So the soil arrived late on Monday afternoon, on the third attempt. The sack is currently upside down in the road, and I am hoping that it won’t rain too heavily between now and Saturday, which is when I’ll be able to start shifting it down to the garden. I couldn’t bear it if it was all washed away down the hill by a river of rainwater. Mustn’t think about it. Better to think about how the bottom of the garden will look when the soil is in and I have replanted everything I had to dig up to make way for the new beds and pond.
And with that in mind, I’ve been looking through the photographs I took three weeks ago when I visited The Yeo Valley Organic Garden (links to their site here and here) on their last open day of this year (next year’s season is a little longer, with visits from April 25th to October 29th). The two image above are from the cutting garden which I imagine is all but over now, though the beds filled with dahlias and cleome were still looking strong.
Although I love seeing gardens in high summer, I find I learn more from visits made when gardens are just waking up or heading into decline – spring and late autumn. It’s easier to spot the plants that might help hold my garden together during the lean months when most of the stars of summer are dormant or dying.
At Yeo Valley Organic Garden I was particularly struck by the huge drifts of echinops and verbena bonariensis, which were threaded through with lower growing grasses such as stipa tenuissima and ribbons of sedum and echinacea.
I’d really love to visit this garden again during the winter; I imagine that it will still look stunning. It’s a shame that this isn’t an option, though I expect low visitor numbers at that time of year make it impractical. I must add that as well as the gravel garden and the cutting garden there is a large meadow, which looked completely magical even on an overcast day, a formal garden – the bronze garden – with a large pond, and much else besides. Oh and a lovely, lovely restaurant selling the most delicious cakes.