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Laid up and gazing at the garden


I have torn a ligament in my ankle so I am on the sofa with my leg up rather than in the garden where I want to be. Which got me thinking about the view from the french windows where I am and I thought I would share them with you. Difficult to believe that it is 100ft long but that is because it steeps down quite fast so the picture is foreshortened.

Naturally this photo would work rather better without the wide stripe down the middle but I am limited to photos I can take from the chair or sofa and it does give you a good gist. One thing that I am surprised about is the extent of the lime green in the garden. I will have to think about which colours would really zing with it that are out around now – I wonder about cerise which is not normally a colour I would pick – or a deep deep blue.

My lovely mum gave me 3 trays of old hyacinths which were going over so I planted all the darkest blues together in the back. They faded almost straight away – resenting the transplant – but they will be back next year and will work well I think.

The pot of primulas by the steps doesnt do anything for the overall picture at all and this brings me on to one of my real failings as a gardener. I love the down and dirty – the worms and the compost, the texture of leaves and the sight of an upturned cyclamen hiding underneath a tree. I am not as good at this large picture stuff. I do vaguely look out of the bedroom window and think -ahh that could do with such and such a plant but I rarely go back and forth checking what things look like from the house and I think perhaps I ought. Luckily I think the previous owners did.

Time to change lense – I bought a telephoto so that I could take photos of birdies for the blog and this is the perfect opportunity to use it.

This is my favourite plant in the whole garden – even in the winter it was statuesque but now I think it is magnificent and so much nicer to be able to have space without pollarding it (though they look good too and provide fantastic opportunities for willow weaving and living sculpture.)
Normally I would not want such a large willow close to the house but the wood at the bottom has a really high water table which I am told by the allotmenteers never dries out even during a drought so I am content to believe them.

I bought this philadelphus for my old garden and had nowhere big enough to put it. Hopefully it should do rather better here. It is meant to grow to 8ft, but my experience is that if a shrub can cope with clay they normally grow way bigger. I think it looks absolutely lovely even out of flower. Why did I buy it? The flowers smell of summer – one sniff and you are forever hooked – they are delicate almost like silky tissue, easy to place being white, and last a long time.

The shrub is not difficult to look after and can even cope with seasides and chalk, which makes it a winner in my eyes.

I like this lovely yellow green leaf – and the variety (coronarius aureus) doesnt grow as big as some of the others, but I think it is well worth checking out the dark green leaved varieties too because they set off the white flowers so well.

Hmm – not sure about this. I have a growing pile of woody prunings. I want to burn and shred rather than giving all that goodness to the council but shredders are so noisy and my neighbours object to the smallest bonfire – even in the chimnea. What to do?
I also want to replace this beautiful (not) compost bin with one I can bear to look at from the house – but that unfortunately is another job for when my foot is out of bandage. However, I have found that the sofa is the perfect place for emailing a fencer to get the wonky falling down fence replaced – result!

The primroses are really pretty – adding to the cream/ yellow green affect but I think I can get away with putting them in the lawn on the right hand side rather than in the flower beds where they are taking up so much space. Each of the clumps will make a good ten starter plants if I pull it apart mercilessly and I will wait till the weather is warmer and the flowers fading before lieing on my tummy on a camping mat and digging them in with a daisy trowel. Surely I can do that much!

Turn around you annoying goldfinch and say “Bird Seed!” oh well dont then. I had to hobble to the chair to take this photo and it made me think that I need a feeding post really close to the house. The finches are rather shy but the robin keeps looking in as if to say – “come on, where’s my fresh worms?”
so he would cope with a close feeder, and the blackbirds and starlings have been to have a look at me as well, so they would come closer as well. The blue tits and great tits are all using the peanut feeders as well as flying with that characteristic dippy flight all about the garden though they are shy but the long-tailed tits have gone I don’t know where.

It makes me think that I need to convert some of the non-rotten shed planks (skillfully hidden in a mess round the corner) into bird boxes to boost numbers still further. I will end up with a jobs list as long as my arm! No sparrows though. What is that all about – has anyone got any?

Its lovely to know you are all out there blogging – much less lonesome with my leg up feeling sorry for myself.

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I hope your ankle is better soon, Sarah.
Interesting to see the photos from your window.... and at least you can contemplate and plan for your garden from the comfort of your sofa. :o)

14 Apr, 2010


Poor you Sarah. Don't forget to write all your ideas down so when your fit and ready to go you can get straight into them. Nice to see your garden :-)))

14 Apr, 2010


Thanks guys. Yes I agree I do need a list of things to do - though I may need a rather large book! I may simply use the blogs as a diary and check back on them occasionnally.

14 Apr, 2010


I loved your blog and you made it so interesting. Sorry to hear you are laid up but sounds like you are doing a great job from your armchair/sofa. You can even change your mind loads of time in your head so that when you are better you will know exactly what you want to do. Get well soon. Best wishes Sue

14 Apr, 2010


Write all the ideas down as they occur to you - like a brainstorming session. Then when your ankle is better, you can cross off the more way-out ideas, and 'run' with some of the others! (LOL!)

It must be horrible not being able to do anything outside - I'm so sorry. There's always GOY, though! :-)))

14 Apr, 2010


Sarah, how frustrating for you, any idea how long before you are able to stand without pain ? Do you have a large sketch pad to hand ? I'm no artist but found it helpful to plan on paper, Re-siting the bird feeders sounds a good idea, they'll soon find them again. Funny you should mention Sparrows, we had 4 on the lawn today, yet hadn't seen any up until this morning. Best wishes to you for a speedy recovery. : o ) )

14 Apr, 2010


Thanks Guys for all your good wishes.

Frustratingly I can stand on my ankle with no pain at all because it is full of anaesthetic and colloidal steroid but the Dr only agreed to give me it if I promised not to stand on it for 10 to 14 days and then got referred on for further treatment so there you are.

I am indulging in all types of wild fantasies and will write them up in a bit so that you can all laugh at my naivete - dont forget if the garden looks wonderful now it is not my doing but the people who came before. I feel I have a legacy to look after which is exciting and daunting!

14 Apr, 2010


hope you get better soon.... nice pics of your garden... you have a lovely willow tree

14 Apr, 2010


Sarah you haven't told us how you did it :-) You'd better get well pronto as the list of jobs will be getting very long.

14 Apr, 2010


I went mountain boarding over the weekend so I could put it down to that... sadly the truth is more prosaic. I was on a 4 day camp and lent my nice walking boots to my daughter wearing my horrid boots instead. They spent all the time wearing away at an old wound and then my foot exploded when I took the boots off at the end of the camp.

14 Apr, 2010


poor sarah hope you soon feel better and can get in your garden,, great pics concidering you couldnt get out ;o)

14 Apr, 2010


It's b***** cold out there and getting colder at the weekend so you're in the right place - make the most of it and enjoy your planning. I've got a mountain of shredding to do tomorrow - oh deep joy :0(((((

14 Apr, 2010


Oh Sarah, you must be in a lot of pain with your ankle. I hope it soon heals and you can get out in the garden again. I used to have a Philadelpus but it never flowered in the five years I had it so I dug it up. I was told that the flowers smelled gorgeous but alas, I never found out myself! Graet blog. :o)

14 Apr, 2010


hope your up and running soon ... in the meantime best sit and plan

14 Apr, 2010


I enjoyed your blog,sarah,but so sorry you are laid up.Hope it gets better soon.At
least,on the bright side,you can't do any housework either,so you may as well just relax,write some more blogs,take some more lovely pics, :o))

14 Apr, 2010


Just hold the thought that when you can get back in your garden and actually get "down and dirty" - what treasures you will find! There's all sorts of lovely things going on that you can't quite see from your window, so look on it as a future gift. Get well soon! :o)

15 Apr, 2010


I enjoyed your blog Sarah. I hope you'l be able to get about soon. It's a nuisance being immobile !.
We have loads of sparrows here. I have one or two photos of them. I'll try and find them later to put on here.

15 Apr, 2010


Loved your blog Sarah, and really hope you are up and mobile soon. Healing thoughts being sent :~))

16 Apr, 2010

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