In hopeful anticipation that we might actually get some dry sunny weather this summer (!) I have started to think and plan out what might happen in our garden over the next year or so.
One of the things I am less happy with is that we have"inherited" the layout from the previous owners. I have altered things a lot over the years, moved shrubs here, cut down trees there, grassed over some beds, made new beds etc, but it is basically as they left it - still a very large lawn with some flower beds and lots of shrubs dotted around.
I have plans afoot to change all that, however.
Compostgirl is nearly a teenager so the need for a huge expanse of grass to play on is lower priority now and also a lot of the existing flowerbeds have become so infested with bindweed that it is a struggle to keep them weeded. I have a limited time available to do "non food" gardening so when I do get out there I want to be enjoying my time planting and tending plants, not spending all of it just weeding or mowing!
So... some beds will have to go, especially the ones around the house, and some new ones will be made. Any bulbs and plants which are salvageable will be rescued and replanted in the wilder area of the garden and some more shrubs will go - many are past their prime and cannot be saved by even hard pruning.
I want some screening between the patio and the road - it's a quiet lane but even so a bit more privacy would be nice. I want some new flower beds in the garden, with some structures for climbers (honeysuckles, roses, clematis) to grow up - and we are going to re-arrange the (south facing) patio and change it around a bit to create a more attractive area to sit. So some more container plants will be added to the herbs, lavenders, scented geraniums etc which inhabit our patio in the summer months. I also want to create a scented border around the patio, filled with aromatic ( and useful) herbs.
And I definitely want an Olive tree and maybe another Bay tree.
We used to have a Bay Tree by the garage, but it died in one of the very harsh winters and I miss the dark glossy green leaves it displayed all year round.
I have always wanted an Olive tree ( and never had one before) You can now buy them in pots for the patio, so I am going to have one. Or maybe even two. To go on my new patio.When I get it.
So in the next few months I will be visiting lots of fabulous gardens to get some more ideas and last week I spent a pleasant
And I also looked around for suppliers of olive trees. I came across a lot of new and very interesting (to me) sites in my search ranging from cheap gardening supermarket chains to very expensive and exclusive providers of plants.
One of the more interesting sites I found was Athelas Plants (fabulous name! Any LOTR buffs reading?) who are based near Battle in E. Sussex. I first found them last week when I googled "How to look after Olive trees" to see if one would grow here and found their very informative Olive tree care notes.
This time around I was also very interested in their selection of ornamental grasses - one of the areas of planting I really loved at the Yeo Valley Organic Garden was the beautiful area of ornamental grasses and I thought at the time it would be a lovely, relatively low maintenance planting (but there is no such thing, really!) to have here at Compost Mansions. So I was interested to read about the selection they offer.
I am going to be visiting Sussex in the near future so I may well drop in to Athelas Plants and have a better look around - especially as their website says they have a lovely sounding farm shop and cafe attached to the site! If I do, or I order from them I will post about my experiences.
So, I came away from my internet trawlings with some ideas and food for thought - I looked at lots of other websites as well as Athelas Plants in my search for plant ideas and suppliers and I may well write a bit more about some of the others in the future.
But for now, I am still looking out, through the drizzle, on a very soggy garden.
Still, I can dream, can't I?
As part of my review of their site I was paid to add the link to Athelas Plants in this post, but had already come across them during my Internet trawling for plants last week and was impressed, then, by what I saw.
As always here in The Compost Bin my words and opinions are entirely my own :-)