The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Winter Interest in my Garden - part 6 - Hard stuff!

60 comments


Hard stuff? What I mean is the landscaping and permanent man-made structures in the garden.

Let’s begin with fences. If you are lucky, you inherit some which are attractive. If you’re not, they can be plain ugly! Then you have choices – live with them, disguise them or change them.

We were lucky here – our predecessors varied the fences. The ones near the house to screen off the front garden from the side part aren’t straight-topped, they swoop as you can see in that first photo. Fences are always extremely useful – you can fasten wires or trellis on them, and grow climbers up them. This takes away the ‘raw’ feeling of a bare expanse of fence…a very effective disguise!

Then we have half-rounds fastened to posts – some are horizontal…

…to make a change from vertical! They stand out when the foliage is off the trees and shrubs that hide them at other times of the year, as a feature on their own.

You might remember when we put this new fence and trellis up across the back garden. Before that, there was a bramble-ridden Escallonia hedge there – so we were lucky to be able to choose an attractive pattern as a background for my new planting. I have several climbers established on the trellis now.

Another type of fencing that was already here was an open trellis, with a pergola above it. There was a vine planted on the pergola as well as Clematis montana and a beautiful variegated Ivy. I’ve also planted several more Clematis to flower at different times of the year on there. There’s a gate at the end of this pergola – we put this in, complete with an arch above, so that we could keep Henry in the back garden when we want to. I am growing a white C. montana at one side – and a pink one at the other, to meet in the middle of the arch.

There’s an identical arch leading from the back garden to the side garden – also with a gate, of course! It’s useful at night – in a large garden, if Henry decides to go ‘walk-about’ it’s hard to track him down in the darkness and he seems to enjoy a late-night amble around.

The last archway leads from the side garden into the front. That’s where my Clematis cirrhosa ‘Lansdowne Gem’ grows.

I always dreamed of a walled garden – but although I didn’t get that, I am lucky enough to have some lovely walls where I can train plants such as Ivies and Clematis, alongside the beautiful Parthenocissus tricuspida (Boston Ivy) that glows there in the autumn. At this time of year, the stonework stands on its own – still attractive in its own right, with a few little evergreen ferns in the crevices here and there.

Over this wall is the stream and there’s a path which runs along by the wall so that I can look over at the stream bank. The running water is always a joy to see.

Going the opposite direction, you meet Walter. He came from a Reclamation Yard – he makes me smile when I look at him – and I can see him from the garden room window, too. This week, he’s had a snowy hat on, but at other times of the year he gets a green wig from the trailing Boston Ivy.

At the other end of the wall, there’s a wooden bridge over the stream. We inherited the two ‘finials’ one each side. I think they may be acanthus representations – but I always think that they look like pineapples! Whatever they are, I like them. Again – they are a particular feature in the winter months, when the attention is off the shrubs around them.

Obelisks? Their main purpose is, of course, to support climbing plants, and my two metal ones have Clematis and roses on them.

My husband made my matching wooden pair, though, as I had a design in my mind – and couldn’t find what I wanted. I use these for my sweet peas – but I like their shape in the winter, when they stand out with no greenery or flowers on them.

On to paths. You have to have them, so why not make them attractive? I like the paths in my garden – it must have taken hours to lay out the patterns, but I really appreciate them. There are plain gravel paths, as well – but the unusual inlaid patterns are such a feature. The two flights of steps to the top border are made of the same material – brick, stone and pebbles.

Remember this? I uncovered this patterned path back in the summer, while I was clearing some Rhodiola that had grown over it.

My husband turned his hand to the plain brick path, though. It’s looking a bit more weathered than this photo, taken just after he laid it. There was an ugly path made of pieces of concrete there. It cried out for something more attractive.

Our front path is a joy. It’s obviously very old, and matches the stone work of the house. I can’t take a photo of it as it is now, though – I can’t see the paving at the moment….We’d have loved to extend this path round the garden room – but reclaimed limestone flags are few and far between, and even if you can find some you’d need to have won the lottery to buy the amount we needed!

Well, that’s most of the ‘hard stuff’ round my garden – but I can’t leave out my sculpture. This is a piece of driftwood, brought over from New Zealand and bought for my wedding anniversary present last year. It fits neatly under the Pittosporum tree, and it’s surrounded by ferns in this shady corner of the garden. Different? Yes. Man-made? No. But – unique!

More blog posts by spritzhenry

Previous post: SALE? WHAT SALE?

Next post: Geraniums - AGAIN!



Comments

 

Lovely garden spritz, how big is it ? love the open field at the back just right for putting a horse in !!! unfortunately I dont have any more. It must keep you both very busy :-0))))

8 Jan, 2010

 

deliteful

8 Jan, 2010

 

so much structure and landscapping Spritz...its nice to see at this time of year when its all died down....

8 Jan, 2010

 

What a lovely walk around your garden Spritz. I now realise there are two things I need - no, must have. One is a pergola. I see myself sitting beneath it on a warm evening and smelling the honeysuckle, jasmin and roses that will have appeared overnight. The other is a husband, well not any old husband, yours would be perfect. Might you hire him out do you think!?

8 Jan, 2010

 

Thanks, everyone. Stripes, it's about two-thirds of an acre in all.The field isn't ours, sadly, but way back it was part of the land that belonged to the house. I do all the gardening, except for the lawn cutting, and husband makes things for me! :-)))

Possibly, Ginellie....on the other hand.....LOL.

8 Jan, 2010

 

they are pineapples spritz. late georgian/victorian welcome symbols. They are meant to show hospitality too. beautiful non the less.
I will have to re-think the fences/trellises in our garden. no nice ones really.

as usual a lovely blog.

8 Jan, 2010

amy
Amy
 

I love all the old brickwork Paths, paving, walls Barbara , as much as the plants , they compliment each other like nothing else could , some excellent work there , you were very lucky to inherit so much of it .. . :o))

8 Jan, 2010

 

Your garden is so pretty Spritz...so many points of interest to gaze on.........

8 Jan, 2010

 

Another wonderful tour of your lovely garden. Thanks Spritz.

8 Jan, 2010

 

Statuary,sundials, urns and large planters should also be given careful consideration and they also form part of hard landscaping.These can be made from stone, wood or metal . Modern materials such as plastics and resin when used in a
contemporary garden setting can look stunning , but they are bespoke and can be very expensive.

Stone tends to take on a nice patination of mosses and litchens.
Wooden structures made from soft wood tend to require a lot of maintenance to avoid them being affected by the weather and attacked by wood boring insects.

Green oak is a wonderful material for obelisks and other structures as it takes on a beautiful silvery patina with time, and it tends to last longer than soft wood.

Finally all forms of seating in stone, wood or metal also are included in the hard landscaping menu.

8 Jan, 2010

 

Lovely blog Spritz as usual. Love the "front of house" pic..a dream....and your "hunk of wood".....its amazing..............

8 Jan, 2010

 

Your garden is stunning Spritz. I know I often say it but it really is! I can't wait until July!

8 Jan, 2010

 

i so enjoyed going round your garden barbara, i love the wall and streambank its so restfull, also like your stone pineapples lol, arches great, and the new trellis fence is really nice, would love to see it in full bloom in summer, a nice stroll round with henry, you to of course :o))

8 Jan, 2010

 

Super blog Spritz....I love the open trellis with the Clematis and Ivies and the Obelisks provide height as well as ornamentation especially in the winter months,
it really is a credit to you........just beautiful...:o)

8 Jan, 2010

 

Absolutely beautiful Barbara......I'm feeling quite envious, any chance you can buy a bit of the field ? ...:0)))

8 Jan, 2010

 

Thank you for this Spritz.Love the intricate patterns of your stone paths..so much character .........

8 Jan, 2010

 

ok..now I need a place to make paths and put up fences! If I were not selling my home...grrrr...I itch to play in the dirt and make rooms of fences and trees and shrubbery...but no use for it until I am sure of what next....so lovely to see..thank you Barbara...

8 Jan, 2010

 

Smashing blog Barbara and such a beautiful, welcoming walk up to your front door. :-))

8 Jan, 2010

 

U my Lady have a gorgeous garden, I can see U live & breathe it in your blogs. keep them coming, as we all learn by them Thanks.

8 Jan, 2010

 

you have made me envious, such attractive hardscaping, now I shall go and have a look at my wire fence that belongs to next door :((((((( LOL

9 Jan, 2010

 

We have one of those, Grindle - and the only way (without co-operation!) is to disguise it! I'd love to tear it down - but no hope of that, sadly.

Thank you all for your lovely comments. They are all read and appreciated. :-)))

9 Jan, 2010

 

Very nice Barbara. There's not much to say about fences and paths is there, but yours do add character to the garden

9 Jan, 2010

mad
Mad
 

I love your garden Spritz. How exciting to uncover some of those lovely old paths. Your's looks a real cottage garden and is so inviting - really inviting, it makes me imagine walking round it discovering plants and other things.
Your garden has probably absorbed the spirit of love and happiness over many many years - see Hywel's blog.
Thank you for a lovely visit to your gorgeous garden.

9 Jan, 2010

 

You're welcome, and you're right - the house and its setting has seen so much history - and we know a lot of the background to the creation of the garden. :-))

9 Jan, 2010

 

Brilliant blog as always and very interesting, i like the big wooden oblisks, and all the differant paths.

9 Jan, 2010

 

Thank you, Clarice. I wish you could come here and walk round yourself!

9 Jan, 2010

 

So do i, would'nt know where to go and look first :o)))

9 Jan, 2010

 

What a fabulous garden, love all the pergolas and arches, the lovely paths and stone walls and the old wood sculptures, love to have a wander in summer and see all the plants covering the walls and structures.

9 Jan, 2010

 

That's the word, Pp - a 'wander' or an 'amble'. Clarice, you can't get lost - and there are plenty of places to rest awhile, so you're both welcome to come and do that very thing!

9 Jan, 2010

 

Such beautiful characteristics your garden has, the stone walls and stream bank are my particular favourties. I feel quite deflated with a 'green' tinge.

9 Jan, 2010

 

Well, you shouldn't, Dawn - just think of your woodland and lake! :-)))

9 Jan, 2010

 

love your garden Spritz.........enjoyed your pics............

9 Jan, 2010

 

I suppose so Spritz. I want to introduce more climbers but I dont have many walls and fences. I have 2 obelisks now though. Maybe I should get my husband to make some wooden ones like yours, they're lovely.

9 Jan, 2010

 

Thanks, Holly.

Dawn - DIY husbands do have their uses, don't they!

The wooden ones are great for my sweet peas - they just romp away up them once they get going! I suppose any climbers would be good on them, though. :-)))

9 Jan, 2010

 

John can really turn his hand to anything, like your hubby and always does a good job but usually its directed away from the garden, I'm going to show him your blog soon to inspire him.

9 Jan, 2010

 

Ooooh!! I don't want the blame for any strife in your house, Dawn! Please tell him that, too. ;-)

9 Jan, 2010

 

Lovely blog Spritz,you really do have the sort of garden I dream to have one day.I may work at Kew but I'd like to come home to a garden like yours!

10 Jan, 2010

 

Thank you, Robert - I rather like it as well! :-)))))

10 Jan, 2010

 

Lovely spritz
What a wonderful garden lots of love gone into that
I love your stone chappy and your pineapples
I love stone in a garden
What a great blog I cant wait to see your picture of spring hopefully you will do a guided tour of it then
You should be very proud of it
I wish we had a larger plot but I shouldnt really as I dont have enough time to take care of what I have now
Lovely spritz thank you:)

10 Jan, 2010

 

I'm glad you enjoyed it, Vicky. It's only do-able because we are retired, so I spend hours outside all the year round (apart from the last impossible weeks of frost and then snow!) It's my life now. :-)))

10 Jan, 2010

 

what a wonderful thing to d in your retirement
I would like to think thats what richard and i will do
Most of our land is taken up with the nursery but we do have a nice sized garden that I let our visitors go around and there is enough for them for a little while
gardens dont have to be massive to be fun though do the Kensingtons is only small i think

10 Jan, 2010

 

It is indeed - we've been there! It is a 'wow' garden. You'd love it. The NGS say you need 45 minutes of interest - I think I spent at least 1.5 hours out there - and still went back out again! You wouldn't believe how much they've packed in.

10 Jan, 2010

 

Spritz, I'm fed up now and don't have the time to look at the blog on paper pots for sweet peas. I wish you didn't write such great blogs;-( On the up side, I enjoyed it very much and it will help with my makeover even though mine is miniscule and I love your garden:-)))

12 Jan, 2010

 

Ooops! Soorrrryyyyy.....and I found the newspaper blog really easily - it is at the bottom of your sweetpea question page - a useful link to it!

Glad you enjoyed this one, though. :-)

12 Jan, 2010

 

That's clever isn't it? I'll soon master this site. I'm going to look and take notes after taking dogs for a walk, although it was quite slippy underfoot yesterday here so fingers crossed:-)

12 Jan, 2010

 

I'm still not going out - my face is still paimful, so husband is doing the honours. :-)) We're expecting more snow today & tomorrow. :-(((

12 Jan, 2010

 

Dad says it started to thaw at home (cheshire) but more snow was due but not as much.
Spritz I would like to go and see kensingtons garden sometime but its difficult in this job
we look at beautiful displays all year but never get much chance in the spring and summer to go to gardens.
We did manage a couple of ngs gardens that were early last spring and we went to martin blows helenium national collection of helleniums in the summer that is just up the road and I had a business reason to go as we wer wondering how to set our national collection out and he is our co ordinator.
It was lovely to see a garden in the summer lol
He said when we have finished laying our national collection out and its all in place we could apply to ngs as we have a national collection and garden so there is more interest, most of the collection is on the nursery in containers so there is all that to wander around too.
But for now we have got a lot of work to do to bring it up to a standard that I would want to do ngs.
Its not just the work its the money too as ours needs money spending on the bounderies and well really everywhere!!!
We spent alot on the garden and drive but the nursery is next again!!!

12 Jan, 2010

 

Of course it is, Vicky - it's your livelihood! Shame that you can't get to see many gardens, though - they are such a pleasure. Even if you visited just an odd one when you've time, it does give you inspiration. you get to meet avid gardeners and it's a break from your own environment.

12 Jan, 2010

 

I've just looked at Kensingtons garden website...Wow. Wouldn't it be good if a coach company did garden visits and show visits:-) Perhaps Goy can arrange it;-)

12 Jan, 2010

 

I knew you'd say 'Wow'! It really is. :-))) The only trouble is that they can only fit a maximum of 5 visitors in at a time, so they have to have 'appointment only' open days.

12 Jan, 2010

 

We don't have a car now, so that's another problem:-)

12 Jan, 2010

 

Oh dear. Not a lot of help in getting to the outskirts of Bristol, then!

12 Jan, 2010

 

Spritz as usual it was a please to take a turn around your garden, not sure which part of it I like most, difficult when it all looks so lovely, like you we live for our garden, wish it was larger (been there though) it is so annoying we cannot get out to finish the side area, must be patient, and make lots of plans. By the way love the trellis in the new part, was it from forest or did you have it made?

12 Jan, 2010

 

Not unless I hitch;-))

12 Jan, 2010

 

Dare you! LOL.

12 Jan, 2010

 

Yes, Dd - I just checked with my husband, and we both think that the new trellis was Forest. Trust me to go for an expensive make! I do think it was worth it, though. It's smooth wood and a pleasing shape. We looked at other makes - but they weren't right. :-))

12 Jan, 2010

 

I thought I recognized their product, most of our arches and sheds and the decking came from Forest.

13 Jan, 2010

 

It's well-made, isn't it. :-))

13 Jan, 2010

 

I like Walter he is fun
I want a few thing like that but no spare money at the moment so for now i will enjoy yours :D
I love the path your husband made too its really inspiring as you dont necessarily need money to do that just a bit of spare time.
It gave me an idea for a path to my summer house.
I want to put one in but Rick want to leave it lawn
Ummm wonder who will win (Rick for now as we ahve enough projects for this year):(

14 Jan, 2010

 

I tend to get a project in mind and I suppose I need to get my teeth into something every so often. I shall probably have to re-model some flowerbeds this year, though - I can see casualties that will need replacing already!

Yes - I loved Walter on sight. He had to be called that, didn't he - he's attached to the wall...lol. I think he was part of a water feature in his past life!

14 Jan, 2010

Add a comment

Featured on

Recent posts by spritzhenry

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    25 Jun, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 Aug, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    6 Nov, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 Aug, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    22 Oct, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    1 Jul, 2008

  • amy
    Amy

    Gardening with friends since
    17 Apr, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    20 Jan, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    21 Jun, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    1 Apr, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    2 Jul, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    4 Apr, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    17 Mar, 2007

  • Gardening with friends since
    20 May, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    24 Nov, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    20 Sep, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    12 Jan, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    18 Sep, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    24 Jun, 2007

  • uma
    Uma

    Gardening with friends since
    28 Oct, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    11 Apr, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    5 Jul, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    4 Feb, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    27 Sep, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    3 Nov, 2008