My Street

11 Mar

This morning was frosty. The middle of March isn’t the best time to show gardens but, for all my disinterest, being on the other side of the camera makes things a bit more interesting. Speaking of the camera, sorry about the appalling photography. I don’t enjoy hanging around taking photos of people’s houses.

First, some larger houses and gardens on the walk from the train station. Pines, an old Araucaria araucana . . . and some new parking for cars.

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And now into my road, which is a bit more modest. The owners of this cottage alternate flying the Union Jack and the Indian national flag. Not a fan: they lowered it to half mast when Thatcher died.

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Magnolia souleageana in bud. There are several of these along the road.

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Sometimes the abandoned spaces are the best. A rough patch of Euphorbia.

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The owners of this garden make an effort in summer. At the moment there are only Narcissus to see.

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Cotoneaster horizontalis with fruit. Another popular choice here.

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Garden? What garden?

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A modest attempt at architectural planting. Phormium and red cabbage palm in black glossy pots on slate chippings. There will be weed suppressant barrier under the slate.

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A rare example (on this stretch) of a garden which is still a garden and not parking. Hydreagea, magnolia, cordyline, the usual suspects.

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This house was flanked by 15′ tall Cordyline australis. The freakish winter of four years ago cut them right back down to ground level.

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My bête noire: dwarf conifers.

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Holly, rose, another magnolia, Skimmia japonica in there too I think.

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My front garden, looking pretty empty. But i have an Echium about to flower!

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Is it what you expected, American friends?

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6 Responses to “My Street”

  1. Becca March 11, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

    Hi! That is not what I expected. I had a pretty clear picture in my mind–there were loads of small, carefully tended, but somewhat twee yards with lots of geraniums and also plenty of ‘cottage garden’ annuals. I’m sad to see so much paving. If those people with the row of parked cars own their homes, they should tear out the strip down the middle between the paving for the wheels and plant something low in there. It would increase permeability (reduce runoff–but maybe permeability/runoff is not high on the priority list in your part of the world?) and make it much more interesting. I don’t think we see your front garden much in pictures? Thanks for the walk around the neighborhood! If you saw mine, it would be much as you expect, I imagine. Green, water-hungry lawns. Including my yard–when you’re getting ready to sell, it’s not a good time to express your individuality 😦

    • thechthonianlife March 11, 2014 at 5:26 pm #

      I almost feel responsible for your disappointment 😦

      Proper cottage gardens are few and far between, especially in front gardens. The owner of the one with the daffodils puts some effort in, as did the owner of the garden at the end of the road. I was sad to hear that she died recently. Changes to front gardens are always one way: more parking, often for two, three or even four cars. The one thing I appreciate most about tended front gardens is that it shows public spirit on behalf of the owners. “Public-spiritedness” (for want of a better term) is always in short supply.
      Cars and house prices are both a menace to gardens. Effectively there’s a massive incentive not to tend one’s own bit of ground. Depressingly, the newest alterations are always the worst. Did I show the one that was completely covered in block paving and decorated only with white sports cars. Horrible and vacuous as only Wilmslow can do horrible and vacuous.

      • Becca March 12, 2014 at 12:40 am #

        Maybe this weekend I will take a walk around the ‘hood and post some pics. My favorite garden is a ways away–I only see it when I drive by it–but there are a few good ones within a couple blocks. Here, the paving is more likely to be in the back yard–what a waste when you could be growing citrus or veggies or whatever in a perfect climate! And it makes the yard hot and nasty to be in as well, of course…if that’s what I end up with when we move, the guys with the jackhammers will show up before the end of the summer to create some growing space!

      • thechthonianlife March 12, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

        I’m off fb now so I am not sure where I would find your pictures.

        Everything has to be just so for reading Proust. Getting it right is an absorbing game. I feel a neurotic sensitivity to discomfort and distraction when i’m trying to read him, you see.

  2. Loree / Danger garden March 12, 2014 at 4:17 am #

    Actually, and I can’t explain why, it is very much what I would have expected.

    • thechthonianlife March 12, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

      It can’t be all that different to Luton, is it, where Alternative Eden is?

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