Three years ago I made my secret garden surrounded by a trellis to grow fragrant plants like roses, jasmine, honeysuckle and trachelospermum. At first it didn’t look very secret and everybody asked me what I was going to do with it, which was discouraging as I had already done it.
Now at last it is how I planned it and is a lovely place to sit.
The honeysuckle is Lonicera periclymenum ‘Scentsation’. It smells wonderful. The rose on the arches is ‘Phyllis Bide’ which is a very pretty rambler which smells gorgeous and unlike other ramblers keeps right on blooming.
Last year as I love having a new project I decided to make a Mediterranean garden. There is nothing so much fun in the garden as planning a new area. I thought my secret garden looked a bit lost sitting in the middle of the lawn with nothing to anchor it to the rest of the garden. So now you walk under the rose arch into a Mediterranean garden.
To my surprise I found a lovely old grape vine at the local supermarket. When I went home and told my lovely Pianist about it he straightaway said ‘Come on, let’s go and get it’. And as it was the only one we jumped in the car and rushed back. After planting it I felt quite Mediterranean.
It’s such a pretty shape and not at all what you expect to find when you go to buy a pint of milk and some potatoes. Now what I needed was a 2000 year-old olive tree. I had to make do with this one; it is quite pretty and didn’t break the bank.
I used willow screening behind the garden to create a feeling of intimacy. It was a shame to hide the trunks of the silver birches but beyond them is a bonfire and general grot area. In any case I wanted to enclose it. It is very sheltered down here and a real suntrap. I didn’t dig up the turf; I had learnt my lesson after digging up lawns in my front garden and for the winter garden. This time I used a membrane and covered it with gravel.
I had fun choosing the plants. Some of them bloom in late summer so I will show you another time. Looking good right now is a lovely cistus with large white flowers with a maroon blotch. It is called Cistus x purpureus ‘Alan Fradd’.
Of course there have to be lavenders. This one is Lavendula stoechas.
Behind it is the gorgeous silky, silvery foliage of Senecio candicans ‘Angel Wings’ I was told that it was a tender perennial when I bought it last year, but it came through the winter very well with just a bit of fleece to protect it.
I also bought a perennial antirrhinum last year which is a bit tender but easy from cuttings. It spent the winter in the greenhouse and now it has been released into the garden it has decided to climb the fence. It is called Antirrhinum ‘Pretty in Pink’
Obviously for a Mediterranean garden you need plants that the bees enjoy. As well as the lavenders and alliums they are enjoying the prettiest little calamintha that I have ever seen. It is called Calamintha grandiflora ‘Elfin Purple’.
This is the view looking back towards the secret garden.