Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Through the Garden Gate ... May 2015

Most of you that know about my passion for photography (and holidays!), however, I probably spend more time throughout the year tending my garden, perhaps an hour or two most days. Thirty one years ago we moved into a house with a large derelict garden, in fact it was one of the main reasons we bought the house ... a step up from a rented back to back in Headingley.

The garden is quite narrow but long and separated from the house by an access road. We've divided it up into different areas and levels over the years. Everything except two old fruit trees at the end of the garden has been planted since we moved in including the shrubs, trees, ivy and veggies!

Here are a few photos starting at the garden gate and leading through the 'hidden' garden. All photos taken May 2015.

View from the potting shed, a relatively recent addition to the garden. Great for sitting in on inclement days and filling with natural 'stuff' from our travels.

 We have a good range of birds in the garden, this is a good place to watch them from all year round. It's also a good place to be dry and warm throughout the year when necessary!

This originally was a pond area but is now more of a rockery with a wet area for iris and water buttercups etc. The shells are from Wales and Portugal.

We originally had a garden full of vegetables but now limit it to just a couple of raised beds and a strawberry bed. It's amazing how productive a small area can be if organised well. 
Green beans, mange tout, french beans, courgettes and leeks being grown outdoors this year. Different herbs being grown in pots too.

The main sitting area is near the greenhouse halfway down the garden in a sunny spot. We originally had raspberry canes and compost bins here but many, many years ago after a trip to Crete and sitting under a lovely pergola with bourgenvilla surrounding us I came home and created this with honeysuckle, winter jasmine and clematis. 
This year, amongst other things, we have an olive tree, lemon (tiny!) and banana.
Jan's in the greenhouse planting the tomatoes. We're just growing a variety of tomatoes and cucumber this year. We also have a grapevine that was planted when we put up the greenhouse 30 years ago.

This is my favourite area at the moment. Lots of pots which usually overwinter in the greenhouse and rock plants growing amongst the Welsh slate. This was the slate that couldn't be reclaimed when we had our roof re-tiled, it's about 20cm deep.

We used to have a number of palms but they disliked the heavy snows a few years back.

Tomatoes and courgettes just planted out, hopefully we'll be eating them in two or three months!

This area past the greenhouse has been developed in the past couple of years. Two borders with cottage style planting with plants that mainly enjoy shade, and in some areas, dry conditions.
Many, many years ago this is where we used to grow row after row of potatoes!

The end of the garden has taken the past three years to redevelop since I finished teaching. It has the only two trees/plants we haven't planted ourselves in the garden, the elderly apple tree to the right and the cherry tree (on its last legs really) in the centre.

The area had become a dumping ground for garden debris, pots, bricks, glass and other undesirable stuff. The fences were also in a state of disrepair. It took me about eight months to clear the area, level it and start again. The plants are woodland type plants which I'll post photos of in the next blog as Spring turns into Summer.

When we first moved in I had a hammock down here, a peaceful area backing onto parkland.

More to come in a month or so!


  1. Wow - lots of work there John. Makes me feel ashamed of my grass and weed filled borders ;-)

  2. I must admit it does take some time, good job Jan and I both like gardening as much as photography!

  3. This is fabulous, John. I propose a Flickr meet there - happy to bring baked goodies! ;-)

  4. You're welcome anytime Anne!