The Physical Features of my Garden

The plot has a total area of slightly less than a third of an acre but, since its plan is anything but labour saving, it gives the impression of being much larger.
Originally the site sloped to the north but after much soil acquisition and hundreds of hours spent barrowing, most of it is now south sloping.

The back and side gardens run into each other. They are surrounded by a hawthorn hedge, which is allowed, on my side of the boundary, to grow wild. Neighbours spend much time manicuring the other side. A narrow lawn starts near the fence hidden in shrubs, ivy and honeysuckle that cuts off the front garden. The lawn meanders to a tall golden cypress about three quarters of the way down, passing a pond on the way. The back garden is full of connecting paths which delight young children. My elder grandchildren and I spent a great deal of time and effort pebbling these paths over membrane but the weeds still flourished so recently I asked Chris to lay large slabs.
 
I grow fruir trees and vegetables at the rear and on one side of the garden, using a three year rotation and plan to put more fruit trees into the vegetable area.
 
Along the side hedges I have shrub borders (including shrub roses) full of bulbs from late winter to late spring but one of the borders is full of ground elder and I don't know how to tackle it without killing the bulbs.
 
Two central beds are devoted to dahlias in late summer and autumn after the spring bulbs, forget-me-nots and poached egg plant have finished. Another bed is devoted to the HT rose Elena. The beds bordering the lawn used to be rose beds but gradually I am filling them with herbaceous perennials and an assortment of young conifers.
The pond
In the summer of 1998 my eldest son and all four grandchildren built me this wild life pond at the edge of the lawn. Soon after it sprung a mysterious leak. In the winter it stayed full for several weeks at a time, but in the spring and summer it could sink by six inches overnight.

In 2005 I asked Chris to mend the pond by relining the deeper part and letting the shallower dry out completely. The frogs are not happy with the new arrangement despite my putting out frog ladders. Newts , however, thrive.

Garden Layout
 
Front Garden

 
Conservatory
 
Plants

 
Garden Diary