A garden ornament

I suppose I have inherited my green fingers from my parents. The garden space we have is small but there is scope for development. About a third of the rear garden gets very little direct sun even in high summer. There is always plenty to do! I enjoy being in the garden, weather permitting, doing general tidying up or lawn edging/mowing. It's an opportunity to chill out or maybe mull over something that's been bugging me.

How to Use The Garden Plan

Hover on a numbered plant or shrub to identify it. Click on it to get more information: either a relevant photo from my garden, if available, or a photo or selection of photos at Dave's Garden PlantFiles. Some items remain inactive until suitable photos are found.

Several shrubs tend to get out of hand if left alone, so pruning is called for. This is ideal only at certain times of the year, but sometimes more drastic measures are called for, and this may mean sacrificing the normal flowering season for the sake of recovering much-needed light.

The rear garden is small, about 11m wide by 8m deep, including the patio by the kitchen (see drawing, not to scale). Despite its restrictions, the garden includes many species of plants and shrubs with all year round interest, a rockery, a pond, a patio, a garden shed and a recycling bin.

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The abelia (15, in front of the conservatory) has been a particular gem this summer, flowering in August and September. It usually attracts hoverflies and bees, and this year we have also seen hummingbird moths.

The pond, shown pale blue in the drawing, has a frog population and these can turn up almost anywhere in the garden. One has to be careful where to tread! There is a waterfall and a spout from an ornamental frog providing aeration to the water. Circulation is via a submersible pump and filter arrangement in the deep section. The pump is powered by a small transformer running from a timer in a mains socket in the shed. Armoured underground wiring was kindly installed by a previous owner.

The lawn, shown green, has been rather brown at times during 2006. The mower has hardly been used - probably only 7-8 times by the end of the growing season. The lawn's a rather odd shape but some gentle curves have been added near the hydrangea (1) and the buddleia (9).

An ornament has been added recently between the Alchemilla Mollis (2) and the Astilbe (3), consisting of a pair of stacked pots. The top pot is shown as an icon on this page.

The compost bin (13, to the right of the patio) was supplied by Lakeland Plastics, is made from recycled materials and is rodent-proof. It has a large hinged lid for easy access and for retaining heat, flies and smells. Each side is in two sections, upper and lower. At each corner, a long hinge peg may be lifted to allow the lower section to hinge open to remove composted matter. We added an internal division, using corrugated plastic, to allow alternate use of the two halves. Lawn clippings are interspersed with shredded paper to prevent a soggy mess. Relatively large amounts of kitchen and garden waste are consumed in a small volume. We would recommend it even for a small garden. There are smaller versions as well. Lakeland no longer supply these bins but you can order from new green futures.

Some garden waste is not suited to composting, either because it is too woody or because it contains invasive weeds. These are placed in our brown bin which is emptied fortnightly and recycled by Cannock Chase Council.Back to Top