My own private oasis – lots of green, a little pink summery loveliness, bamboo, bananas, charity shop finds and lots that love the shade ….

This is a small private garden, no more than 24′ wide and a little longer, well possible maybe twice as long, with a mature Horse Chestnut tree, from a neighbouring garden, that shades at least half of it. It was the reason we bought this house, such a beautiful sight in full flower and broke up the lines of suburban homes on show elsewhere. Leaf miner moth, now, is challenging, but you learn not to look up much after August!

But, being north-west facing, we have sun until at least six o’clock in the evening, though it moves quite quickly and some parts are in permanent shade; open to the skies, but cool.

The garden is divided roughly into thirds, with a curvy-edged hard wood (Ipe) deck outside the conservatory, then a square green slate terrace 4m x 4m with a 1m densely planted shrub border either side. A solid patch of shrubbery then, – though with the bamboo I do clean up the side branches and thin the culms to provide a view through the screening to the back of the garden, a glimpse of things to explore, where more Acers, Cotinus and other shrubs lead to the back of the garden where there is a covered Breeze House, lots of shade planting in pots, more bamboo, the shed and compost heap – all quite obscured from view from the rest of the garden and from our neighbours.

A Virginia Creeper has been persuaded into the Horse Chestnut tree and I’ll add a rambler rose and maybe one of the larger Montana Clematis to the mix next year to climb and scramble through its branches. The maturing compost heap I think will be a great nursery bed. The temperature under the tree canopy is superbly comfortable on a hot summers’ day, and even more so with the particulary hot dry climate we have had solidly for a couple of months at least now.

We have seating on the decking, on the terrace and in the Breeze House (you need the cover when conkers are falling at 80mph…) with a suspended lounger amongst the bamboo and Acer, so lots of places to stop, sit, eat, relax, even in such a small space, to perch and have a different experience. And because of the mature planting, plenty of privacy. My own English Country Jungle. Not much time to tend to it, sadly, but it was watered, front and back today but not much else but it is a lovely calm space to relax and unwind, with sun and shade as you need it.

On account of a family birthday this weekend, it is a little more floriferous than usual, with charity shop finds for table cloths, and a fab time was had from the celebrant, 90 years young, with her children and grandchildren, friends and well wishers … There was food, refreshment and cake …




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