Home garden Our garden in June – with a before and after 7 years on

Our garden in June – with a before and after 7 years on

by Clare Mansell
Our garden in June – with a before and after 7 years on

A couple of months have flown by since my last garden update and I wanted to post again to ensure I keep a record for myself of how it is developing. We’ve owned our home for 7 years, but only had the opportunity to work on the garden since we moved into it 3 years ago. Since the start of 2013, we’ve made huge changes to our home, but a lot of the work in the garden has been in small steps and it’s often easy to forget how far we’ve come.

One of my projects for this month has been to finish planting out a raised bed we have on our patio. Back in 2009 this raised bed was the brick remains of an Anderson shelter with three enormous evergreens growing out of it. We had professionals fell the trees and Jim took on the nightmare job of removing the stumps and then building a wooden frame around the brick base to turn it into a raised bed. The grand plan had been to grow vegetables here, but our local rabbits had other ideas and destroyed my crops in one night, so after it lay empty for a year I decided to think again and plant out some bold green architectural plants to fill the bed.

First here’s a before and after of that section of the garden…


The raised bed is on the left of the photo and as you can see it’s directly opposite the house, so part of my aim is to have a view of lush foliage and not a bare fence. The bed still looks rather bare, but the plants are all in place and I wanted to add a photo so I can look back on this when they hopefully begin to fill out.

You may have noticed that the Cardoon back middle looks rather unhappy, but it’s hanging on in there! I moved it from a spot at the front of the bed at the weekend and it’s not enjoying the heat, hopefully it will survive…


So on the back row (L to R) we have : Fatsia Japonica, living Willow sculpture, Cardoon, Phormium, Cardoon.
Front row (L t R) Thyme, Rosemary, Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’, Eurphorbia, Caryopteris ‘Sterling Silver’

The living willow was a gift from Jim for our ninth wedding anniversary in a couple of days. Apparently nine years is willow, he’s far better at this than me…


We are novice gardeners and if you are wondering how on earth we chose our plants, I now have a good system. I research everything on Pinterest, finding plants I like the look of through searches like “Coastal Garden” and “Architectural Plants” then I google them to check suitability.

I go to the garden centre twice, first time to see what they actually have from my list and how much it costs, photographing everything on my phone as I go to keep a record. Then I come home and plan what I’m going to buy for where with my monthly budget and then I go back and get it.

Other recent additions to the garden this month include these Cotton Lavender plants in our “full sun” bed. This bed is a bit of a nightmare for weeds, so next month’s budget may include more woodchip!


I’ve also planted several Lavenders (white and purple) which may or may not get moved. The books say they need full sun, but other people I have talked to say you can get away with partial shade which is where they are. I’ve got to admit they don’t look quite as healthy as the ones in the garden centre….


At Theo’s request we’ve also planted some edible crops. We were gifted the strawberry plants by friends and he’s been ridiculously excited by the pathetic little fruits that have grown on it! The rabbits don’t seem to have found these yet, don’t tell them!


We also have some dwarf beans, snack cucumbers, baby corns and lettuces growing, all placed in various raised positions to make sure they don’t get eaten. I’ll update on those in July and see if we have any success with them!

Linking up with Annie for HYDGG.

If you liked this, you might also like…

You may also like


Annie July 2, 2016 - 11:26 pm

Oh what a difference! So good that you managed to get a before photo – that’s the sort of thing I would forget to do.
Happy anniversary! It’s our’s here next month, 9 years also – totally committing the willow thing to memory for that 🙂

Thanks for sharing your system – that’s super helpful. Hope that you are enjoying the weekend – if it’s been anything like here the Cardoon has had a good raining soaking by now!

Gemma Garner July 3, 2016 - 11:07 am

What a change from the first photo! You have a lovely looking garden and I like the contrast between the hot pink and blue. I planted a cardoon in front garden a couple of years ago but it outgrew the space I put it in (full sun) and was covered in blackfly. I moved it but sadly it didn’t do as well; I think they are quite picky plants. Love that living willow!


Leave a Comment

* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More