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"The Haven" (6)


By david


With September here, and now into the transition from Summer to Autumn, it came as bit of a surprise to find that Spring seemed to have “sprung” in some parts of the garden this week.

My “Spring Treasure” primula collection, which I brought here from a container at my front door, are in bloom again (but not too surprisingly).

The bergenias, which I rescued from ground Elder, and tidied up quite a bit in May, are now displaying flowers, although smaller than in Spring.

The “big surprise” has been the appearance of 5 flowerheads on a white rhododendron, which flowered beautifully in May, but was very straggly, as it was competing with the dense canopy of an overhead flowering currant. I severely cut back the currant, and cut out the straggly branches of the rhododendron, which, perhaps, has helped it flower again this year Again, smaller blooms than in Spring, but welcome colour now, nonetheless.

Of course, there is the usual late summer burst of “hot” colour, mainly in the form of the drifts of Crocosmia.

I shall dig up and divide the corms next Spring, as they are a bit crowded, and I have planned new places for some of this.

There were some rose bushes,left to their own devices. Am pleased to see that my earlier pruning has produced some late blooms.

Isn’t it great when plants respond to some “intervention”?

Out front, in the lane, the Rowans are a mass of scarlet berries.

The brambles (blackberries) seem to ripen earlier each year, or is this just a misperception?

Great for all the birdlife around here, of course, and enough for me to make some rowan, and bramble, jelly.

This is part of the lane. I have pruned the large trees this year, the hawthorn hedging has had 3 trims, and the grass needs strimming once a week. This is only part of the “managed” section, and the strimming alone takes 2 hours!

Behind the hawthorn hedging, to the east, is a large, commercial willow plantation.

This has been a breeding ground for pheasants this year. The parents, and chicks, often visit the garden areas, especially to feed on seed and nuts dropped from the hanging bird feeders. I often disturb them when I turn a corner, and have not yet managed to get pics of them. One day, a pheasant chick followed me about (where was my camera, then???). I cringe every time I hear the sound of gunfire from the fields around.

The northern boundary is formed by this wondeful wheatfield.


On the west is the stream and Den, with bridge, which leads to another wheatfield with a Right of Way footpath.

To the south is a former field with mixed tree planting, and where deer are often seen. This area provides most problems for the garden areas, as it is so heavy with invasive weeds, which seem to hop over the hedges during the night, and take root anywhere they can.

I rather like the wild Golden Rod (Solidago), which, typically, is the only one not to want to grow in the gardens.

I really like to see the architectural skeletons of Giant Hogweed, but a definite “nasty”, alas.

After dropping some hints, the farmer who owns the surrounding fields now keeps a sort of “weedbreak” round the perimeter of the willow plantation. He can do this, easily and quickly, with his machinery. It helps, a bit, to keep the nasties at bay, but it is always surprising to see how much they all advance towards “The Haven” in a week of wet weather.

This is my modest Operations HQ, where I have my own armoury of industrial-sized petrol weapons. In the few months I have been coming here, I have learned so much about the maintenance, handling, and problem-solving connected with a wide range of tools.

I’ve also (nearly) mastered the “art” of creating striped lawns, much-loved by the “Squire”, but hated by moi., especially in this lovely rural setting, and having to go around trees, lol! Anyway, can’t get it all my own way – It’s not my garden, after all!

I am, however, working on having one recent addition changed. When we began to tackle this place, “M’lady” suddenly remembered a forgotten birthday gift, which she rescued from the attic.

I really like this heron sculpture, but it doesn’t look its best stapled to a tree stump in the middle of the main lawn, with several other, unrelated, sculptures close by. I’d really like this to be down on the recently-cleared stream banking, beside the water, where I have “planted” a few tree stumps from the woodpile, to which this could be fixed. M’lady already spoke about getting a “statue” for this area, and am hoping to persuade her to move the heron,and save the expenditure for the planned allotment.

Watch This Space, as the saying goes…………………….. :-))

More blog posts by david

Previous post: "The Haven" (5)

Next post: Fife Flower Show 2010 (1) The Flowery Bits



this is such a 'haven' and i am really pleased you share it with us. the heron is gorgeous. it would be so mch better next to water i agree.

6 Sep, 2010


absolutely brilliant blog David, lovely pics, some hard work gone on there..i like a nice striped lawn myself the heron too... i agree it would look nicer near the water. :o))

6 Sep, 2010


You've a beautiful variety of plants, trees near to you....and that stream looks so inviting. I'll bet it's a lovely spot when the weather is hot.

The heron would look great, as you say, by the water.

6 Sep, 2010


Fabulous tour of Haven again David everything is looking lovely......... responding to the tlc you are bringing to it, the Heron will look great on the stream bank. I will be watching this space for sure :o) p.s we all posted at the same time so guess the Heron got the seal of approval for a move lol.

6 Sep, 2010


What a wonderful place. Pitty you can't do everything your own way, but it must be lovely to work in the gardens.
I never understand why people enjoy killing things. It seems so unnatural to me.

7 Sep, 2010


Not sure I'd like to be stapled to a log Lol, yes by the stream will be better. What lovely vistas you have, sounds like Utopia to me. Is it peaceful too or do you get aeroplanes? I really like the lane.

7 Sep, 2010


It seems a perfect place to relax in and I must agree with you about the lawn,I cannot stand plants on parade and stripey lawns,it goes against nature, however that`s only my own opinion,lol. The Heron would be more at home nearer the stream and I don`t doubt that is where it will be next year.
I envy you your Haven David and I bet M`lord and M`lady are pleased they have you........

7 Sep, 2010


It might not be yours David but you are putting your mark on it , I have a feeling you will get your own way as to where the Heron should go ... !! how can anyone forget they have something like that ?

7 Sep, 2010


Wow what a lovely place, the pictures are wonderful, thanks David for sharing with us, beautiful blog

7 Sep, 2010


Wonderful place and blog David the primulars were flowering lovely and the Rhododendron, lovely job your done grass and of the lane its great , I love the stream too.

7 Sep, 2010


Brilliant blog are working wonders in this garden. Bet your Bramble jelly is just wonderful ! Mmm!

7 Sep, 2010


Oh how is so enjoy this blog David are you thinking of opening this garden next year for garden scotland.

How are your children now back at school?

And their secret garden is coming along good.

Did you go to the Dundee flower Show ,I went on Friday and had apeek at minuture gardens the kids all entered all good each should have been a winer.

8 Sep, 2010


Many Thanks, everyone, for the great feedback. Will definitely try to get the heron moved, now. Lol, Heron! :-)) . No 'planes, trains or cars either here, with the nearest minor road a mile away down the lane.

I don't know how anyone could forget about the sculpture either, Amy. ?????

Hi Scotkat. I know that the owners would definitely not want to open their gardens to the public. In any case, access is too difficult and there is no parking space, which would make this a non-starter. :-( Children enjoying their new classes and teachers, gardens doing fine (I think), missed the Dundee Show last weekend. :-((

10 Sep, 2010


that is a beautiful garden, Haven is the right name :-))

12 Sep, 2010


I've scrolled through this twice, just to ensure I didn't miss anything the first time ! You are working wonders in taming this garden, David, how odd to see Primulas and Rhodos for the second time in a year. Your photo of the stream is wonderful, any fish in there ? How on earth could anyone forget they had such a lovely Heron in the attic ? Strange place to put it ! ! Oh, and your description of armoury in the shed brought a smile ... lol !

12 Sep, 2010


Hi, Grindle - not its real name. "The Haven" title came about as a result of a poem written and posted by GOYer Simplylyn back in May when I first wrote about my new project. It is very fitting!!! :-))

Hi Shirley! Primulas commonly bloom again in late summer, but have never seen rhodos in bloom at this time of year before. Yes, there are fish. Since I have now maded access to the stream bank, have twice spotted brown trout. On Thursday, watched one travel upstream. It even leaped across areas of stones, just like a salmon! Haven't seen any herons, although the owners say they have seen an occasional one. have seen dippers, mallards and, once, a kingfisher, so there is definitely a wealth of wildlife to be spotted there. ;-))

12 Sep, 2010


Great blog David and I do hope you get your way with the beautiful Heron sculpture as it looks so out of place where it is.

13 Sep, 2010


Many Thanks for that "vote", Stroller :-)) (wish I could show them the strength of opinion here). Fingers crossed X

13 Sep, 2010


Gr8 blog David, it certainly is a beautiful place to 'go to work' !! Love that Rhodi and the primulas look right there under the trees, I also love that Heron, he would look much better near the water, where they belong, try to persuade them to move it !!!! look forward to some winter pics too.

18 Sep, 2010


Posted two, sorry !!

18 Sep, 2010


Hi Grandmage! Must admit to a personal urge to see this place in winter, too! I'm sure that it will have just as much interest. Am waiting for that window of opportunity to open re the heron - this may be on Monday, as "M'lady" and I are visiting a lovely GC to look at water features for the "Hint of the Orient" area to be developed. :-))) It's not ALL "work" here, lol!!

18 Sep, 2010


Amazing, you must think you are dreaming, now you are off to the far east !!!! Lol Have a good weekend.

18 Sep, 2010


I do still think I'm dreaming about half the time, lol!! And she is "chauffeuring" me there and back, too, and insists on buying lunch in "The Orangery". Could I get away with the term "working lunch"?

Our county flower show tomorrow - love it being so late in the season, for the late summer/early autumn glows of the flowers, and the veggies, especially. We really love the entries in the children's classes, too! Yes, the next 2 days will more than make up for having to work today! Hope your weekend is fab, too!!!! :-)))

18 Sep, 2010


You're going to have two lovely days of exciting viewing and buying, David. Good luck with re-siting the heron...hope you find your opening to introduce the subject....maybe on the car ride to the GC on Monday!

18 Sep, 2010


Can't wait, Whistonlass!!! :-)) nYes, think I'll start work re the heron en route to the GC! :-D) Wish me luck!!!

18 Sep, 2010


love the heron . and it will look very nice by the water. i allso love gient hogweed . but can cause nasty rashes . but 4 that wud have it in the garden , its so fasenating u still doing a gud job i see ;0))))) ps gud luk

21 Sep, 2010


How went the shopping trip and did M'Lady go for the Heron move ....dddddrrrr
all will be revealed..........we wait with baited breath David!!! :o)

21 Sep, 2010


'havenly' as always to read more - do keep it coming =))

23 Sep, 2010


Many Thanks, Cristina and Cate. Should have more to report on soon, but this week is very busy!!

Alas, Neellan, and all who agreed with me on relocating the heron, M'lady took the idea badly. Thank Goodness I waited until we were in the garden statuary area of the GC before broaching the sublject, and not driving along!!!
"I feel like a lie down" said she when I suggesed it. She wants to be able to see it from the kitchen window. :-(( But, she said that she will find something along those lines for the stream bank. We got a lot of Spring bulbs that day, and I have begun planting them. Also good ideas for a water feature, etc, for the "Hint of the Orient" garden, and I got a pressie of bulbs of "Parrot" tulips, and daffodils "Giolden Ducat" and "Fortune" for our "Pirates" themed garden. :-)))

23 Sep, 2010


Well you may be in receipt of a new ornament for the stream; too bad about the heron. I suppose now that it's been discovered M'lady has realized how lovely it is. Lots of bulbs to plant up in your job and in your home garden too.

And ideas for the water sounds like a productive day out. Good news.

23 Sep, 2010


have an idea - if the heron cant go to the pond take the pond to the heron - or at least the semblance of a pond edge - sedges - reeds - well and regularly watered they will thrive just as if they were on a real pond or rivers edge - maybe a couple of rocks? just a thought =)

25 Sep, 2010


think that wud look nice

27 Sep, 2010


wow ive just discovered your 'Haven..what a great place to work...i love working in other peoples gardens. im off to see more of this lovely place..:-)

29 Sep, 2010


It was a very productive day, Whistonlass. :-)

Great idea, Cate! But, I think that this might go down like the heron relocationj idea. Squire will probably have a fit, as this would mean digging up part of his pride and joy, his stripey lawn. Will give it a try, however. :-)

Enjoy your visit, Sandra. :-)

30 Sep, 2010


I love the Heron, and agree it would look so much better by some water.....sorry loved the stripes in the lawn too lol...... hope these good people appreciate all this hard work David? still you do enjoy it, and we all enjoy reading about it, keep up the good work...looking forward to the next installment.

3 Oct, 2010


'Moi' love the striped lawn though ;-)

Hilda from la Belgique

9 Oct, 2010


I really don't mind the stripes, Dd and Hilda. :-))

10 Oct, 2010

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