in my garden | gravel garden part 1

A garden is always in transition. Nothing is static, nothing lasts forever. Plants come and go. Designs change. A photo taken today will be unlike a photo taken tomorrow. Petals fall. Seeds drop. New life begins.

A year ago I showed you how the garden had changed in the few months we had lived in our new house. Apart from removing a few of my potted plants and planting them into the soil I didn’t change anything in the garden until this year as it is good to understand what is already growing and how the light changes over the year. The overgrown and rotting raised beds at the end of the garden were replaced last May and since then most of the work carried out has been weeding, pruning, mowing the lawn and tending the veg beds.

Until this spring: when I decided that I wanted more flowers and shrubs in the garden and rather less lawn. I don’t need a lawn, I’m not likely to lie on it, I have no children to play on it and I don’t even need the green of it as we have lovely green fields and hills in the background. So my plan is to remove the lawn over a period of time and replace it with shrubs and flower beds and gravelled pathways.

What I hadn’t realised is how much effort this takes! For now I have removed the lawn from around the large rock (which is used as my bird bath) and also alongside the stone wall on the sunny side of the garden (on the right).

Lawn early May 2016

Now the lawn on the right-hand side has been removed and planted with geraniums, hebes and assorted cuttings that I have taken. Several new climbers have been planted and a couple of New Zealand shrubs purchased.

New gravel area

I shall have to wait a little longer to show you a full picture as I still have one section to complete. My illness, then the wind and rain followed by the excessive heat have stopped me in my tracks, but all being well it will be finished by the end of this month.

But I will show you around so you can see some of the changes. 

Vegetable beds: Sadly the ‘Bright Lights‘ Chard have failed to materialise despite two sowings and I only have four kale plants this year. Dwarf beans are growing (second sowing, the slugs and snails ate the first lot) a couple of broad beans are in flower and a couple of courgette plants are finally growing after being munched on for the last two months. We are getting many more strawberries this year and the herbs are doing well with the exception of the chervil and coriander, both of which wilted in the heat. Rocket and other lettuce varieties have also bolted in the heat and I had hardly picked any of the leaves.

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Herb Garden

Sunny side:

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Among the penstemons (all taken from cuttings of the original plant) is lavender, fuchsia, rosemary, osteospermum and a day lily that still hasn’t flowered. I suspect I need to dig that up and plant it elsewhere.

Shady side:

Most of the plants growing here are well established, but I still need to fill in some gaps on the wall. Maybe ajuga or brunnera to add colour. I have planted some heuchera (again from cuttings) and hellebores (from seed) and in the autumn I want to plant miniature daffodils, anemones and crocuses, but the trouble is that roots from trees and shrubs make planting difficult along here.

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Patio: Not much has changed in this area of the garden other than a jet-wash last month. The pelargoniums have been re-potted but in all honesty they are past their best and next year I shall replace them. The white lilies got eaten in the spring, but I hope to have recovered a few bulbs so next year I shall place them all in the conservatory until the plants are ready to flower in order to stop them being eaten.  The side of the conservatory has altered. I removed the rotten wood edging and put gravel down all over the ground and cut down the overgrown jasmine completely. Needless to say it is shooting madly now! A Dwarf Hebe and some Crocosmia and a half-hardy fuchsia are getting established as is another white climbing rose which last year was a miserable stick with only two small flowers.

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The Patio and tomatoes in the conservatory

The conservatory may be getting a new roof by the end of the summer and it desperately needs painting outside so that’s another job to tackle, but hopefully there will be time to sit and enjoy the garden this year.

I won’t be joining in the monthly challenge for a while, instead I shall bring you monthly updates of the garden. Plus I have a plan to visit the 19 Great Gardens of Cornwall many of which I have already visited over the years, but I’ll go in different seasons and one is the wonderful garden of Tresco Abbey which will involve a trip across the water at some point in the future…

Daily Post Photo Challenge | passing of time


  1. Jane Lurie says:

    Thanks for sharing your gorgeous garden photos, Jude. You really have the touch. Happy summer!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thank you Jane. Just hoping for some nice long dry spells but not too hot. (I don’t mind it raining during the night).

  2. Jude, it all looks very pretty. Your hard work is paying off.

  3. ostendnomadography says:

    really lovely!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks 🙂

  4. It is all looking wonderful, with so much lovely colour. I’d forgotten about penstemons – I used to have them in the far corner of the garden but I’ve just realised after reading this that I’ve not seen any evidence of them this year. Hmmm, I wonder what happened to them?

  5. ‘Transition’ as well as transforming- you have a paradise in the making here. I look forward to seeing further updates. And to Tresco Gardens.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Tresco on hold now until next year. And July was not a month for the garden unfortunately as an emergency took me away for most of the month. Still August is here and I am determined to get the bit I started finished!

      1. Good luck with the next part of the gardening.

        1. Heyjude says:

          Well, I have finally bought more pebbles to finish off laying the new gravel area – now just have to dig out some of the weeds that have taken root there!! I need some energy, which is sadly lacking at the moment.

        2. Hope it all works out, pace yourself Jude!

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