in the autumn and a Blush Noisette climbing rose. I am sure that is far too much but of course I am impatient and want the area covered in wonderful plants in weeks!