Gardening Magazine

Oh to Relax

By Patientgardener @patientgardener


There is a particular significance to this photograph.  It  heralds a new approach to my garden and how I spend time in it – well I hope so.  I have never had anywhere to sit in the garden, aside from a bench on the patio by the back-door.  I often sit on the bottom step of the steps at the top of the garden as I like being surrounded by the plant but I have never had a proper seat.  The main reason is because there hasn’t been anywhere to put one.  However, when we put the workshop in last summer it seemed to me that the area adjacent was crying out for a seat but the levels were all higgeldy piggeldy.  Over the last few weeks my eldest has done some levelling, put in a couple of steps and, just so we can have a bench, has moved the stone wall back.


One of my goals for my week off work was to finish off this area.  As you can see I have cleared the slope of plants aside from one Thalictrum which I have decided to leave in situ.  The soil was improved with composted wood chip from the path above and it was all dug over and raked.


Over the last few months I have been collecting plants for the slope from various garden and nursery visits.  I want to the theme to be good foliage along the hardy exotic theme. The border is quite shady at the end furthest from the workshop and relatively sunny the other end so quite a spectrum and to be honest it isn’t that big a space.  I thought a lot about what would go where so hopefully I won’t be moving everything around in a year’ time – which will make a nice change.  The plants included are:

Fatsia japonica Spiders Web
Polystichum setiflerum ‘Plumosum-Bevis’
Euphorbia stygiana
Osmanthus Het- Goshiki
Impatiens stenantha
Melianthus major
Asarum splendens
Veratrum nigrum
Buddleja salvifolia
Tetrapanax papyrifera rex


There is a largeish gap in the middle of the border and I want to add some hardy gingers here with lots of lush foliage so when you sit on the bench it feel enclosed.  I also need something very leafy to go on the lower part of the slope by the shed.  I was thinking a fern, there is already one which has self-seeded into the ground at the base of the slope and is quite large so another one might tie it together – any excuse for another fern.

I still need to gravel the whole area but as I am only just getting over the cold/flu I had a week ago I decided that lugging a tonne of gravel up the garden might not be my best idea and it can wait for a few weeks until I have some help to hand and more energy.

I have already spent some relaxing time sitting on the bench and I love the atmosphere around it.  Overhead are branches of the Prunus which is currently heaving with blossom and buzzing with bees.  I can see that I will be able to sit and read here or just sit and relax and this will be good for me as I need to slow down and enjoy looking more.


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