Brave New World

Brave New World

Written By: Boyd Douglas-Davies

As you sit down to read this I probably be pacing my new garden. After nearly 30 years in the old one, it is a rather mixed set of emotions as I wander around the new space…. Will I ever grow as wonderful Corylus again? Can I recreate the subtle combination of hellebore (early flower), fern (bright spring foliage) and Acer (summer and autumn colour) all in the same space? Of course, I can, with a little patience and maybe some new imagination I plan to create an even better garden.

Before I do anything drastic, I am going to watch the garden to see what secrets lie beneath the soil and turf. My first visit to the house was early August so I have no idea what the garden looks like in the Winter or Spring – maybe there’s a colour explosion lingering beneath the surface? What I will be doing is following my own advice for once and not rushing to do everything in the first couple of months. I do know I will create an edible garden and I have thoughts on creating the divide between this and the decorative garden with rustic timber and net climbing frame – perfect for edibles and flowers to scramble up. I visited the Guys Cliffe Walled Garden recently (near Warwick) and they had an interesting idea where the climbing nets were tilted outwards, so the crops hung away from the net and were very easy to pick; I’m going to try this.

The front garden, although south-facing, is heavily shaded by a giant old pine. It’s probably not as old as the house but it feels it. As it creates a permanent level of shade I fancy creating a woodland garden in this area. The hellebores and ferns should grow well but I’m not sure about the acers so I’m toying with the idea of camellias and rhodos in that area and using the acers I have in pots in the back garden around a new stream I’m planning. Water in a garden is not only relaxing but great for wildlife. I have a shallow stream in mind with lots of rocks that force the water to create bubbling brook sounds.

One thing I will be doing this month is preparing for the coronation of King Charles III by planting pots of tulips – red and white of course – topped with blue pansies. This combination should provide a riot of colour as the coronation takes place.

Have you got any other ideas for horticultural celebrations? Email me and I will share them in next months article, 


Thanks for reading.

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