This year / last year in the garden

The sun came out! What a gorgeous day it’s been here today – I wish I had had my camera with me so that I could share photographs of the beautiful leaves on the beech trees I saw this afternoon, I love that bright lime-green zing of spring colour. But the sunshine did inspire me to take a few pics of the garden this evening.

We are very slowly re-landscaping our sloping garden into terraces. It *is* slow progress, but I am  proud of all that we have done so far. Here’s the first gabion wall we built last year:

Gabions this time last year

And here it is now:
Gabions now

Still a bit of bare earth, but I am loving the way that the thymes, alpines and sedums are making themselves at home on the gabions.

The alliums are about to flower:
Allium about to flower

Looking at last year’s garden pics made me realise that these are coming out a whole 3 weeks later than last year – it has been so cold and grey here, I can quite understand why it didn’t feel like coming out until now. It’s good to see them spring into life.

The Camasssia is just coming into flower too. I love this beautiful plant – I am really hoping that it naturalises in our garden, it’s so pretty. I’m rather proud of this photo:

Camassia just coming into flower

Something that has been flowering, for weeks now, is this white saxifrage that I planted on the gabions. It’s still going strong too:

White saxifrage

I’d like to get some more of saxifrage to grow on the gabions, I have been enjoying it so much during this miserable May – we can see it directly from our kitchen window.

The cultivated Veronica I bought earlier this year is also looking so pretty:

Cultivated Veronica

And here’s the wild version (bottom right corner), commonly known as speedwell, which, along with the daisies, is invading our uncut lawn. The best reason I know for not mowing the lawn…!

Our lawn!

Hope you got to enjoy some sunshine today too!

10 thoughts on “This year / last year in the garden

  1. I love the planted gabion! Did you mix in earth with the stones? How do you prevent the earth from washing out with the rain? Any tips are welcome!

    1. Thanks very much! We did mix a bit of earth in with the stones yes, and it does come out a bit sometimes (although only in very heavy rain), but I just sweep it up and chuck it back on the gabions. We are blessed in this respect with very heavy clay soil, so it can’t go very far. Plants dry out very quickly on there, so it’s important to plant up with drought tolerant plants. I buy drought tolerant alpines (saxifrage is particularly successful) and creeping plants, like creeping thymes. Good luck with your gabions.

      1. Thans for the reply and the tips! I’m curious to build our gabion and to see whether we succeed growing it with plants. Cheers, Bart (the Netherlands)

  2. I am really keen to create gabions in my tiny garden for quirky and arty features – since I saw some lovely ones at Butterfly world in St Albans. Did you make yours from scratch? And do you have any tips for me – I would be doing it mostly on my own and have no DIY experience or skills (yet!)

    1. Oooh I have seen the wonderful ones at Butterfly World in a TV programme – so inspiring! We have found them very easy to make – and we are total DIY-a-phobes. You just need a strong pair of pliers if you choose to wire them together yourself (you don’t have to). Ours came as flat packed wire boxes that we then had to create and fill. We have since created another wall using them – they are fab.

  3. I LOVE the gabions, they look pretty good already don’t they?Such a clever idea for creating terraces. The camassia is looking very pretty too – funnily enough I was eyeing some up in a local nursery at the weekend, it wasn’t on my list for that particular visit, and I resisted, but now that I’ve worked out where it should go it’s on the list for the next trip!

    1. Thanks! I think the gabions are looking pretty good, definitely, and as I love alpines, I am spending too much money on buying plants for the gabions rather than for the bare earth in the borders! Sadly the camassia has gone over in about a week… I guess because it has been so warm. I have another one in a shadier spot that is lasting longer.

  4. The sun is shining here, but it is chilly. We are at 300metres altitude, so always a couple of degrees cooler and a couple of weeks behind the rest of the country! Like you, this has been pushed back even further!
    Your pics are very cheering and very bright and clear! I love Camassia too – sadly it had never naturalised here, but we live in hope! If there is one thing I have learned about gardening is that there are always surprised to be had.

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