Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Keep off the grass

Our garden here in Scotland is on a sloping site of approximately ¾ acre and situated 900 feet above sea level, so the growing season is very short. When we built this house we also made the garden, I wanted a big herbaceous border as close as possible to the house, not too much lawn, a secret part, a wild part, a vegetable part, a greenhouse and a sitting out area. As it was a new garden we decided not to introduce any chemicals and we have gardened organically for 16 years. We are now at the late summer blowsy stage with most plants a bit brown and crispy round the edges. The sweet peas are doing well, I’m picking bunches most days, the tomatoes (grown from Italian seed) are a bit small but tasty, the courgettes have lost their battle with the slugs (I forgot to put the beer traps out), broad beans are good, the sugar peas tough. Things got neglected when we were in Italy in June and again for 2 weeks in August, it’s the price you pay and I’m not struggling to take regain control.

I’ve recently been introduced to the joys of ornamental grasses, mostly by my friend Rose who is lucky enough to be retired and an avid seaside gardener. This is her lovely breezy front garden a stones throw from the beach.

I did for a long time think that her bronze grasses looked like dead grass, but I’ve been educated and after creating a smallish patch of grass garden for myself am considering making a bigger area. I’ve even grown some grasses from seed, don’t ask me yet to differentiate between my miscanthus and my stipa I’m not that advanced but I am pleased with what I’ve done so far and glad I’ve been converted.
I’m also finding a great place to keep all the best pebbles from my beach combing trips.

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