It all depends on how you look at it

We are not on top of the garden.  The garden is firmly and cheerfully on top of us, like a toddler giggling and sitting on your face.  I have decided that this will just have to be the way it is this year. When I look at our diaries and see how much of this spring and last autumn I have been in Devon and how much Ian has been either totally committed to looking after his father or in Manchester working or building a kitchen it seems fairly extraordinary that there is anything out there looking even faintly like a garden.  This much land gardened in this way needs time and it has not had that sort of time.  But it is June and things are flowering and growing and glowing with life so we are going to choose where and how to look.


Look this way at the glory of the chives and the mint garden, where spearmint, applemint, basil mint, common mint, lime mint and peppermint jostle for space.  The more vigorous mints, the common mint and the basil mint being the worst culprits, are bursting out of their slate boxes and invading other mints, looking for lebensraum.  I must go through and intervene.


Don't look this way, where the raised beds cleared by the teenage son of a friend a couple of months ago have already been taken back by a tide of opium poppies, grass and dandelions.  There is stuff waiting in the greenhouse to come out here so this will have to go to make room for that.


Don't look this way where a bramble and some goosegrass are fighting for space by the lemon balm.


Look into the tumbling spires of fennel, already higher than my head, holding the raindrops in its feathery foliage.


I was going to move these lupins.   They are so vigorous in the cutting garden that they are overpowering the new box hedge.  They are also so huge, another plant higher than my head, that they are not really suitable as cut flowers.  But never mind, look at them, reaching for the sky behind the Euphorbia Oblongata.  They may be in the wrong place, but they are beautiful.


And the poppies are beginning to come out.  For a few precious days these flowers are perfection.
I could live in them, drown in them, wrap the petals round me and sleep in them.


The bindweed might be trumping the jasmine in front of the house.


But the meadow is full of buttercup and sorrel and plantain and the alliums are singing out against the glossy deep green of the acanthus leaves.  It all depends on where and how you look.





Comments

  1. fennel and lupins ... perhaps you need a generous tall vase? A creamy pitcher overflowing with delights? I often harvest prunings for the vase, before they finally become mulch.

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    1. I love the idea of the great tall vase! Perhaps that is the answer.

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    2. this ... is my inspiration. I don't have her flowers, but the vitality is enticing!
      http://wildacreflowers.blogspot.com/2014/03/wild-acre-flowers-are-in-garden.html

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  2. Elizabeth, what a lot is going on in your garden. It's almost a riot, but perhaps might just be all the plants vying for your attention. Look at me! Look at me! Aren't I lovely, aren't I wall, aren't I bold, aren't I a relief, aren't I a surprise.

    And so on and so on. Thank you so much for sharing all these photos. Do glory in the abundance. Weeding, etc., can take place later.

    xo

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  3. It is wildly, lushly beautiful!

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  4. It all looks pretty good to me - I have just been out doing some potting but my autumn garden is in desperate need of some TLC (also known as weeding and pruning).

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    1. At least in autumn you know that soon there will be nothing more you can do! Over this side of the world that is a few months off yet.

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    2. Not usually cold enough for that to happen. The garden keeps on going to a certain extent all year around.

      No snow, very few frosts in our part.

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  5. It all holds it's own form of beauty. Even in the places we weren't supposed to look.

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    1. Mostly it does, yes. I still struggle to find beauty in brambles but that is because they keep scratching me to bits!

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  6. Responsibilities elsewhere eat up much more time and energy than you ever imagine (speaks from experience) so don't get down about it - enjoy observing where the the plants thrive, I've never managed to move a Lupin successfully.

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    1. Thanks for the warning about lupins Celia. Perhaps I shall move a couple in autumn rather than doing the whole lot. Would be sorry to lose them.

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  7. Going back to nature in places - but what is wrong with that - those lupins are just tremendous.

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    1. I am a bit terrified that whole swathes of the garden will go so far back to nature that we will need to start again (or move!)

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  8. I just love the honesty in this. There is beauty to be had in honesty, and as has been commented, the natural has a beauty, and the editing and blending is the art. Thank you for this encouraging post.

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    1. Thank you Paul. I did wonder for a few moments whether I should keep quiet about the flooding weeds, but sometimes it is best to be real about all this. There are lots of other blogs full of pictures of perfection!

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  9. A similar situation here. Wondering if it is the long, overly wet winter with no hard frost that is behind it all? Still, it all looks wonderful. Even the bindweed!

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    1. That's the problem with bindweed. In some ways it is a beautiful plant but nothing stands in its way.

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  10. I so agree with the last commenter. commentator. Anyway, honesty is the best flower in any garden. I'm surprised you don't have it.

    I always feel you need a biggish house for a really big vase, perhaps I'm wrong. Those amazing lupins would need their own banqueting hall.

    I can see you've got far too much to do. There is no easy answer, I wish there were. I loved this post, and the photos.

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    1. Ah yes, we do have honesty, both the purple and the white variety with a variegated leaf. There is no easy answer as you say. Yesterday I was quite cheerfully resigned about it. Today it is driving me nuts!

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  11. The lupins are the stuff of dreams! Well, yes, abundance and chaos - but what fun it all is from a distance.
    How much better this is than serried ranks of things under control...
    Bindweed is a bit pesky - but all in all - for an outsider living in very concrete NY city it is bliss to visit you.

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    1. I think we can safely say that there are no serried ranks under control over here! I will try to see it as a positive choice!

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  12. Gardens are hard task masters. Blink and they take over but it is all looking wonderfully fecund and you have other more important matters to attend to.

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    1. You are right Marianne. The garden cannot matter in the way people do, even though it matters very much!

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  13. Beautiful, Elizabeth. Turning the other way is a good plan as is choosing to view chaos as nature having a ball! I need to think this in my very much smaller garden which is also rather neglected x

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    1. No doubt nature is having a ball here right now! I did some work on the cutting garden today so that is looking better, another place to direct the gaze...

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  14. Elizabeth, there is only so much you can do and right now your thoughts and responsibilities are elsewhere. It isn't easy to see all your hard work overwhelmed, but it will stand you in good stead for when you have more time. When I took on this garden it had been neglected for years and yet much of it still thrived when I was able to break through the weeds.

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    1. I am just hoping I don't lose too much stuff, just elbowed out altogether. I am going to get rid of some thugs in the native tree garden. It really would be heartbreaking to let that go after so much thought and care and work!

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  15. "Choose how and where to look" - the most excellent advice!

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    1. It is the visual version of "choose your attitude"!

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  16. Your garden looks perfect to me. Yes, we all have our fair share of weeding to do, but I can tell that in your garden the stars are all the pretty plants you've chosen. Those lupines are incredible and I would say they are in the right place, and frame the yellow flowering euphorbia perfectly.

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    1. thank you. The lupins do look good with the euphorbia. What you can't see is the poor box hedge being bullied down below.

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  17. Such a relief to see the reality elsewhere. I'm guilty of posting only the best, tightly framed bits of my garden, partly because I don't want a reminder about the bindweed, goosegrass and brambles, partly because I think I'm the only person who hasn't got on top of it all.

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  18. It is still quite stunning, the work you have put in previously reaping benefits. Bind weed is a curse though perhaps sent to remind us nature rules over perfection.

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    1. There is always a moment with bindweed early in the year when I feel I am keeping on top of it. I am always wrong.

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  19. Looks lovely to me, gardens that are too manicured and tidy are not normal! I have a nice border of ground elder to deal with at some point. Oddly enough there always seems something else to do instead.........

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    1. Now I think ground elder looks quite ok...

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  20. That’s it, look at it with forgiving eyes.
    In June, and after so much rain, everything just explodes, weeds and all. Enjoy what you have and see the beauty rather than 'the wrong plant in the wrong place’.

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    1. Explosion is truly the word for it. Alliums always look like little explosions to me.

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  21. The gardens don't look too bad - and I love the photo of the Lupins. Great plant. It will be some weeks before they start blooming here on the shores of Lake Michigan - still early spring. Jack

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    1. I think we are fortunate here in our long slow springs. Useful to be reminded of that!

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  22. I have been piled up under end of the school year things and have finally found a little time to sit and enjoy your photos. I think it all looks lovely, even the weedy bits! Those Lupins, though - I think a tall vase that can stand in a corner on the floor and hold a few stalks (branches? sprays? boughs?) would be the perfect thing, the kind you can use to put Pampas grass or other ornamental grasses in. Right now, everything on my tiny balcony is limping along and looking terribly anemic - the only thing soldiering on and looking healthy is the mint - but that's to be expected, isn't it? Enjoy your lovely riot of plants - it looks gorgeous!

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    1. It's quite a surprising idea that anything should be looking anaemic! here there is lots of vivid green and growth.

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  23. Our raised beds look like yours - thank you for making me feel a little better about them! With Pondside on the market, I decided not to plant in the raised beds, and before long they had reverted to nature. At least Nature has sprinkled a little colour here and there in our beds, and from a distance, they don't look too, too bad!

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    1. Distance is good, as is a sunny day and a glass of wine!

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  24. I wish my garden was beautifully untended as yours. been away from blogs and writing a while, but returning, if slowly.

    M

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    1. Just been over to see you. It is good to have you back.

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  25. I think your garden is gorgeous! Such abundance...I wish it were like that here, but we don't get enough rain. Those lupins are splendid, I've never seen any here that have grown so tall and beautiful.

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    1. Some of them are falling over today. I think a badger might have been through!

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  26. I love your garden! June has turned mine into a mad, overflowing abundance of flowers- just as I like it!

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    1. Me too. I could do with working out how to make it last a bit longer though!

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  27. Stunning lupins, you almost convert me. Almost... When life is tough anyway it must be doubly hard to see areas of your garden going wild on you. I lost control of mine last year, thanks to "other stuff". Try and look at the wonderful things and know that regaining that lost ground isn't actually as hard as it seems at the moment. Enjoy your poppies!

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    1. Your comment about regaining the lost ground is an encouragement janet, thank you! I am trying not to let it bug me too much but there are some parts of the garden where, however hard I try, I do mind!

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  28. I love your lupins. You have so much lovely lush growth to enjoy.
    In March and April each year I think I am on top of everything but then In May and June, whoosh away it all goes. There aren' t enough hours in the day. Bindweed? We all have it. And you should see my ground elder. It would win prizes.

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    1. I think bindweed would have to be the prize winner for me. Mine is like the week version of the giant vegetables grown by allotment holders for competition!

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