Our Suffolk Cottage Garden: 2015

With the hedgerow now well established; formed predominantly of hawthorn, blackthorn, hazel, hornbeam and wild rose, we saw increased varieties of wildlife coming to the garden. In the gallery, below, you will see that a beautiful barn owl became a regular visitor to our garden.

This would be a transformative year in the garden, for us. My husband, Kevin, built us a new patio, with the help of our dear friend John. Each year, we had asserted the intention to have a patio because our soil is particularly sandy and any chairs we sat on would sink, somewhat, into the ground. No – that doesn’t mean that we were overweight, it really was due to the sandy soil! 🙂

With the new patio, pictured in the gallery below, came new garden furniture. Finally, a decent garden table and chairs for us to enjoy with visiting family and friends. This is the year in which the garden really started to take shape and began to properly feel like our home; for we had put our ‘stamp’ on the structure of things. That is a good feeling.

Outside and below our kitchen window, Kev planted a fern garden and this year it had developed well. There is a picture of my mum sat at our table, in front of the ferns, in the gallery below. This planting scheme added a fuller and richer backdrop to the garden table and patio. It made the planting feel more sumptuous.

It is a common misconception that Kevin, working then in horticulture, does our gardening. In fact, he does none other than tend to his fern gardens. I am the gardener, although I do hire a gardener called George, who comes each week to mow the grass and he also keeps our trees and hedges in good order later in the year. Although I was not diagnosed, at this point, what turned out to be my Parkinson’s Disease had made those tasks impossible for me to manage, myself.

You will see, from the gallery photos, that I had fenced off a tiny area of about 5ft x 4ft for a small veg patch. This small space actually produced a considerable amount of veg throughout the year. As long as you enrich the soil, regularly, with compost, you can rotate the use of the patch and grow various veg, seasonally through each year.

With the new patio and furniture came more entertaining and so we invested in a little bar-b-que, which was always great for gatherings in the garden. I would note, that I would one day love to have a garden pizza oven, but we’ll look at that in the future.

We had started to take a greater interest in flower beds that line the property and so we would fill these with traditional cottage flowers including, for example, lupins, delphinium, roses, ferns, hydrangea, geraniums, potentilla and decorative growth of fennel, for the feathery plant that it produces. we began to note a considerable increase in bees vsiiting the flower beds and this was pleasing, given the concern about bee health, nationally.

Do you plant to attract in more bees? What type of planting do you prefer, in your garden? Please feel free to share something about your own garden, in the comments box below this article.

As autumn encroached, we started to give thought to the end fence, which lines the driveway at the front of the premises. Our cars were, from our perspective, too visible from the garden and so I decided that I would soon need to plant a fast growing hedge to cover this view.

This could wait, for the year was now coming to a close and we would retreat indoors for winter.

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