The Garden LayoutThe 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 it 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 considerable time and effort pebbling these paths over membrane but the weeds still flourished so eventually I replaced some pebbled paths with large slabs.
I grow fruir trees and vegetables at the rear and on one side of the back garden, I use a three year rotation in the vegetable plots but am gradually replacing the vegetables with more fruit trees and soft fruit.
Along the east facing side I have shrubs and a mini wood with a hammock slung between an aspen tree and the hawthorn hedge in summer. In late winter and early spring the mini wood is full of bulbs of snow drops. On the west facing side I have a small patio and am gradually replacing some of the older shrubs with rhododendrons. In spring a profusion of daffodils covers much of the garden.
One central bed has dahlias in late summer and autumn with the bulbs, forget-me-nots and poached egg plants in spring and summer. Another bed has modern shrub roses underplanted with spring bulbs. I have a few large old shrub roses at the rear of the vegetable beds. The beds bordering the lawn used to be rose beds but gradually I am filling them with herbaceous perennials. Winter interest is provided by the bark of a spreading eucalyptus tree and a large birch, The birch looks magical glowing in low winter sun. There are alos the red stems of dogwood and the perfumed flowers of viburnum< Several evergree tres provide height.br >
The front garden has garrya ellipticus, viburnum and golden choisya to provide interest in the dark days of early winter and then come a variety of daffodils and an edging of reliable aubretia. The garden is probably at its most colourful art the end of April and May when it is a mass of forget-me-nots with tulips poking through them. Unfortunately forget-me-nots die messily and leave a gap before alliums and lilies replace them.The front garden is probably at its dullest at the end of July and th beginning of August before the Daliasm, heleniums and gladioli get into their stride, December and to pro