The View From the Front Door

23 May

When we come home and open our front door, the view ahead is of the garden seen through the glass wall at the back of the hall. My aim this spring has been to make more of it.

While I haven’t fitted the parquet floor or finished the decorating, i’ve almost finished remodelling the garden. Here’s the view as of this morning:

Don’t mind the score or more of takeaway containers and ice cream tubs on the floor. That’s the propagation station.

The bare area is to be lawn: the grass seed is starting to sprout. The lawn was square before and offset between the window and the greenhouse. By extending it to the left hand side of the window and snaking the edge round to the near corner of the greenhouse, I hoped to lead the eye through the garden.

The shape of the lawn area is definitely an improvement on before. Previously it sloped gently away from the house, following the lie of the land. It’s flat now, with the level taken from top edge of the wooden retainer that separates it from the gravel path around the house. That has made the overall level higher, a little like a stage is higher than the audience. That’s something I wanted to create: maybe theatre is too strong a word, let’s say instead I wanted it to look deliberate.

That curve has given me a new planting bed to play with. This picture shows the shape of it from the living room:

It’s packed out, save for at either side. In a previous post I mentioned wanting the plants arranged in a rising pile-up. Again, so things look more deliberate; like a proper garden instead of a hoard of plants.

Moving outside, here’s how the greenhouse sits next to the desert. See how big the Puya berteroniana is growing in there! I grew the puya from seed nearly ten years ago. It has offsets. I look forward to having to take some of the glass out of the roof when it flowers. On Wednesday I trimmed back some of the leaves just so I could get past it without risking injury.

For me, the main attraction in the desert this week is Beschorneria septentrionalis and those neon pink scapes:

Finally, back into the house for a look at the propagation station. In the ‘hot box’ the rattans seem happy as can be Maybe I could sell some. Lordy knows why i’m persisting with nine of them. What would the label say? “Calamus longisetus. Plant somewhere hot and humid, like Singapore.”

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