Six on Saturday

Six on Saturday is when you share six plants or things that are happening in your gardening and was started by The Propagator

I haven’t joined in before but after lots of bulb planting today, moving some perennials and sorting out the Greenhouse, I managed to take some good photographs that I am happy with.


David Austin ‘The Generous Gardener’




Japanese Anemones


Cyclamens under the old cherry tree


Purple Asters


Salvia Amistad

We enjoyed a cloudy yet mild day today in Wiltshire but there is a storm coming tonight so I’m not looking forward to that!

Happy Saturday everyone!

Creating a Rose Garden

I haven’t posted a roundup post for the old house garden for a while because we have been busy creating a rose garden in the middle section of the old house garden.

I have blogged about the middle section of the garden before here

When we moved into the old house, the garden had been badly neglected but we could see what an amazing place it could be. It was dark and gloomy and we have spent the past 18 months concentrating on the garden before we can tackle the house.


The sad and gloomy greenhouse Feb 2016


The same greenhouse looking happier in Sept 2017


The dark and gloomy middle garden Feb 2016


The new rose garden Sept 2017

Now I could write a post explaining about how we created this garden but I must admit I find those types of posts a little tedious so instead I am posting lots of photographs so you can see the different stages. Do feel free to ask any questions though.

We tried to recycle patio slabs we already had but we did need to buy red pavers, a patio circle, cement, gravel, stones, compost and plants. As we did it all for ourselves we think we have spent about £800. We also saved money by going to a Nursery plant fair at the end of their season which saved us money on the roses and lavender.


The space in August


We used spray paint to divide the space and began to dig out.


This was tough work but it soon took shape. We borrowed a laser level at this stage to make sure we had our levels correct as the garden is on a slight slope.


The soil was added to the woodland area so that we could reuse it later (in fact we decided we quite like this ‘hill’ in the woodland area so have kept it and I have planted snowdrops and bluebell bulbs here.)


We added hard core to the areas and compacted it using a compactor. This was tough work as it all had to be brought in with wheel barrows. We then started on the retaining wall at the back.


We made the path next using pavers. The key here is to make sure they are level from the beginning. We had to use more hardcore and cement as we went along as the area was sloping and we wanted the path to be level.


We carried on laying the pavers working into the seating circle near the raised planters we had built in the Spring. Luckily our calculations were spot on!


We laid out the patio circle to see exactly where it had to go. It was important to match the lines of the slabs with the lines in the pavers.


We laid the patio circle in cement using a plumb line from the seating circle to make sure the centre of the circle was in the correct place. We then added brick pavers around the edge to link the two colours of stone.


We used gravel around the seating circle to neaten the edges here. The colour of the gravel and new stones matches the stones used in the raised bed.


We added a stone edge to keep the soil and gravel neatly in place.


We finally took the turf off and added manure and peat free compost. The area was almost ready for planting! At this stage we downed tools and went to a plant fair to buy our roses.


We wanted to incorporate an old bird bath that we found in the garden so decided to make it a focal point by raising it onto blocks. These were cemented in.


The bird bath was rolled into place -it is REALLY heavy!


I love the bird bath here and the birds are already using it!


The other seating circle was finished last.


Planting is always fun and I love the traditional look of roses and lavender together. All our visits to other gardens really helped us design this section of the garden.


The finished Rose Garden.

The roses we bought are: David Austin Olivia Rose, Generous Gardener and Brother Cadfael. I love the fact that these roses have peony type blooms and are pale to mid pink with a lovely old English scent. We also planted lavender. We have room for more so I will look out for other roses in the Spring but would welcome suggestions.


Oliva Rose


Dottie loves it too!

Already, I love this area! We hope to buy a couple of benches for the seating circle so that we can sit and enjoy this area. We are not sure at this point whether to add a table and chair set to the patio circle or we did think a large urn on a plinth may look better. What do you think?

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The Old House Garden Round Up: Dottie, Tilly & Tiger make an appearance. 14th June 2017.

The pets have been enjoying the garden this week. The weather has been varied but in no way as wet as last week!

Tiger has discovered the Nepeta (Cat Nip) and loves it almost as much as the bees. Dottie is just bonkers as ever!

Dottie loves to play with her towel that I lay on the patio for her to sunbathe on!

The garden has really grown after all the rain but of course with rain comes slugs and snails. I have tried beer traps, picking them off at dusk and putting down egg shells but they have still got to some of my vegetables which is frustrating! I wrote a post about dealing with slugs and snails organically here but fear I am failing somewhat!

Here are the vegetables.


The beans and peas are doing well. The rhubarb is only in its second year so I won’t harvest from it until next year. I have put Marigolds around my pumpkin in a hope of confusing those pesky slugs!


This bed is looking sad; I would have expected more growth really. You can see my beer trap. I’m going to add more.


Another beer trap is full this morning!


The vegetables in the Greenhouse are doing much better. I have found at least 2 slow worms living in here (giving me a fright!) but I think they are eating any snails or slugs that manage to get in.


The Beetroot is looking healthy

With all the rain and wind of last week, my Lupins are looking a little flopsy but are still stunning in the cottage border.


Flopsy Lupins!


The Cottage Border

At the weekend we added some annuals such as Cosmos in this border to fill in any gaps. I think I would like to add some more as I love their pop of colour in here.


The clematis is still flowering on the archway and now the rose is too. This rose is a climber called New Dawn.


The yellow, red and orange border


We have added some annuals such as Zinnia in here and planted some yellow lupins.


This is the new area that we cant decide what to do with so we scattered some wildflowers seeds here for this year and they are now beginning to grow rapidly. The new roses are also blooming too. We have David Austin’s Compassion.


This is my next project! Although it’s only overgrown. I want to see what grows here in full first.


The Verbena are getting very tall!

I hope you have enjoyed this round up!



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My Glorious Gardens series: Middlewick House Open Gardens in June.

At the weekend we were able to take a visit to Middlewick House in Corsham, Wiltshire. This beautiful house is owned by Pink Floyd’s drummer, Nick Mason and his family. It was once owned by Camilla, Duchess of Cambridge.

Nick opens his house for charity for a weekend in June and as we have never been, we thought we go and take a look! Hubbie came too but we left the children and Dottie at home this time.

As we arrived, we could not believe that there were so many people! We just couldn’t work it out until we walked up the drive to see this…


Middlewick House, Corsham

Nick had also decided to let the public see his car collection! What a very clever man! Beautiful gardens, a classic car collection, plants to buy, a BBQ and drinks.  There were people with picnics, dogs and young children were running around and of course, everyone were very interested in the cars!


Hubbie would like this Ferrari please!


I know nothing about cars but I did like this one!


Notice the guy taking a photo of the wheels!! 🙂


This Ferrari is a hybrid apparently…..


Hubbie also liked this one…he was in the air force once….maybe that’s why?


So tiny!

And now for the gardens….


There was a fabulous kitchen garden within a walled area with a cute gate.


It had a traditional rose archway in the centre with paths around large beds.


View back towards the house with lovely herbaceous borders.


“Stand there so I can take a photo!”


The central pond with fountain (and fish!)


The central rose arch with roses in full bloom.


The vegetables

Apart from the kitchen garden you could also roam around the rest of the garden.


There was a cute little traditional caravan (yes, that’s me in wedge sandals….and a coat!)


The back of the house. In the conservatory they have an indoor pool and Nick’s drum kit was on display.


Half way across this lawn was a Ha-Ha wall linking the view to the fields beyond (with horses)


Beautiful pond with bridge and Swan sculpture

It was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon raising money for The Wiltshire Air Ambulance.


Classic cars and gardens.


The cute gate keepers cottage called Mermaids Cottage.

I will leave you with some lovely flowers…

My Glorious Gardens: Iford Manor and the Peto Garden.

During half term, my teenagers and I went to to Iford Manor to see the gardens of Harold Peto. I think my children were humoring me but it was so nice to have their company!


Outside the entrance.

Iford Manor is near the Wiltshire town of Bradford on Avon and is very, very beautiful. There has been a settlement here since Roman Times and the Manor is from the 14th Century. The Gardens are Grade 1 listed which means they are of national importance. They were designed in the early part of the twentieth century by Harold Peto who also lived in the Manor but have recently been restored. Harold Peto was clearly inspired by Italian style garden structure with columns, board walks and statues. There is also an oriental themed pond area.

I will leave you with lots of photos which will help you to envisage the garden.


The entrance to the garden.


The stunning stone steps that lead to the Italianate garden.


The grotto


The broad walk with columns.


There are lots of paths through the Cypress.


Beautiful box hedging and silly teenagers!


The broad walk with statues.


At the end of the Broad walk was this lovely Loggia.

The planting is simple but effective with sways of Nepeta, lilies, Salvia and Allium. Some of the original Wisteria also remains.


Nepeta with lots of bees!


Original Wisteria climbs the walls.


Modern, yet simple planting.


Astrantia, how I love you.

The pond area was lovely and it was full of tadpoles!


The pond


The pond was full of tadpoles!


The irises growing around the pond.


Harold Peto collected from his travels; here is a Buddha we found near the pond.


The beautiful cloisters in the centre of the garden holds operas throughout the summer.


It’s amazing what photos capture the day (and what you can do with an umbrella to your silly brother!)

It was a lovely way to spend a few hours. It’s not a place for children particularly but there were children there who seemed to be playing hide and seek and loving it!

A link to the website can be found here




My Glorious Garden series: Hazelbury Manor Charity Open Day.

This week, I ventured to one of the Open Days for the National Garden Scheme. This is where local gardens are open to the public. Hazelbury Manor is near where I live in Wiltshire and is only open to the public on these days so I decided to go. Unfortunately, it was absolutely pouring with rain and everyone was busy so it was just me and my country boots and very large, umbrella! Even Dottie stayed at home as I wasn’t sure if she would be allowed in.


Hazelbury Manor


Hazelbury Manor

Hazelbury Manor is a Grade I listed privately owned property near the town of Box in Wiltshire. The manor house were not open to the public so I couldn’t go in! What a shame as it looked so inviting! The next Garden Open Day is on Sunday June 11th in the afternoon. I paid £5 to go inside.

The 8 acres of landscaped gardens are Edwardian in design having been laid out by George Kidston in the early 1920’s. The main attraction of these gardens is the beautiful Laburnum walkway and pleached Lime tree avenue.


The Laburnum tunnel at Hazelbury Manor Gardens


A close up of the Laburnum at Hazelbury Manor gardens

The pleached lime trees are an inspiration…I would love to add some to the old house garden…


Pleached trees at Hazelbury Manor Gardens


I felt like I was in The Shining movie!

The gardens were just beautiful but as it was pouring with rain I was all alone! It was a bit spooky to be honest….I can imagine the history of this place and as it was so dark in places so I walked quite quickly!


Hazelbury Manor Gardens


Lots of nooks and hidey places at Hazelbury Manor Gardens

This is not a place to take children particularly although on a warm day it would be a great place to play hide and seek! There is no shop or cafe but it is a stunning garden to roam (alone) on a wet morning! I’m glad I’ve been as I always wondered what was “over the wall.” Now I know!


Cascading pond at Hazelbury Manor Garden

Part of My Glorious Gardens series.

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