Monday, 23 June 2014

May and June 2014

No time to blog! I have been taking advantage of early mornings and long evenings and for once, perfect weather, blue skies and scudding clouds. So much to catch up on.
This is the time of year when gardens are open via the National Garden Scheme - the N.G.S, so with the yellow book at hand I set off for Spitchwick Manor, nestled on the undulating edge of Dartmoor in wooded valleys. One of my ideas of heaven is a walled garden with greenhouses - Victorian greenhouses. I would happily live in a walled garden.
And at Spitchwick Manor the walled garden is tucked down into the landscape for protection from the elements of winter weather - strong prevailing tree bending winds and slashing, lashing icy cold rain. Consequently you will find the orchard is also tucked behind the granite walls - perfectly pruned old apple trees geometrically spaced within their own neat round islands of earth set in lawns of roughly mown, daisy strewn grass.
The walled garden in also a sunken garden on the side where the entrance is. From the outside you find the usual magical wooden door set within the wall and as you push it open are quite surprised to discover that stone steps descend. It makes perfect sense as it embeds itself into the ancient landscape once and for all time. As walled gardens go, this is on a miniature scale. Initially you look over the tops of the apple trees across the top of the walls towards the sea. And then you enter another world.
 I love old gardens and all the things that go into the making of them. I don't know if this knife sharpener is still in use as most shears and spades are now stainless steel and as far as I know are not sharpened. I may be wrong. This is for sharpening plain steel tools, the kind that go rusty when left in the damp night air. All tools ought to be washed, dried, oiled and put in their own place, that is if you have a place to put them.
Storage - essential and also a place for returning swallows to nest. 
More storage - the potting shed - another essential for a well run garden and a place to wile away the hours. Robins also nest here.
I will make a bench like this for 'potting-on' on sunny days. I am planning my next garden, where-ever it may be, composing lists of reminders of details and aspects of things that I love to create once again a little heaven on earth.
 And Azaleas for perfect beauty and drifting evening fragrance.
 

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