We left the garden in Hampstead Lane in the early summer of this year at the point when the builders had finally withdrawn themselves and their equipment – and I had planted out the ferns outside my bedroom window.
The next decision was which of the plants that had come from Lawn Road should go into the bed around the patio. After consultation with Clarissa I had abandoned my plan to install a mini version of my beloved golden robinia pseudaccia frisia – which would eventually grow to 30 meters in height so I did have to agree that it really was impractical. But what were we to use?….
But before that came – the water feature….. My idea had always been to have some sort of moving water feature in the garden to create white noise to distract from the noise from the road. But what?…. I had thought of basins on the wall, taps dripping water down into the pond – but wasn’t quite sure how to achieve any of them. Then, spooling through gardening websites, I saw a picture of a pile of stones with water running down over them. Could we make that work with the rest of the York stone pieces that I had rescued from the original garden?
And…. thanks to the design and building skills of Matthew, my ex nextdoor neighbour in Lawn Road – yes we could! We were very pleased with our efforts which were topped off by Darby and Joan – officially known as ‘Till Death do us Part’ by Simon Connolly who had been ‘presented to me’ around a firepit in the middle of lockdown.
Back on the patio bank the planting was beginning to take shape. Tall, black/red cotinus to be paired with tall grey white miscanthus grasses – except that none of the variety that I wanted were to be found this late in the summer so they are scheduled for next year. A dwarf acer, a small twisted hazelnut, small bay and olive trees, a macleaya, variegated pittisporum, white buddleia, rosemary and fennel – and around their feet, heuchera, geranium Rozanne, helichrysum, artemesia and erigerum. And to come at this point (now happily installed) two David Austen roses – The Lark Ascending and Golden Celebration.
And, should you have used our new pathway up onto the patio you would have found not only the jasmine, solanum and Blush Noisette rampaging along the new fencing, but some glorious double hollyhocks growing through them.
And, on your right as you walked up onto the patio, the mimosa tree that we had planted some nine months earlier to screen off Mr Usmanov’s garages – and which obviously LOVES it in Highgate. Jack’s beanstalk has nothing on it and I have already had to nip out the top growth twice before it got so high I could not reach it.
And here are a lot of those plants looking really quite well bedded in and settled.