Copyright © 2010 by Kathryn Buck

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Garden-spirtation (and there's a prize in it for you!)

(Garden-Inspiration in case you were wondering.)

I've lived in this house for four years now and have been meaning to sort my garden out for three and a half of those years. We're quite limited as to what we can do with it really. Most of it is in shade for the whole day, there is only about six foot at the bottom that gets sunshine till about lunchtime due to the shadow cast by four floors of house plus a dorma extension on the roof. Because it's always shaded, it's very damp and we get a lot of weeds and moss growing. The house is over one hundred years old so back in the days of coal burning fires, the poor garden was used as a dumping ground for all of the charred coal for probably seventy years. If we are going to have a decent garden out there, we need to get a little digger in and dig that crap out and replace it with good soil.

This is what we've got at the moment (before shots with out house and after):

We also need to get rid of that giant bush you can see on the right - the bumble bees love it when it's in flower and the birds love it when it's covered in berries in the winter but it's just too big. It fills about half of the garden and the roots go so deep that you can't grow anything else in the bed with it.

These are a few pictures of gardens that make me smile. Gardens I'd love to have at the back of my house.

I love this idea of having little shelved built into the wall. This garden feels quite jungly to me which I like. I think I'd feel protected and hidden away by the big palms. I don't think they'd like my dark garden though.

I like the little stepping stones in this garden. I like the idea of a fairy tale garden. The coloured pencils are fab as well. I can definitely see something like that in my garden! We are thinking of decking the top half of the garden in covering it with lots of pots so this little area would be great in the bit at the bottom that gets the sun.

This is the same garden as above from another angle. I think the teepee is really cool but don't think I'd have one in my own garden. The little wooden toadstools are cute as well. I adore the little mosaic butterflies on the wall, I'm going to have a go at one of those.

This garden is great, there is no space at all but the owner has been really creative in making the most out of the space. LOVE the toilet planter! I saved the old toilet from our out house so that I could make one of these. This photo was taken in Whitby and I love how they have brought in aspects of the sea and fishing by using the rope up the stairs and can you see in the top right, there is a crab cage used as a hanging basket? Love, love, love it!

These are the kind of flowers I'd like to see in my garden. I like the idea of having lots of wild, meadow type flowers like fox gloves, poppies, thistles, lavender, blue bells... 

I'd also like to try and attract butterflies and bumble bees into my garden. My P bought me a butterfly house for my birthday a couple of years ago and it's been sat in the outhouse ever since!

So dear friends, I call on your gardening knowledge to help me! What kind of plants could I use to achieve something like in the pictures above? Do you have a gorgeous garden that you'd like to share? Send me some pics and I'll put them on here. If you have a clever gardening friend or know any green fingered fellow bloggers, send them over to my blog so they can help out too! I'd love to make some new bloggy friends! Send me your ideas. 

I'm thinking there will be a prize for the best idea! I can't really give away a plant, but how about a couple of my lavender filled hanging hearts and a pack of my lavender shoe scents?

I've got someone coming to give us a quote to re-build the wall on Monday so once that is done, we can get started. I'll post work in progress photos as we go along.

P.S For all of you who have been watching from a far and sat shyly in the shadows, please let me know that you're there and leave me a comment so that I can love you right back! To be in with a chance of winning, please add yourself as a follower and mention it in your comment. For a second chance, send a friend or two my way and mention that in your comment!

Thank you for reading and I love you all dearly!


P.P.S On Friday 11th of June, I will be going to a Landscape Architecture Exhibition at my P's work so what better date to end this giveaway?


  1. I'd love one of your lavender hearts but I'm afraid I'm not a gardener. We live on alot of shale......probably somewhat like the coal but it wasn't put there is was just there. Our soil is clay. Even if I plant something our lovely deer friends stop by and scarf it up. They walk right down our sidewalk. So......because we have alot of shade, I plant alot of impatiences. I love them. I then spray something around them to deter the deer. I like container gardens as well. For your wall some beautiful climbing roses would look nice. Pink of course, hah.
    Anyway, I'm no help but wanted to stop by and say hello. Hope your week-end is a happy one.

  2. I will have to think on this and maybe I will find some pics for you in some magazines. How big is your area and do you want any vegetables? Have a nice weekend.

  3. I love vining plants like clematis and mandavillas! Check them out at your nursery.

    Art by Karena

  4. In answer to Sherri's question, the garden is about 5 by 10 metres - that could be wrong, I'm hopeless with measurements! I'd love to have some vegetables, perhaps a raised bed but I'm not sure if the conditions would be right and also if there would be space. But, you will see that number 48 on my challenge was to grow some veg so yeah, go for it!!!

    Nice to see a new face, Karena.

    Looking forward to what ideas people come up with! Even yours Debby, and you said you knew nothing about gardening? Pink climbing roses sound like an amazing idea to me, it would be like the Secret Garden!


  5. I have seen so many beautiful gardens and always think that it would be wondeful to have an English garden with plants blooming at different times, so there would always be color. But unfortunately I have not had the time to do so. I'm sure you will find many beautiful plants with an assortment of color.
    Thank you so much for stopping by my blog.

    xx, Michelle

  6. Those are some great inspiration ideas!

    We have a similar problem - our sun is pretty variable. Because of that, we put almost all of our plants in containers. That way we can move them throughout the season as the sun moves. That also gives us the ability to take them inside if we were to have an exceptionally cold night or two.

    Thanks for sharing your gardening ideas!

  7. I love my shade garden--foxglove and ferns, astilbe and columbine, sweet woodruff and azaleas, hostas and violets. Gardens are trial and error, mostly. Look up plants that love shade, give them good rich soil and keep your fingers crossed!

  8. Starting from scratch... fun and intimidating! I, like meadowsweet cottage, love shade gardens, so lush and lovely; might be grand in the top half of your yard with a nice path down to the sunny patch. I have always wanted to do a themed cottage/vicotorian garden with plants like love lies bleeding, bleeding hearts, forget me nots, etc... so much drama in the names of the flowers...

    Are you going to really dig out and replace the dirt?

    visiting from Jami's garden party tour

  9. Wow- you've got some big plans! The other comments are spot on- lots of lovely shade plants to help make it look lush, and the foxglove you want likes partial shade. Get the reseeding perennial kind and you'll only have to plant once- I love how they pop up everywhere.

    This will be nice to follow- thanks for linking up to the Garden Party!

  10. You have a great wonderful task in front of you..Gardening is so much fun and relaxing. Make sure you are using a good potting soil .I found that asking friends and those in the garden houses can answer a lot of your qyestions.. If you have friends with gardens ask them if they might share a cutting or some seed. My girlfriend and I always check to see what each other have and share when the plant is ready to diiiiiiivide.

    Beautiful pictures.

    Thanks for the visit. and yes enter me in your drawing.

  11. A shady garden is the thing for you, as people have been saying - the lovely traditional woodland plants that can grow under the trees in a damp wood will like your garden! So your picture of ferns is a good choice, and also things like hostas and helebores (those are some of my favourites), and I bet bluebells would work too, as you hope. We found some old tree stumps and put them by the walls of our shady garden, and planted ivy to grow all over them. Things are beginning to look quite good. I can't wait to see what you do!