I’ll share with you a little about my currently wild garden. It’s not big, but what it lacks in size is made up for in variation. It’s a long, thin strip of land in Suffolk, England, within flooding distance (god forbid) of the River Orwell.
My soil is alkaline-y and clay-ey. It’s got a mini woodland on a fairly steep slope at the far end, filled with bracken, nettles and rabbits. Next comes the boggy stream and pond area, then we have a v small lawn and chickens.
The Woodland Garden
The Bog Garden and Pond
The chicken lawn is chewed up after barrow – loads of driveway soil were dumped by the pond’s edge to raise the levels so I have more defined wet/dry parts rather than one huge soggy puddle from October to April. The pond is manky, weedy and virtually dries up in summer. All that’s been done here to date is clearing the nettles which were two meters high in parts, removing two ash trees which were infected with Ash Dieback, and trying to clear some of the self – seeded straggly elder bushes and bracken that were clogging up the woodland. I’ve managed to create more light so have a little more scope going forward.
Moving closer towards the house, there’s a big brick and weather-boarded garage and a gravel drive with planting beds either side.The drive has just been graveled and I am in the process of digging over the narrow, long beds either side and improving the soil.
The Stream Garden
Next comes a track that we and the neighbouring cottages use for access. Now we’re right at the house (two Victorian brick paupers cottages knocked into one). The garden right next to the house is the first bit I tackled after the house was renovated and we had moved in, and the only bit that I’ve “done” to date. It was an overgrown lawn with a stream running through next to the house, surrounded by hawthorn hedge.
After 4 months of weed- killing (with Glysophate: amazing stuff) and fertilizing (with 6x), I planted my cottage style beds in August 2015, divided into four by gravel paths. The little stream was covered with decking so my little children (5 and 2) were less likely to go for any unplanned paddles. Still much more to do, but for the sake of history, this is how it looks now, in March 2016, approx 6 months after planting:
The planting style in the Stream Garden is… modern cottage? Mix of country and prairie…contrary?
The Front Garden
The scaffolding has long gone now, the doors and windows have changed, but the garden has not. Still in the planning phase. It’s full sun and damp so lots of potential for this little space.
All in all, very much a work in progress…!