Six on Saturday – First Steps

Hello and welcome to my first Six on Saturday from Nouvelle Maison, or perhaps I should say Cartref Newyd. The top news of the week is that, joy of joys, I have eventually started to work in the new garden. Not that anyone would notice, but a few tentative steps have been made. It would be foolish to rush into such things. In my experience, you have to build up a relationship with a garden, have shared experiences, failures and successes, appreciate and tolerate personalities, weaknesses and strengths. This takes time. I am often naive in life, but not so much to think this will be a quick fix. Let me share with you the story so far. But first, don’t forget, to find out what other SoSers from across the globe have been up to, check out The Prop’s site. We had better get going, there is a long way to go.

As you can see, our starting point is small, modern, heavy on the lawn and patio, nigh on featureless. Bare bones. If I switch on the horti-translator for just a moment, this equates to POTENTIAL! The plan is obviously complex in both design and concept, but to simplify we could say “much grass culled, lots of plants in big borders, compost heap and greenhouse down the side”. Something like that anyway. I may need a hosepipe.

In the top right hand corner there is a small border in which is planted the ornamental pear, Pyrus ‘Chanticleer’. It is about 20ft tall and ominously rocked and rolled like a manic Little Richard throughout the recent gales. Still in full leaf, it has a large sail to be caught by winds. Something to be considered. Will you stay or will you go now? A prize for IDing that quote.

Not strictly in our garden, but a few meters from our front door on a communal green area, is this young fastigiate oak. I like to think of it of our tree. I am planning on some planting some bulbs and perhaps a few primroses around it. Then the corporation chaps will come and mow them down. Perhaps I should have a chat with someone.

There are a few plants in the small pear tree border. Some young privet next to the fence (days are numbered), an astilbe, a couple of manky hostas, a ladies mantle and a large clump of violets. Today (yesterday) I planted a Helleborus x hybridus ‘Anna’s Red’, Geranium ‘Rozanne’, Tiarella ‘Pink Skyrocket’ (gift from my lovely sponsor), some Narcissus ‘Tête-à-tête’ and Fritilleria meleagris. It felt good. The jury is out as to whether the violets stay.

A few more plants have travelled from Peggy’s to Patio, including the gorgeous Fuchsia ‘Eruption’. There are an awful lot more to take the treacherous journey. The tibouchina is just coming into flower so can’t be moved, I will wait for the dahlias to die back for ease and others will come piecemeal as we visit. Each time I have to make the decision to which to bring back with me I feel a little bit guilty. How do you choose between your dear ones?

Finally a collection of fossils and shells which had been wrapped in tissue and stored in a box since Bristol. Devil’s toenails and tiny amonites, mother of pearl and lucky stones. They can live outside now.

That is your lot, my lovelies. The first six, the first step. Onwards and upwards!

61 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – First Steps

  1. I wonder whether that pear tree might Clash with your plans. Prize claimed 😊. Meanwhile I have been checking against your planting list and am happy to confirm that none of my corresponding plants have disappeared. Looking forward to further progress reports.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. A blank canvas and you can hatch your plans and do with it what you will. How exciting, happy gardening and hoping for some dry days then you can start digging 💕

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The only thing in my garden when I moved in was an ornamental pear, I shape it like an umbrella ( just because) , people always presume it’s an olive, it is a base for hundreds of sparrows &/or starlings as they battle to get on feeders, the noise quite deafening at times, it was there before me, over 20 years now and I feel that if I remove it ( I have thought about it a few times) would probably bring me bad luck, what would I do with so much irate wildlife, I’ve seen the Hitchcock movie.
    My garden has been a happy place for many & that tree a nice roaming ground at its base for spike our visiting hedgehog, my dear Elsie & now Bea if you can have that joy in your new garden then my dear mouse embrace that little pear for it will be the start of a glorious path of transformation xx

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  4. That’s a great blank canvas to start from – very exciting indeed. The Fuchsia ‘Eruption’ is lovely. I’ve been investigating daintier Fuchsias lately having also seen some similar varieties in Jim’s SoSs. Very tempting if I could figure out where one could go.

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  5. And there I was imagining you in a cute Welsh longhouse with acres of gardens! Looking at the photo it doesn’t seem that you are in for many surprises, but you will of course need to work out how the sun moves around it. Room for a potting shed? Greenhouse? I’m excited to see what your plans are. Tiarellas are beautiful but for some reason they fail to thrive in my garden, I always end up having to put them in a pot and even then they are short lived.

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  6. I would be like a headless chicken with all those possibilities! Five years in here and I’m still not sure I have understood the garden!! But then your new garden is in much more experienced hands than mine. Your first plantings are exciting, I’m looking forward to future posts!

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  7. Good luck with the new garden Gill! It is so good to have a fresh start. Much easier to design it on your own taste than to re-work an old, dilapidated garden (believe me).

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  8. I’m glad to see your house move went ahead, and here’s hoping it went smoothly too. As for what to do with the pear tree? – this indecision’s bugging me – and you’ve got me singing away to myself.
    Whatever you decide, it looks like a wonderful blank canvas and I look forward to seeing your plans unfold.

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  9. We are all in from the start of this one…any so many lovely walls. Is there one suitable for an auricula or ‘posing’ house? Love the space at the side of the house. Is there any garden at the front? See I am wanting more posts. Snap with the Devil’s toenail though I have decided not to show it this week! I’m so excited for you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Auricula house, oh yes! Nothing at the front really. A hypericum hedge is about the lot. Looking forward to comparing toe nails. If I remember correctly, we found them on a beach in Gloucestershire. I do love them.


  10. Ah, the modern world; creating a garden under the glare of the social media spotlight. The things approved of will get fulsome praise, the others (if they’re are any) a deafening silence. Get rid of the tree, it was probably pot bound when planted, a good Chanticleer wouldn’t move in a hurricane. Re surprises, I hope you find none; who knows what lies beneath around new housing.

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  11. I lost count of the times people said ‘blank canvas’ to me when we moved seven years ago, so I won’t say it to you. We inherited a lot of lawn, five ornamental pears and a hedge- photinia unfortunately, and not one of the nice ones. It’s wonderful to look back and see how far we’ve progressed (thank you, WordPress) since then. I’m looking forward to going on the journey with you….such fun to plan something from the beginning and call it yours. 😊

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  12. I would say that those ornamental pears are boring, except that they are one of the few best trees for reliably foliar color in autumn here. They do not need mush chill to color well. A few years ago, fire blight was a serious problem. I do not know what happens with it, or why the problem fluctuates as it does, but it is somehow quite uncommon now. The fastigiate oak does not look very fastigiate, with those downwardly swooping branches. Is it a fastigiate English oak? Those are cool. I have seen only a few here, and have wondered why they are not more popular for small garden spaces.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, I believe that ‘columnar’ is a word. At least I use it as such. It applies to Italian cypress and Lombardy poplar. ‘Capital’ is supposedly a columnar ornamental pear.

        Liked by 1 person

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