Improving the planting

In 1999, the paving and Millennium Shed work completed, it was easier to concentrate on building a framework of permanent planting. I was pleased with the development of the planting in the two shady corners - Kitchen Corner and Woodland Corner - during this year. I began to appreciate plants with handsome foliage, and the way they kept the shady areas looking interesting all year.

Tree felling

A major change to the garden in 1999 was the removal of one of its trees, an old diseased crab apple. It's a difficult thing, deciding to cut down a tree, but the decision is made easier when the tree looks sickly year after year, as this one did.

The garden has more trees than you might expect in such a small space. There's a Sorbus (Rowan), by the south-facing wall, a few metres away a Morello cherry tree against the end wall, and a few metres from that an apple tree.

An arch was constructed to fill the gap where the tree had been. This was made from copper pipe, of the type sold for central heating pipes. (This was, I have to stress, long before copper was used in so many show gardens at Chelsea, and was more to do with wanting to save money than with a wish to be fashionable.)

The arch was later covered by the growth of Akebia quinata, Clematis cirrhosa, Clematis "President", and an enormous, fragrant Jasmine. So the tree, though I did feel bad over its removal initially, has not been missed.

1999 also saw us buying a submersible pump, and creating our first water feature (pictured, top). It was made from the birdbath that stood in Woodland Corner. The water feature looked nice, but was totally impractical, and after being dismantled for the winter, wasn't reconstructed the following year. Other water features followed, but it took me 3 years to make one I liked.

2000 - it seems to be coming together

Foliage in kitchen corner: Zantedeschia aethiopica (Arum lily), with ivies, hellebore and lilies

Above: foliage in 'Kitchen Corner'

Top left: Water feature, summer 1999


Garden plan (link opens in new window)