I woke during the night to the sound of rain falling heavily from the skies, and a sense of foreboding crept over me as I thought of the roses and stately spires of foxgloves and delphiniums that had flourished in the recent glorious weather and that now must surely be smashed beneath the violent pelting of fat raindrops.
So it was somewhat pessimistically that I pulled the curtains aside in the morning. Thankfully, the rain had stopped and to my relief the garden appeared to have withstood the deluge without total devastation and survived relatively intact.
To eyes still bleary with sleep,
the pink, purple and blues flowers were a blurry wash of vibrant colour amongst the green foliage; the colour vividly intensified against the dull morning light
Drawing the curtains back from the French windows,
flouncy blooms of "Mary Rose" nestled amongst the lavender that flops over the step leading down into the garden.
I still find it hard to believe that this sad little house
and uninspiring garden,
that was torn asunder and reduced to a building site, as work progressed to restore it to a new lease of life, has transformed
into a chocolate box, picture postcard cottage and garden.
Roses and lavender grow outside the windows
and at the back door.
The winding gravel path edged with cobblestones
leads from the back door, curving around a bed of roses, delphiniums, peonies, foxgloves, knautia macedonia, hollyhocks and verbena bonariensis;
upwards to the little "summer house;"
where a pale pink climbing rose (Mortimer Sackler)
has begun to clamber up one side.
In front of the summer house is a little pond,
where the leaves of a recently planted waterlily have shot to the surface in a mere two days.
Closer to the house, the old stone trough
where the birds bathe, is overhung by a gorgeous pink rose (The Ingenious Mr Fairchild)
and surrounded by pots with an Arum Lily and hostas.
At the back of the new extension, over the French doors
the climbing rose Mdm Gregoire Staechelin has produced it's first blooms.
Opposite the French doors a set of steps made from reclaimed railway sleepers,
(that only last year looked like this)
are now flanked either side by two green Sages
and at the top of which roses and clematis scramble up and over a pergola.
The garden has a natural and informal cottage garden style;
the roses intertwining freely amongst the foxgloves, fennel and delphiniums.
At the top of the steps is a lawn, half hidden behind Mallow, Oriental poppies and geraniums.
On the left hand side of the lawn
is the dove cote, surrounded by foxgloves, delphiniums, hydrangea Annabella,
roses and cephelaria gigantia (giant scabious).
On the other side of the garden, where once there was an ugly outbuilding and coal shed, that I took great pleasure in helping to demolish,
a new shed has been positioned that masquerades as a cross between a garden shed and beach hut with a little hint of shepherd's hut.
Over this is the old fashioned white climbing rose
Mdm Alfred Carrier.
and enjoy the view of my transformed garden.
There is still a lot more growing to take place and plenty of bare earth to fill; but it is said that a garden is never really finished.....