Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Looking Back.....

I thought I would take you for a walk today.......hope you are not too busy for a stroll.....perhaps a bit of fresh air will do you good. When we arrived here seven years ago this area was grassland. In my mind I had a vision. I wanted to create a mini woodland. It needed to have native and evergreen trees for the birds. Plenty of flowering shrubs for the bees. Also planting on the woodland floor for small creatures to run through or hide. The plants were so small when I started, I was never really sure whether my dream would materialise. As it happens it has gone way beyond my expectations.
This arch has ivy and Clematis montana mayleen growing over it. In the spring, the bronze coloured foliage will be covered in masses of pink flowers. The beautiful fragrance will hit you as you walk through the arch.

The woodland floor has much growing...and logs have been partially buried for stag beetles.....they are extremely rare here and only found in southern UK. So I live in hope. Ferns and Skimmia Japonica are doing well.


Hey, come and have a look at this. Now this is one of my favourite plants, Epimedium stellulatum. Small starry white flowers with bold yellow beaks will appear in early spring. This has done really well and has carpeted some areas......Oh joy.......



Primroses are dotted here and there, taking the eye forward........
to other more exciting blooms. Yes snowdrops are appearing slowly.....one here, one there......oh such joy.........
At the back of this area is some horrible mesh fencing. I have ivy, honeysuckle, and the lovely Clematis Armandii. growing through it...........this vigorous climber will produce fragrant white flowers in bold clusters in early spring. Slowly, very slowly, the plants are taking over and the fence is becoming a distant memory. Oh double joy.......
Holly, I love holly, I have planted both male and female here. There will be many berries for the birds in this area.......
I have many Cherry Laurel planted. The reason, I love them. They give wonderful coverage, plenty for birds to hide in. In late spring they produce spikes of white flowers (the fragrance of almonds).....my bees love them.......and the blooms will be followed by black fruits. Honestly could you ask more of a plant?
Bamboo have done well to. The plants are around three metres high now. Although they are not a useful wildlife plant I like the shadows they cast along the woodland walkway. I love shadow.....
There are far too many plants shrubs and trees in this area to show you them all. It has been a joy watching this area develope. I know every little bit of it, each and every petal, each expected bloom. I am slowly giving this garden back to wildlife. With great pressure being put on the countryside, changing farming methods etc....our precious wildlife is dwindling. Gardening methods also have an effect. The perfect blooms seem to have priority over a caterpillar feeding on its host plant. I can truthfully say I do not spray, not even with approved organic substances. My garden, I feel, is now balanced.....nature takes care of the problems......I am just the gardener who tends this plot.........oh triple joy!!!!




31 comments:

NCmountainwoman said...

We are never too busy to take a walk through your wonderful garden. I can't imagine it as grassland now. You have done such a marvelous job of making a sanctuary for wild things. It is a lovely place.

Cheryl said...

Thank you NCmountainwoman....it has been hard work but all in all most satisfying.....

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a wonderful stroll through your garden Cheryl. It is truly a joy. I am sure the wildlife in your area thinks of it as an eden.

I hope to find the clematis you mentioned for my garden. It will be like having a little part of you here with me.

Libby said...

Stunning, totally stunning, quite envious really. How far it has come in 7 years. You should be (rightly) proud of yourself!

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Love your garden--it has made much progress. As much as I like prairies and grasslands, my own garden must have trees and shrubs, and lots of them!

Cheryl said...

Thank you Lisa....I am so glad that you enjoyed the walk.
What a lovely thing to say......I wish I could send you a cutting!!
Hope you have some success finding one.......

Cheryl said...

Thanks Libby....your comments mean a lot.....

Cheryl said...

Hi Monica....there is nothing like prarie planting....I love to see the coneflowers etc amongst the grasses.....
I have an area of meadowland to where wildflowers and grasses grow.....a mixture is good......

Anna said...

Thank you for the tour round your lovely garden Cheryl. Lovely to go out without my coat on. Your garden looks like a tranquil and restful spot. It never ceases to amaze me just how quickly some plants grow.

Cheryl said...

Thank you Anna....that is one of my favourite parts of the garden.

We are fortunate here that the ground is very fertile...although it is heavy clay. I think this part of the garden has been used for keeping animals in the past. The soil is much lighter. This is probably why this area has seen some rapid growth.....

Dawny P said...

Thank you for sharing this with us Cheryl. You are truly inspirational and like I have said before, it's a shame there aren't more like you in this world we live it.

I so agree with you re Obama - he has an honesty about him which is sadly lacking in a lot of politicians. Maybe there is hope for the future? I hope so for the sake of all the little Rileys, Poppis and Kylas xxx

Wendy said...

What a nice walk around your garden! I can't wait for spring, when we will see some of those blooms you mentioned.

I take my hat off to you - I think you've done extremely well in making your vision come true.
Balance is very important in the garden, as is nurturing our wildlife. A nice place to visit!

beckie said...

A stroll through your garden would be a 'triple joy'! Just seeing the photos is wonderful. Your determination in making your dream come true is inspirational.

I am amazed and admiring of all your hard work. How fortunate the wildlife in your sanctuary are. as Lisa says, they have found an eden.

I am so plaesed to call you friend- a friend who is making a difference in the world.

Q said...

Dear Cheryl,
I feel your joy and your enthusiasm. Your gardens are beautiful.
I too rejoice when I see a leaf is being eaten by a caterpillar! I too strive to create balance in my habitat.
It is a joy to walk your garden paths.
Thank you,
Sherry

Rose said...

It's amazing what you have accomplished in seven years, Cheryl. The wildlife must think they have found heaven when they come here! This is proof once again that you certainly deserved the award you received this past fall.
I so enjoyed strolling through your garden with you, Cheryl.

A wildlife gardener said...

Triple joy indeed, dear Cheryl :)

I have had many joys scrolling backwards through past posts today ...each a joyful delight to make my heart sing :)

The story of the abandoned dogs was so heartwarming. That is how we got the barn cats, Cookie and Taz. They came with a family of eight dogs and seven cats...and I have looked after four of the cats, who chose to live in the barn. The family were so casual with their cats...they have lost all of them...and now have two more...

The snowdrop has had such a special place in my heart since my childhood. I wondered if you'd like to read my post about them in the link below from January 2007?...and if you open the comments box and click on the link you will see your snowdrop fairy from your post :)

http://ourlittlecornerofparadise.blogspot.com/2007/01/like-little-fallen-drops-of-snow-fair.html


Your garden has been transformed from its wild state to a paradise for all the wildlife which now comes to live and play in it :)

Lovely photos of the amazing songthrush, Cheryl. Is there a sweeter song?

R Southey's poem was so lovely, I thought at first it was another from your Grandma's creations... :)

I love the ball which catches the sunlight...like something the fairies would dance upon...

May this New Year bring many wildlife blessings to your sanctuary, dear Friend :)

Cheryl said...

Hi Dawny....thank you re garden...


as for President Obama I have a lot of faith in him......the world needs a change of direction, perhaps he is the man to achieve this for the good of all nations.....

It is a great weight for his shoulders.......

Cheryl said...

Hi Wendy....spring is not too far away I am sure....I have a good feeling, I think we are heading for a warm spring.......

Cheryl said...

Thank you Beckie.....I think we can all make a difference, if only in a small way. I am so pleased that you welcome the bees now and that you try not to spray.....every little bit helps.....

I think you will find more wildlife in your garden this year because you have changed things......

Cheryl said...

Dear Sherry....we are all doing our little bit. Put them together and they have got to make a bigger picture. Sometimes it is hard to think of something different to say and to keep encouraging people.....but to give up would be to fail. I do not intend to do that.

Always a pleasure to walk with you around my garden......

Cheryl said...

Dear Rose....always a pleasure when you visit.

The garden is still not finished.........I have so much to do, I have itchy fingers, I need to get out there.....
Come on spring.......

Cheryl said...

Dear Wildlife Gardener....how thoughtful of you to drop by....I shall pop over....

Thank you as always for your lovely comments....you read so many posts when you visit, and I am always so grateful for the interest that you show......

Take care my friend.......

Gail said...

Dear Cheryl,

I had a good time on the walk...saw wonderful plants and learned new helpful information. You have created a beautiful garden and I always feel rested after my visits. You've inspired me and now and I now have some great ideas for the GOBN... Thank you!

Gail

Tricia said...

Cheryl thank you for the walk.

The fruits of your labours are well illustrated from your pictures - your garden is always so lovely.

Sue said...

Thank you i enjoyed that walk in your beautiful garden, what a heaven for wildlife, sue.x

Cheryl said...

Hi Gail....it is wonderful when we inspire others.....I have to say that I have learned a lot from you.

Cheryl said...

Tricia and Sue thank you for your lovely comments......

Gloria said...

What a great garden you have. Not only a wildlife haven but a people haven as well, as can be seen through the pictures of your grandchild.

Ruth said...

What a beautiful tour. You have worked hard to achieve this lovely balance of nature.

Shirl said...

Thank you for the walk through your garden it really is lovely and a snowdrop too; wonderful!

Mary said...

We have cherry laurel growing in the woods...I will have to go and visit when it blooms...I am all about fragrance in the garden.