Thursday 30 January 2020

Internal Garden Monologue

If you had told me 5 years ago, I would be sitting in a house, at a table over looking a front garden in Scotland, I would have laughed my socks off.  It was an impossible thought.  It had never even entered my mind that it could possibly be true.  Life is strange like that. 

I have lived here for 15 months now.  I havent really stayed in any house that long.  Its strange to think that I might remember the postal code or the house telephone number if some asks me it as a security question.  I must look like a complete idiot in the bank sometimes.  We have moved so many times I remember none of them and gave up trying to remember them as some houses we bought and sold again 7 months later, what was the point.  

Apart from the weather and it being dark, it is nice.  I have tried to join in with the community the best I can and it has repaid me in ways I had never thought about.  Every one talks to you and sometimes it makes me laugh, they know more about my life than I do.  I dont mind too much.  I just wish the neighbours would give up their love of weed killer.  You see, I want to really go for it with the garden and see if I can open it to the public on those national open days.  We will see.  At present I cant see it happening for a long time as I dont have a huge amount of money to do it and that means you have to grow from small plants.  With the size of the gardens, small plants will be swallowed up.  We will have to wait for them to get bigger.  Many of the locals have seen me struggling to keep things alive in the garden.  The weather is harsh, the wind chills you to the bone whilst whipping you and burning your eyes.  Some of the ladies at the WI bring me little offerings from their gardens that they know grow here.  It is nothing like Cornwall, where you can just scatter the seed and walk away.  Here you have to protect everything.  I have taken to digging a little trench next to the saplings and pushing a wooden board down in next to it to deflect the wind whilst roots are put on by the plant to anchor it in the ground.  For every 5 plants I put out, 2 will survive.  I have been told lots of times to just give up on anything that will be tall flower spikes, or with big leaves.  That leaves it a bit hard to make up texture in the garden.  

What does that leave?  Well, not much that I am used to.  Everyone else rips conifers and rhododendrons out.  Where as here it looks like they will do well.  I have some thuja and some different coloured  camaecyparis, all shades of green obviously but to add shape and they are all dwarf variety that will get to about 1.5 metres.  Hopefully this will stop the wind getting to them too much.  I have some Albert Golds as well as they will grow well here.  I have some azaleas to go in, which are little more than whips really, but they will grow well here.  I am hoping these will all provide back ground structure and then I can fill in with heathers and annuals.  It will be masses of trial and error.  I can imagine quick cold snaps will turn a lot to complete mush.  We will see what happens.  I may draw a plan to show you.  It depends on time.  


local alien said...

It's very hard work being a gardener in your area. Pity you live in such a harsh climate but if anyone can make a show garden up there I'm convinced it's you!
Really nice to hear about how you've settled in. Hope summer comes soon for you this year

northsider said...

I have just been googling Scottish gardening books and Scottish plant nurseries Sol. There's lots of info there. I walk round and look at what plants do well here next to the sea and plant similar ones. You could have a book there.

Janie Junebug said...

I didn't realize that you move so frequently. Is it because you flip houses?


Sol said...

Hey Linda, I am hoping for a cracker of a summmer! give my plants a really good start.

Hi Dave, I have quite a few very old books about gardening in Scotland. They all seem to build things around the garden to shield them. Walled gardens feature really heavily. I have to think about it all some more.

Hi there Janie, yes we used to do up houses to flip them as we are of the age where we werent lucky enough to own a house when the houses started to double in price. Making it that if we wanted a house of a good size in a good area we would have to do up many to rise up the housing market.

Kev Alviti said...

I'm no good I'm afraid, unless I can eat it I know nothing about it! I often think it's cold enough here so no way would I enjoy gardening further north, I like my long spring days too much. I'll be keen to see your plans for the garden if you have any though, I'm always fascinated when people draw them out.

Sol said...

Hey Kev, sorry I didnt see your comment. I am going to do a bit of drawing as Posh Boy wants to keep chickens as we are staying here. My problem is most of my garden is at the front of the house, and I live in a conservation area so I am limited with structures. My back garden is sectioned and has terrible problems with the elements as the wind blows straight off of the hills. the next prohibitive item is I really dont have the money for a green house or poly tunnel. Also I would be scared of having a green house due to the amount of gales we have here, glass all over with little dogs is not a good mix. I will draw it and it will be very stick men in skills level! ha ha