Many people labour under the misapprehension that you have to have a conventionally amazing garden to enjoy plants or have a nice outdoor experience.
Our garden may be large but its a long way short of the kind of manicured porn-type situations you see on tv and other, fancier blogs; its more like a doss house for both the plants that take my fancy and the ones we're too lazy to weed out.
Looking at these shots, it's sometimes difficult to picture how they could be part of a messy or indifferent landscape but believe me, it's possible. We've never had the money for large scale landscaping and I doubt we would be inclined to make those wholesale changes even if we did, preferring to devote our time and admiration to the individual players rather than the entire facility.
Just let what's there remain and add some more stuff as you go. This is the best way to
maintain a love relationship with a large bit of ground and not come to resent the slavish
efforts that whack notions of perfection will require from you.
That's not to say that our garden is a disgusting place to be; on the contrary, it has the sort of faineant, deshabille charm that can only come from a genuine lack of consideration, experience and forethought. I am never as bonelessly relaxed in a neat, deliberate garden as I am in our own shambolic tract of half-arsed wilderness. Hopefully the other inhabitants are similarly contented.
amongst the shrivelled dross at nursery sales (an acquired skill) and to instinctively know which shit's worth getting out of bed for as far as species and variety are concerned.
But we don't have a lot of undue concern for vistas or harmonies. My rose collection looks
like it was sharted out of a My Little Pony- if it's vulgar or stripy or pink and stinky you'll
probably find it clashing violently with a neighbour at our place. It's safe to say that
Winchester Cathedral, posing so demurely directly below, is not completely representative.
I wish someone had told me that twenty bloody years ago.
You can't really fuck up a quarter acre of Old Roses or a courtyard full of heritage perennials. They've lasted this long in cultivation precisely because idiots can't easily kill them and their aesthetic values are robust enough to withstand the trifling tides of fashion. And they're the kinds of plants you can score a start or sucker of from friends and old public plantings such as graveyards etc.
< Example: this is Tuscany, a ancient Gallica rose and one of the oldest still in general use. In its first year it has doubled in size and flowered quite profusely despite indifferent sun exposure, a gross wet season and competition with nearby tree roots. It flowers once a year, but in return requires virtually nothing from you and will grow in positions that would defeat 80% of modern varieties. Gallicas have taught me that valuable lesson about old plants generally being good plants.
had any bloody material. Hopefully I'll have time over winter to cook up some notes with
the few decent shots we did manage and kick that shit off, because I've personally had it up to
my tits with being duped by shady breeder and nursery descriptions.
Thanks again to the Lovely R for his lovely pics.