8am this morning. The steps that lead down to the front garden…and on the tree, a weather-proof mirror and some bamboo chimes. These make the stsrt of the garden walk an interactive experience for all. Few can resist looking at the reflections of the garden behind them, in the mirror, or shaking the chimes. The melodious sounds follow as one descends the stone steps!
This small mirror is made from a lightweight metal and has been wired onto the tree…which is an Alder that has been pollarded to remain compact and umbrella shaped. Alders are fast growing and results can be achieved rapidly…in less than 3 years in this case!
White Buddleia and Bamboo form a natural gateway into another small garden at Bealtaine. The table is an old cable reel, disguarded by the electric company. There is a display of large shells on top, that would otherwise just be collecting dust indoors!
Another naturally shaped path and gateway, marked with an old piece of driftwood, hammered into the ground and topped off with another indoor ornament, of which I had too many! Now, scattered throughout the gardens here at Bealtaine and better appreciated!
Avoid straight lines where you can and plant in clumps with edges that can be rounded off easily using a mulch…I use grass clippings as this also feeds the soil. Place pieces of sculpture where you can…in this case an old fountain, now used as a planter with sedums. Sedums require NO looking after at all!
Another idea for a planter…stones, encircled and topped out with soil, then simply planted into. In this case, Hypericum.
Just a few ideas, but food for thought for lots of your own. And bear in mind that the best are recycled!
The land across the smallholding that is Bealtaine Cottage, is very wet indeed. Too wet to do much, except admire the tremendous growth that has taken place recently! The paths are closing in and so I spent about two hours this morning out with my shears, clipping frantically between showers…about a third done, not bad!
Despite the rain the redcurrants are on course for ripening at their usual pace and time…around the first week in June or thereabouts. Although Bealtaine has become something of a wildlife sanctuary over the seven years of its’ existence, most of the fruits are left on the bushes and trees and have never required netting…that’s what abundance does, provides plenty for all!
Bealtaine has hundreds of metres of paths…one day I will measure them all!
Part of the front gardens on the north side of the smallholding, today.
The cottage sits snugly in the permaculture gardens, zones 1-5.
Dog Daisies on the driveway, with lots of insects on and around them. I shake seed from the flowers onto the gravel, so each year they spread a little further…and they’re wild flowers!
Brilliant colour on the Valerian, another seeded flower on the driveway. Each year I shake more seed further down the driveway and these beautiful flowers just appear!
The delicate blooms of LondonPride line the steps at the back of the cottage. These are perennials and spread every year, now lining the steps and spilling out over them.