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Happy gardening!

Monday, 27 April 2009

Spring has certainly sprung!

Well I just couldn't let another weekend go by without adding something to my blog - must admit I've really missed having the time to post more on here recently - it started with a 2 week break in Cornwall - at some point soon will do a posting just on this as we visited some lovely gardens and coastline. Then since returning at the beginning of April it's been 24/7 gardening both for clients and here too - just managing to keep up with the ever growing grass and weeds! I must admit I've really missed having the time to keep up with other blogs too - maybe the wet weather will give me a few more spare indoor moments this week? So before the rain I thought I'd share something of our own garden with you...











I'm pleased to say that we've had a mostly very dry and sunny weekend here - even some time to sit and enjoy our plot for a change in between the digging and planting that is! Seeing this garden and woodland come on over the 5 or so years that we've been here has been a wonderful experience - especially considering the state it was all in when we bought it... the house alone was uninhabitable and the garden just left for 8 or so years to do it's own thing. What is amazing to me is that I rarely have to use any products on the garden other than a bit of diluted weedkill on the gravel as the place just seems to look after itself... the birds alone do a marvellous job.




There's still a huge amount to do and massive scope for future development - every year I try and set myself goals of things I'd like to achieve and being the determined person that I think I am I seem to get there in the end! What I love is looking back at the before photos which gives me a huge sense of achievement and encouragement to press on to the next bit - here are a few...


















Birds busy nesting already - baby blue tits can be heard from the nest box on our Walnut tree, the Great Tits are also nesting in another box and the Swallows are nesting too.... more on that soon!

Have a good week and will try and post again soon...

13 comments:

Connie said...

Wow, what wonderful progress you've made on your place! All your spring blooms are lovely. I am especially fond of Columbines.
I would be happy to save some seed for you from the Iceland poppy, but you might have to remind me to get it to you. I had an Oriental Poppy like yours, but since I moved it a couple years ago, it hasn't blossomed. I guess it isn't happy there.
Happy Spring!

easygardener said...

It must have been like hacking a path through the jungle as you gradually reclaimed the garden :-)
Before and after pictures really bring home how much work is involved in even a small project - never mind a big one like yours!

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Connie - lovely to hear from you and thanks for your kind encouragement too - it's been a real challenge coming here having only had a postage stamp-sized garden in the UK before - taking on about 1.5 acres was something really different as you can imagine! It's a steep learning curve and a wonderful chance to put into practice all the things I'd been studying and learning about before coming to France. Thanks so much - I'd love some seed - perhaps I should email you later in the year and I'm more than happy to send you some seed from the ones here - see if you have any luck with those... the plants seem to really love the heavy soil here - not sure what yours' is like?

Thanks for popping over Easy Gardener - you're absolutely right it was like hacking a path through a jungle - the funny bit about the real jungle of a woodland was that until we signed for the house we didn't even know we'd got that bit too!! After struggling to do it by hand our very kind farming neighbours came in with their tractor - in the space of a few hours it was incredible to see the difference and a home to so much wildlife now... my plan is to introduce lots of wildflowers in there too - bluebells here we come!

Happy gardening - Miranda x

Cheryl said...

Beautiful photographs.....love the garden and house.....it is rewarding to work on both (we have done the same)
I love your grounds.....I can see the work that you have done.....

You have some pretty flowers, especially the columbines, a particular favourite of mine....old fashioned maybe but very pretty none the less....I think they are very underated.....

Have agood week......

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Miranda.
First of all I would like to say thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I have just read your's and I just have to praise you for having such a beautiful home and gardens.How I envy you.You must get some good birds in your garden, not to forget all the other wildlife. You take great picture's.
PS. Love your rosy cheeks in your profile photo.Must be the weather.

ShySongbird said...

My goodness what a project you have on your hands and what a lot you have achieved, I love the Columbines.

I love the tranquillity of your garden and really admire you for doing something which I have only talked about! Do you speak the language? I'm sure that must help when relocating.

Andrew at Quicksilverbirds said...

Hi Miranda, echoing the other comments it's been wonderful to see the progress photos, we often forget what something was like when working on it daily, until one day we finish and look back.... mind you gardening never finishes. Keep going, busy time, but take some time to enjoy those fab poppeis before they fade.

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Cheryl - many thanks for your encouragement - we never really planned to come to France - more something that just happened really! I must admit the whole project has been pretty overwhelming at times but looking back realise how far we've come - I certainly don't think we could have afforded anything anywhere near this place in the UK and a wonderful place to learn! Enjoy your week too.

Hi Ken - welcome to my blog and really glad you liked it - you're right about the birds and wildlife - especially this year have seen many new birds - nuthatches (nesting somewhere in the woodland) siskins, a lesser spotted woodpecker as well as the great spotted and green ones, gold crests and owls - lots more but this is for starters... we've also got a family of water voles along the stream which has been exciting too...

Hello Shysongbird - thankyou for visiting too - if I could offer any advice if you've talked about taking the plunge and living in France - we only get one life and it seems to be going far too quickly for my liking - you know if you do it and don't like it you can always go back - nothing ventured nothing gained! There are things I miss but there's lots of good things too and yes it's a very tranquil place which is one thing I really love too - I'm not sure I could survive living on top of lots of people in a busy road again - love going to sleep at night hearing the sounds of the owls! I didn't speak a great deal of French when I arrived but 6mths over here on my own as hubby was finishing off work things in the UK before he could come over was like being thrown in at the deep end and being that I love to chat it helped me get to grips with the language a lot quicker than it might have done!

Hi Andrew - thanks for your posting - don't worry I will take time to enjoy my poppies - this is the only one out as yet and loads more to come and in different colours too.... when I was in Cornwall I got a couple of other different ones too - Perry's White and Patty's Plum... photos to follow... hope everything's going well with you...

Have a good week Miranda

St said...

Miranda,
In the tenth picture, there is a lime green plant. Is that a euphorbia (spelled wrongly no doubt)? If it is.
Can you give me its name?

Miranda Bell said...

Hi St thanks for visiting - the plant is indeed a Eurphorbia (correctly spelt by the way!!) it's a E. polychroma - I love it and it divides up well once you've got a good clump - the colour is great and shows up well in a garden with lots of dark greens!

Hope all's well with you.

Miranda

Anonymous said...

Hi miranda,
Thanks for the name i have a clump, set amongst darker greens, a happy accident. It was a gift from a wise old bird.

I'm fine thanks for asking, just to busy to post at the mo!
P.s i'm a regular visitor.
ST

kate smudges said...

The flowers in bloom are gorgeous. You've done an amazing amount of work on your
property. spring has definitely arrived there.

Miranda Bell said...

Hi ST - glad you discovered that you've got some of the same - I love it at this time of year when it always seems to create the perfect clump - you can divide it up easily enough - looks great also with deep blue Ceonothus and also alongside the deep orange Heleniums! Glad all's going well and I quite understand the situation of being too busy to post - I had about a month or so when all my work just took over... am trying to find the time in between all the work outside right now... have missed keeping up with what everyone is up to! Bon Weekend!

Hi Kate - lovely to hear from you again... glad you liked the pics - it really is such a pretty time of year here - especially with all the Aqulegias out at the moment - all of them were here in the garden originally, but with more space to breathe they seem to multiply and cross breed every year producing an amazing array of different colours and forms. I've loved doing the work here - some of it harder than others... watch this space as I've more pics to post very soon... take care and hope everything is going well over the water... Miranda