A lot of our gardening has been cutting, slashing, pruning, removing and generally discovering the structure of the garden underneath the growth. Thoughts of creating rather than destroying garden areas are always on our mind, but where to start and what to do??? One area in particular had always puzzled us. It had some lovely trees – maples in particular – but was very overgrown with a decaying tree trunk path and some small box in a seemingly random pattern. One summer evening, as we were pushing through trees and trying not to trip over wood stumps, it dawned on us. The box was defining two heart shaped gardens, both completely over-run with my nemesis, strappy plants (please read that in your best horror movie narrators voice.  They are a native Iris of some sort, quite pretty in their own right, but so very very invasive).

These photos are *not quite* before.  We had already removed a lot of the strappy plants, and removed a number of self seeded trees

Suddenly I could see it. I knew what I wanted to do. A wide path, bordered on one side by the box of the heart shaped garden and the other side by a camellia hedge. The heart garden redefined, clipped and filled with windflowers for late summer colour. A small stone retaining wall built with stones from the property. Some stone steps leading down to a narrow path to draw you into the camellia grove. The wide path continuing past the gardens and up into the shady birch forest. A place to rest and gaze at the wonderful scotch elm. Well, we haven’t quite got that far as yet, but we have created the path, wall and planted the heart garden out with windflowers. I can’t wait to see the rest of it emerge.


  1. Looking more and more botanic every day.

    • This was before the chicken wire and electric fence went up to deter the plant munchers. Not quite so botanic after that!


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