Thursday, 13 December 2012

Secret Gardens

I was recently given a load of garden books that had belonged to my mum. There are several interesting ones there that I'll review as I get through them, but the most eye-catching one for me was a book on the creation of private spaces within the garden called Secret Gardens that looks like it was published by an Australian magazine. How it found its way into my mum's collection I have no idea. I assume it was a charity shop find...

Anyhoo, reading through this book really got me thinking about things I'd love to do, but there is a limit to the amount I can or am prepared to do to my current space. As I've mentioned before, the house is rented and given how reluctant the landlord seems to be to spend money on it, I'm loathed to put too much into the garden.

One of the things I would like to do however is improve the amount of privacy from neighbours and blur the boundaries a bit. Our garden is very overlooked, so anything I can do to screen it off without worsening the shade situation will be welcomed. I already have a few shrubs and tree's that I'll be training to provide screening, and I've planted a few climbers. I've got a load more cuttings of clematis, honeysuckle and roses that should be ready for planting next year. Many of the plants and shrubs suggested in the book aren't really suitable for our climate, but it shouldn't be too hard to come up with more viable substitutions.

A lot of the ideas in the book that I'm not able to do revolved around hard landscaping. I loved the idea of creating hidden seating areas. Somewhere that I could go and sit in the sun without being able to see anything around me but plants really appeals, as does the winding path with the obscured destination. Whilst I can do a lot to my garden to disguise the boundaries and blot out the surrounding houses, there isn't anything I can do to prevent me being able to see our house at all times, which obviously rather destroys the impression of being away from civilisation that a lot of these gardens seek to convey. It's something that would be doable in my garden, but not without putting some serious money and effort into sorting out the drainage at the bottom end, and majorly decreasing the size of the lawn. I would have no problem with this latter part, as long as there was still room for the intrepid baby to play, but I suspect the letting agents would be none too pleased. So much I want to do. Roll on spring. Please!

On a related note, while looking for more info on the above mentioned book I came across the website of Secret Gardens Furniture who offer some of the nicest garden furniture and trellises I've ever seen. If only I had a few grand to blow on such things... Any offers?