Friday 6 June 2014

Japanese-style, white garden

As a child, whenever it rained I asked to go outside and sit in a garden-chair under the apple-tree with my umbrella up, keeping me dry. I would stick out my hand from underneath its protection and let the raindrops splash onto my bare skin. My nostrils would flare, breathing in the wonderful earthy smell exuding all around from the garden's pores. The negative ions would calm me. I was melancholic and wistfully romantic from a precocious age!

Gardening itself I hated. I was in my thirties before I was converted. In fact I did not involve myself with or take any interest until after I became disabled. At first it was tending pots of herbs, but my collection grew. Now I find being in the garden, even if I cannot actually garden, thoroughly soothing. If I am able to do a wee bit of pottering or potting, I additionally feel a deep sense of achievement and satisfaction.

When my partner-as-was and I first started searching for somewhere to live together, one of the items on my list was a white garden. Don't get me wrong, I love coloured blooms. But I have always had a yen for foliage, going back to my days under the apple-tree: trees and shrubs do it for me. My desire was for a garden where the colours were provided by the differently hued leaves of various plants and that white would be the thread sewing these colours together.


Whilst the builders of our brand-new construction were less than helpful in providing adaptations to the property, even though we put a deposit down before a brick was laid, they did create a sort of ramp to the back door. What they did was create a sloped garden down to the garden-gate. However as the latter was diagonally opposite the back door, they in effect created an unconventionally sloped lawn space.

After eighteen months my very thoughtful ex decided we were going to have a garden that could accommodate my disabilities, with raised plant-beds and a ramp with a hand-rail. I sketched some ideas and a couple of plans which our chosen landscape-designer filled with plants and made concrete my dream.

Six-and-a-half years later, and the odd change of planting and the garden has matured to such an extent that there is now shade where shade was planned. And with some plants as anti-weed protection, for example woodruff in the shady area, and bark chippings elsewhere, I rarely have to do any weeding. Nonetheless, plants will compete with each other for the light, so I do need to tidy and prune from time to time. Initially this used to upset me as I do not like committing violent acts; but a long-time friend advised me to look at it as if giving the plants a hair-cut or manicure.

Unfortunately, I am often bed-bound and can at most just view the garden from my bedroom-window. Today, however, the sun came out in the late afternoon and the air warmed. I hobbled outside for an hour bringing order and filling up the garden-waste recycling-bin. And then I took some snap-shots.

For more images, see the following links:

The garden in June 2013.

The garden in May 2013.

The garden in April 2013.

The garden in October 2012.

The garden in late Summer 2012.

The garden in June 2012.

The garden in April 2012.

The garden in March 2012.

The garden in early Spring 2012.

The garden in November 2011.

The garden in June 2011.

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