Tuesday, 20 March 2007

High Summer to Early Autumn.

In the early years as a starting point when laying out each bed, I planted a few shrubs and a tree, all of which were small and spindly initially, leaving lots of space for potential weeds to start germinating. The easiest and quickest way to counteract this problem was to plant Spring-flowering bulbs underneath the shrubs, followed by a succession of colourful annuals, which I sowed from a few packets of seed. During the first Summer my efforts were rewarded by a lovely display of peony poppies and tapering foxgloves, giving the garden a wonderfully wild and romantic look.

By the August the poppies were still going strong, whereas the foxgloves’ heads were starting to form seed, which I would harvest in September, along with those from the poppy pepperpots, to share with friends. I can still remember the hum of countless bees, droning away as they crawled in and out of the foxgloves, pollinating each in turn. My dream of having a paradise garden had begun.

This variegated poplar tree, called Populus Candicans Aurora, acts as a focal point in one of my herb beds. It has the most amazing broad creamy-white and pink heart-shaped leaves turning to green, which fill the air in Spring with a strong scent of balsam. It is sometimes called the Balm of Gilead, because of the aromatic ointment that can be made from its resin. The first reference to it can be found in the book of Genesis, in the story of Joseph. As well as being attractive, it is often home to beautiful puss moth caterpillars.

In early October most of our birch trees have begun to shed a lot of their leaves, except for this weeping specimen, Betula Pendula Youngii, which, because it only grows up to 15 feet, is ideal for a small garden. It provides food for a host of moths, which are eaten by blue tits and willow tits, who, in turn, serenade me with their frequent bursts of song. Being closest to the back door, it is the first tree to catch my eyes each day when I look out, so I love how it seems to wrap its coat around itself to stay with me a little longer.


Thalia said...

Dear Wildlife Gardener,

it's great to get a view of your garden in the different seasons.

The Foxgloves look great!

A wildlife gardener said...

Thank you, Thalia. They only come every second year as they are biennials, but I love them. The garden was dreamy then...

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Thanks for your comments on my blog. I've taken some time and read the whole of your blog so far and I like it a lot.

The variegated poplar you have is very pretty and its scent is a bonus.

It's fun to watch our gardens change over the years. They start out rather spic and span but ........ in the end, nature takes over.

Loved the pictures you took from the barn roof.

A wildlife gardener said...

Thank you so much, Yolande Elizabet, for your very gracious comments and for spending so much time on my blog. I feel very honoured. Today I added my Photo A Day and my Watercolour Paintings, in case you are interested to see them.

paris parfait said...

What a gorgeous garden and environment you have created! Thank you for your lovely comments on my blog and for your wonderful poem!

A wildlife gardener said...

Paris Parfait,
Thank you for your encouraging comment. I enjoy reading your blog each day too.

RUTH said...

Your garden is the garden of my dreams; the work and love you have put into it shines forth from every photograph.

A wildlife gardener said...

Thank you for saying such a lovely thing about our garden. Having a garden for wildlife was one of my childhood dreams. 42 years ago I fell in love with the man who became my husband and we have two lovely boys. 16 years ago we all found a derelict plot of ground and together we changed it into our garden for wildlife, so I know I'm living my dream.