The more formal part of the garden is coming along well, although in its early days. We have imported top-soil to create a corner bed near the front fence, and planted it up with shrubs. The lavender hedge (Hidcote) at the front has been a magnet for bees this summer, as have the buddleias. The buddleias are both supposed to be Lochinch, but have flowered at different times and have subtle differences in foliage which make us suspect that one is an imposter! However they have both had the most amazing fragrance and have attracted an absolute cloud of butterflies - we have never seen so many, both in quantity and in variety.
We’ve also watched our Scotch Thistles (onopordum acanthium) get more and more giant - we’ll know better next year where to plant them. The book gives a height of 7ft, but these have reached 9ft 8ins.
The people doing the drive had a brainwave and suggested we make raised front borders along the front of the house using some left-over oak beams. These nicely break up the drive and we hope add colour and interest to the front of the house.
Meanwhile, Tony had fun building a bridge over the stream. The reason? To get to the other side, of course (well, someone did ask).
Since there was no time to get a vegetable bed dug in either 2003 or 2004, we planted runner beans and courgettes in the flower bed to the side of the house. These made a wonderful show and kept us happily supplied for some months. We thought the courgettes especially looked so wonderful in the flower bed that we might do the same again in future.
This part of the garden does seem to be reasonably under control now, although we still have masses of plants in pots which we brought with us when we moved up to Shropshire in 2000. In fact, the Michaelmas Daisies, which had been in a pot for three years and were only planted in their final position in the autumn of 2003, have flowered better than ever before.