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The following spring we measured the lot and got some plans drawn up.  Using the hose, perennial borders were marked out in the area close to the house.  The east facing border  would suit plants liking dry shade, the two northern borders for plants that like full sun (though not in winter) and the border on the east for plants that can withstand some shade.  The endless grass sod was piled up to compost down for use later.

A cold frame was built next to the greenhouse, and some ugly flag stones in a chequered pattern were lifted so a patio could be laid near the back door.  An area inside the flagstones was left to allow for a small graveled herb garden and some alpines.  A wooden fence had been put around the area where the cold frames were placed and trellis installed to hold the Clematis montana forms I planted there.

Borders were then planted.  My first purchases were plants that would take a while to mature.  I put in a variegated holly (Ilex); an Enkiathus campanulatus and an Olearia in the shady area.  In the sunny northern areas I planted a Cistus ladanifer, Rosa 'Zepherine Drouin' and other shrubs I cannot remember the names of. On the west facing border was  planted with Sambucus racemosa plumosa aurea; Ceanothus 'Blue Mound'; Lathyrus 'White Pearl', Fuchsia magellanica 'alba', buddleia alternifolia and several clematis. The leylandii were unceremoniously removed!  Near the house, in almost total shade I planted three beloved Japanese maples I had carefully potted up to travel to Northumberland.

The diascia beds were at the front of all the borders, but I soon realised that the shady east facing border was quite unsuitable, and I resolved to plant them elsewhere the following year.  We added four raised veggie beds in our 'back 40' and began growing some of our own produce.  We like beans, peas, pototoes, onions and carrots and we have little difficulty harvesting a good crop from them.  We have also planted out two blueberry bushes that are thriving and providing us with a couple of pounds of blueberries every year now.

Latest update 06 March 2001

 Christine Boulby Copyright 2001 All rights reserved