I rewilded half of the garden last year, enjoying the rise in wildlife. We see squirrels, foxes and a variety of butterflies, birds and bees here. Closing the gate beyond the patios after some Autumn tree pruning, allowed more time for studies and work. Sat on the patios near the house, I listened and watched. With nowhere else we could go for most of 2020, it became even more of a sanctuary. This year, I’m seeing (and feeling!) the benefits once again of working with the space.
The plot is 2,400 square foot – a tiny patch compared to the landscapes and grounds I enjoy wandering – though the contrast repeats, because there is life teeming on every scale, when you peer closer. The ground is at an elevation of 166 metres above sea level (the capital is 11 metres). It typically has moderate north-easterly / north-westerly winds and an average air quality rating of 1. A local river on its way from the North Sea drops below ground along our boundary, making the last part of the garden boggy. This is where we situated the shed and greenhouse on solid bases.
The soil is well-drained though needs more organic matter. You can do some basic tests to check your soil. The land is half in shade and half in sunlight, so I work with that. We’ve a range of trees – Apple, Cherry, Damson, Eucalyptus, Dogwood, Holly, Lilac, Magnolia and Oak. I’ve bought some saplings from Woodland Trust.
These photos are from previous years. The shed is full of stuff that needs organising or disposing of safely. The garden needs some heavy clearing of bramble and nettle. I’d like to add more year-round colour, build some seating areas and connect the borders in a continuous curve. To add wildflower seed to parts of the lawn and remove some of the grass, to widen the pathways. I’m taking photos to track progress, which I’ll share later this year. To me, a garden is never finished and learning is part of the process. We’re using what we have, where we can and keeping to a humble design.
How about you? Do you have any planting intentions for your space? 🙂