All in all, I would call this year’s garden a good garden, certainly not a great one, but with major improvements. My gardening partner has divided up the tasks into “hardware”—edging, flagstones, fences, fountains, trellises, and other built amendments—and “software”—plants and planting. As should be obvious from former posts, I’ve got the software job, but I have to admit that the hardware improvements were the big news this year. We finally got rid of the rotting wood along the side walkway (people have been falling over it for the last 4 Garden Walks), replacing it with new timbers. Elsewhere, we replaced more rotten wood and some unstable bricks with stone. The crappy narrow planting area by the front of the house has been paved over (burying a whole bunch of snowdrops—I wonder if they’ll force their way through?). Finally, a truly unattractive strip of bare ground by the garage has been paved in a decorative pattern. The moral of the story: if you’ve tried to plant in it for 5 years with no results, it’s time to pave.
There are other structural improvements I’d like to see. I’d really like some kind of small pond and waterfall. There is a brick, wood, and rebar (soon to be former) rose bed that I’d like to lower by at least two bricks. And I think both sets of wooden outdoor stairs are ugly and should be replaced by brick and wrought iron, as we have in the front.
But over all, the hardware guy has outdone himself this year. Except for the partial autumn clematis massacre disguised as wisteria trimming. Most survived.
(part two, plantings: to come)