Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A little sneak peek

We went to visit the new house the other day: and this time, I was armed with a camera. Thought you might like a little sneak peak: here's my new garden.

Small children are an optional extra: we've decided to keep the one with the long hair and the one in the blue jacket but the one with the blonde hair is going.

(I should hasten to add that Long Hair is my eldest, Blue Jacket is my youngest, and Blonde Hair belongs to the current owners, and is rather sweet. The dog, unfortunately, also belongs to them: we plan to install our own very soon).

The garden is in what's left of a former quarry, which explains the steep slope at the back. You can't quite make out that there are also very steep banks at either side, presenting some, ahem, interesting gardening challenges.

Anyway: this bit measures about 50ft x 200ft. But that's not all: this is a garden of many parts.

Part II is a smaller and more well-behaved bit to the other side of the house: it's stepped down the hill in a rather attractive sort of way (this is looking down the slope).

And here's part III. We rather optimistically call it the orchard, mainly on the grounds that it has two apple trees in it (as well as a not-very-well-looking pear tree): it's not quite the sweeping vistas you would expect of your average orchard as it's long and very thin. I measured it at approximately 180ft x 15ft.

One of the reasons for the not-very-well pear tree, I suspect, is the lack of air circulation: that hedge is about 10ft tall. You will hear more about that hedge in due course, I suspect: a lot more. There is a lot of hedge. Oh my Lord, there is a lot of hedge.

There's a bit more too, further up the hill, which we're optimistically referring to as the paddock so doesn't really count as garden: we're going to be using that mainly for my chickens and other animals, and possibly my husband (don't worry, I'll invite him down to the house from time to time). There's also a sort of raised rockery sort of thing in front of the house which rather defies explanation, photography or indeed description.

Soil is chalky but not too dry (owing to the bowl-like dip) and it's all on the side of a south-facing hill, with the long side facing south, if you know what I mean. Any ideas, inspirations or just thoughts on what to do will be just wonderful and pathetically gratefully received.

I will introduce you properly when we're in: we're not entirely free of the potential for jinx just yet as we're still a day or two off exchanging contracts. But there is just one week and four days to go until moving day now: and this is beginning to feel very imminent indeed.


patientgardener said...

How exciting. Dont talk to me about slopes, you want slopes come and live in Malvern!!!

Arabella Sock said...

I just typed how exciting and realised I had copied what patientgardener had said. It is exciting though - plenty of challenges but already looking lovely in parts so you can enjoy immediately and not have to rush in with diggers etc.

Su Harris said...

What a lovely new challenge. It is so exciting taking on a new garden and seeing what comes up, and what you didn't know you'd inherited. I look forward to reading more of your journey.

elizabethm said...

It looks good already and full of possibilities. Mind you, five years on from when we moved I am still finding new possibilities/challenges/problems. Take your pick. And I still plan and ponder in the middle of the night!

Ms B said...

Wow! What a lot of garden for you to get your teeth into. Is the house as exciting?

Victoria said...

Goodness, it looks wonderful. Why don't you invite all us bloggers round for a hedge party? You'll get some help with your hedge and we'll get a look at the garden.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed for your last bit of conveyancing - I couldn't bear for you to lose this!

The Constant Gardener said...

Exciting just about covers it! We exchange contracts today :D

PG: I may be picking your Worcestershire brains then. I've never actually tried vertical gardening before but hey, always up for a challenge.

Arabella: diggers may yet be an option. Actually I'm trying to find an excuse to hire one as it has been a long-held ambition to drive one. A really big one.

Su: it's the bits I don't know I'm inheriting I'm a little apprehensive about :D

Elizabeth: I don't think there's a single gardener in existence who doesn't lose a little sleep to early-hours planning and pondering!

Ms B: house is also exciting though rather more ill-advised: it's thatched (big no-no) very old (big no-no) needs a bit of work (big no-no) and utterly utterly beautiful, which is why we've lost our hearts to it. There's no fool like an old fool... I shall post pictures when I feel I can face up to what we're taking on here.

Victoria: that's it! Bloggers' Hedge Party! Your invitation is in the post. Actually I had already wondered about pooling all you fantastically experienced and inspirational bloggers together and making this a combined effort - a sort of bloggers' garden. But I suspect that may be taking advantage rather shamelessly, as you'd all have to travel to Somerset to see it :D

VP said...

Somerset's very close to Chippenham :D

I am soooooo envious. It looks wonderful, even the potentially problematic bits. And you have an orchard too * drools with even more envy*

I can see why you've lost your heart to this 'project' :)

When I said to you at the beginning of all this that you might have to move out of the area to achieve your heart's desire, I didn't dream it would be as far away as Somerset!

The Constant Gardener said...

hi VP, yes the proximity to Chippenham had already occurred to me :D

my mum lives in Wiltshire, as I think I've already mentioned, so we're quite up to speed on relative journey times. You were quite right about moving out of the south-east: a) they paved over it and b) the bits they didn't pave over are deafeningly noisy due to large roads, large aeroplanes and large numbers of people. So we couldn't find anything we wanted until we happened to go house-hunting in Somerset. And then it didn't take us long at all.

It's not as far away as you think though - trains to London from about half-a-dozen stations so I shall be frequenting all my usual haunts, flower shows etc etc. It's not that easy to get rid of me you know ;D

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