Sunday, 26 April 2009

NGS Garden Visit

Took myself off to Blitterlees this afternoon, about 20 miles up the coast near Silloth. I knew I was in trouble as soon as I walked in and was faced with a bowling green of a lawn - perfect stripes and not a single daisy to be seen.

Next to this wildlife wasteland was a large(20 foot across?) gravel area. Now if the gravel had been raked to represent water in Karesansui style I wouldn't have minded but this bit of garden was decorated with concrete "items", that were painted in bright colours, your mileage may vary but this was certainly not to my taste! I would rather they had been gnomes - after all, you can have a deep philosphical debate with a mature gnome but these were of the more "varied" and decorative kind.

Too many tulips, strictly controlled planting, way too much concrete & hard landscaping and not a weed to be seen, someone spends a great deal of time and effort on this garden. However I spent most of my visit peering over the fence to the plot next door, now THAT was a garden I would have loved to spend an hour wandering around in, a pond, small stream, loads of Honesty flowering its heart out! The NGS guidelines for gardens wishing to be considered for the scheme says there must be at least 45 minutes of interest for the visitor. Sadly I went round twice and left after 20.

The fact that I took no photos completes the picture, but in a way I'm glad I went. Both the garden I visited and the one I peeped into confirmed that a relaxed style where nature is very nearly in control, not the gardener, where wildlife are actively catered for and weeds are only weeds when they are really in the wrong place, is definitely the way we want Bag End to be.


  1. How I agree! My tidy neighbour is mildly aghast that I'm finding lots of dandelions and plantains to dig up for my chickens. There's not a one in his garden! My idea of a perfect garden is that it should look effortless. Lawns edged with a ruler and bedding plants set out to the inch don't look efforless to me!

  2. I do like to be able to see where the lawn ends and the flower beds begin though! In my garden, at the moment, you can't do that! Mrs Flum. I know just what you mean Bilbo - a few daisys in the grass, a weed or two in the flower beds (I have wild violets growing under lots of shrubs in my garden at the moment, and my daughter has an abundance of wild bluebells in her flower borders)make a garden feel more like home.

  3. Is that delightful garden up the valley open yet? or is that one later in the summer? now thaere we stayed for hours - just wandering and sitting and looking .........lovely!

  4. Flummery, it would be chicken heaven here right now. On Sunday afternoon I dug up three bucketloads of dandelions (amazing how far down the taproot you can get with an old bread knige!)

    Brenda, that wonderful garden at Chapelside which you visited is open this coming Friday and Saturday! Lucky you having violets - treasure them, they are becoming increasingly rare in the wild.

  5. Pity that "comments" doesn't have a spell check. What the heck is a bread knige?

  6. Hi Bilbo,

    I have always used an old bread knige to dig up dandelions too! Amazing how handy they are! I have lots of wild violets, I think they have spread into the garden from the wood where they seem to grow in abundance. Not many things like my dry sandy soil but they seem to thrive. (Still dry sandy soil after years of composting, manure and leaf mould!) Jill

  7. Jill, it's happened here too - dratted blogger not telling me you'd left a comment.


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