Creating a Rose Garden

I haven’t posted a roundup post for the old house garden for a while because we have been busy creating a rose garden in the middle section of the old house garden.

I have blogged about the middle section of the garden before here

When we moved into the old house, the garden had been badly neglected but we could see what an amazing place it could be. It was dark and gloomy and we have spent the past 18 months concentrating on the garden before we can tackle the house.

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The sad and gloomy greenhouse Feb 2016
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The same greenhouse looking happier in Sept 2017
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The dark and gloomy middle garden Feb 2016
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The new rose garden Sept 2017

Now I could write a post explaining about how we created this garden but I must admit I find those types of posts a little tedious so instead I am posting lots of photographs so you can see the different stages. Do feel free to ask any questions though.

We tried to recycle patio slabs we already had but we did need to buy red pavers, a patio circle, cement, gravel, stones, compost and plants. As we did it all for ourselves we think we have spent about £800. We also saved money by going to a Nursery plant fair at the end of their season which saved us money on the roses and lavender.

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The space in August
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We used spray paint to divide the space and began to dig out.
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This was tough work but it soon took shape. We borrowed a laser level at this stage to make sure we had our levels correct as the garden is on a slight slope.
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The soil was added to the woodland area so that we could reuse it later (in fact we decided we quite like this ‘hill’ in the woodland area so have kept it and I have planted snowdrops and bluebell bulbs here.)
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We added hard core to the areas and compacted it using a compactor. This was tough work as it all had to be brought in with wheel barrows. We then started on the retaining wall at the back.

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We made the path next using pavers. The key here is to make sure they are level from the beginning. We had to use more hardcore and cement as we went along as the area was sloping and we wanted the path to be level.
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We carried on laying the pavers working into the seating circle near the raised planters we had built in the Spring. Luckily our calculations were spot on!
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We laid out the patio circle to see exactly where it had to go. It was important to match the lines of the slabs with the lines in the pavers.
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We laid the patio circle in cement using a plumb line from the seating circle to make sure the centre of the circle was in the correct place. We then added brick pavers around the edge to link the two colours of stone.
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We used gravel around the seating circle to neaten the edges here. The colour of the gravel and new stones matches the stones used in the raised bed.
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We added a stone edge to keep the soil and gravel neatly in place.
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We finally took the turf off and added manure and peat free compost. The area was almost ready for planting! At this stage we downed tools and went to a plant fair to buy our roses.
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We wanted to incorporate an old bird bath that we found in the garden so decided to make it a focal point by raising it onto blocks. These were cemented in.
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The bird bath was rolled into place -it is REALLY heavy!
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I love the bird bath here and the birds are already using it!
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The other seating circle was finished last.
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Planting is always fun and I love the traditional look of roses and lavender together. All our visits to other gardens really helped us design this section of the garden.
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The finished Rose Garden.

The roses we bought are: David Austin Olivia Rose, Generous Gardener and Brother Cadfael. I love the fact that these roses have peony type blooms and are pale to mid pink with a lovely old English scent. We also planted lavender. We have room for more so I will look out for other roses in the Spring but would welcome suggestions.

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Oliva Rose
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Dottie loves it too!

Already, I love this area! We hope to buy a couple of benches for the seating circle so that we can sit and enjoy this area. We are not sure at this point whether to add a table and chair set to the patio circle or we did think a large urn on a plinth may look better. What do you think?

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#MyGloriousGardens September Round-up Post

Hello everyone!

This is the September Round-up of #MyGloriousGardens. What a busy month it has been in the old house! Back to school and work, my school had an inspection, my poor mum has been ill and we have been hard at work developing a new part of our garden which is almost ready to share with you! Phew….

This month we had 18 lovely linkers.  I will be sharing these posts on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Stumbleupon. I hope that this brings you more blogging love!

Not every linker is commenting on the other blogs so that is something that you may like to do in the next few weeks. Please don’t just link and run. It makes it easier if you could please add the #MyGloriousGardens tag after you comment so that bloggers can see where you came from. Thank you.

Now to the linkers:

Mudcakesandwine

A lovely post about adding annuals via seeds to a border. I think the author was disappointed but I think this border looks great and will possibly reseed itself for next year. A little bit of colour in a dull patch is always welcome! I’m sorry I couldn’t find your name on your blog but welcome to this little community of the blogging world! I hope you can return next month.

thenextbestthingtomummy

Karen posted 2 posts this month. She has worked in Early Years and posted a post about being a childminder as well as a post about The North Devon Mini-run. Thank you Karen for these posts and for linking again this month. I couldn’t find any share buttons on your posts Karen but I have put these on to Twitter and Stumbleupon.

allthingsspliced

Nicola shared a post about her lovely holiday in Cornwall in a caravan with her family. I loved the photographs in her post and it actually looked like she enjoyed good weather! They stopped off at Dyrham Park, one of my favourite places near me, to visit. Thank you Nicola for linking again this month.

Thomasstone.blog

Hello Thomas. Thomas is a regular linker and gives us gardeners lots of great advice! This month he talks about hedge trimming with practical tips and do’s and don’ts which has proved very useful in the old house garden. We have a large beech hedge which is now looking trim and neat!

Growingself

Hello Roda. I am an avid reader of Roda’s blog which is so uplifting and positive. This post is no exception. She always includes beautiful photographs to brighten the soul which you can also find on Instagram for further inspiration. Thank you Roda. I’m glad I was a post-it note reminder for September! Hope to see you again next month.

CandeloBlooms

Jane is a regular so welcome back Jane! I love the fact that Jane lives on the other side of the world so she is just approaching the excitement of Spring whilst we are heading into Autumn. It will be lovely to watch as her growing garden in months to come.

greenfingeredblog

Welcome to Paul as a new linker. Paul’s post is about a visit to a garden I don’t know about called, Kingston Maurward. You know me readers, I love a good garden visit as they were the inspiration behind #MyGloriousGardens. I love the way posts like this one enables us to take away inspiration for our own gardens and this one is no different. Do take a look. Thank you Paul for joining in with the Linky! I hope you pop back next month.

Mypottingbench

Welcome to Craig and his wonderful post on the amazing RHS Wisley. I haven’t been yet but this special garden is on my list! I love the Exotic Garden with its straight lines and central pond….glorious! Thank you for linking this month. We hope to see you again.

30daysofwildparenting

Joshua is a regular linker so thank you for linking this month! I love the way Joshua blogs about jobs that are easy for fellow gardeners to be getting on with and his shed is one such project. I hope to see you again next month.

offtheedgegardening

This is such a cute post about Gill having little helpers in her garden and the lovely nature collection they made into a piece of art. Lovely to have you with us this month, Gill. Hope to see you again.

Vegplotting

Michelle linked last month so thank you for linking again. In this post, Michelle talks about the fact that we can sometimes be too critical of our gardens when we really shouldn’t be! After all this rain, my garden is looking a little windswept but it is still glorious. I’m sure you garden is too. Michelle.

Watching the Daisies

Hello Brigid and thank you for linking again to #MyGloriousGardens. Brigid has linked 2 posts and I love them both. If I had to choose I would say I love seeing her own garden and the changes that the seasons bring. Thank you for linking this month and hope to see you in October.

dogwooddays

Nic was a first time linker so welcome! I loved this post about the benefits at this time of year of having a cutting patch. I must admit that I may have to do this for next year! I love all the colourful Gladioli and Bells of Ireland that Nic is now enjoying in vases in her house. Right…now where is that bulb catalogue? Hope to see you next month, Nic.

Urbanvegpatch

A lovely round-up post from Caro about her garden and its fruit and veg. Like all of us gardeners she is excited about planning for the spring with….seed catalogues! We all love them don’t we? Lovely photographs in this post too.

 

Well that’s all folks…..See you in October.

Just one teaser photo for you….I can’t keep it to myself anymore…..Our new rose garden…almost finished!

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The old house new rose garden
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#MyGloriousGardens September Link-up Party!

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It’s time for the #MyGloriousGardens September Link up Party!

This is a link party for any posts about being outside, gardens, gardens you may have visited, garden product reviews, days out with you family to a place with a beautiful garden, summer garden posts….basically anything garden related!

The summer hollibobs are coming to an end and the children (and their teachers) are returning to school. I never know where the time goes in the summer holidays! It seems to have whizzed by!

I have visited lots of beautiful gardens in August but I have never been to anywhere as beautiful as Seville! I hope you will enjoy my post. I have also linked up a post about the jobs I plan to do this Autumn.

I can’t wait to read all your amazing posts! So get linking peeps!

Some Guidance for all your lovely linkers!

If are a new linker, the rules are simple…..just click on the blue link up button at the bottom of this screen and it will take you to a new page where you can copy and paste your posts.

If you would like, add the #MyGloriousGardens button to your post -you can find it in my sidebar (widget).

Tweet me @oldhouseinthes1 for a retweet. Retweet any posts you really love.

Spread the linky love by commenting on some of the other bloggers posts, including mine please. Please don’t link and run! It’s not what this party is all about. As a guide, try to comment on the post directly before your and one of the hosts post as a minimum.

I will comment on every post linked up and share on all my social media sites. I have discovered Sumbleupon this month and its directing LOADS of traffic my way! I will put all posts on Stumbleupon as well as Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook -do check out my pages. I always post a round up post after the link party has closed so that you get further traffic from that. What’s not to love!?

10 Jobs for the Autumn Garden

The weather went from 26 degrees yesterday here in Wiltshire to a chilly 14 degrees today with lots of rain! It feels Autumnal already so I thought I would share with you some of the jobs that I plan to do in the next few months in the garden.

Here are my top 10 jobs for this busy season.

  1. Collect seeds. Collecting seeds to grow more lovely plants is a great way to save money and still have wonderfully full borders! My favourite seeds that need to be put away and sown in the Spring are; Cosmos, Sweet peas, Sunflowers, Marigolds, Zinnias and Poppies. My favourite seeds that can be sewn straight away as they need the cold weather to activate them are; Foxgloves, Yarrow, and Astrantia.
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Collect seeds in Autumn

 

2. Keep harvesting vegetables and sew some green winter manure plants now. Harvest fruits. Make apple juice from your apples or slice Bramley apples and freeze in bags to be used to make lovely apple crumble or apple pie.

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Harvest apples.

 

3. Rake and feed your lawn. Repair holes with grass seed.

4. Plant Spring bulbs. My favourites that I will planting this Autumn are snow drops, Fritillaria, daffodils and English bluebells.

5. Sort out your pond. Clean out any leaves and put up some netting to collect falling leaves. Amphibians such as frogs and newts will have left the pond to hibernate so this is a good time to do these jobs.

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6. Divide perennials and move any plants at this time. I don’t tend to tidy perennials now as I like to leave them for wildlife to feed on.

7. Make new compost bins for leaf litter. This makes a lovely compost.

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Leaves make lovely leaf mould that can be used on your plants in the Spring.

8. Clean out water butts and plan any hard landscaping ideas for the winter when plants are dormant.

9. Rake up leaves once a week so that the job doesn’t become too big.

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Rake leaves regularly to stop this job getting too huge!

10. Clear out summer bedding, add bone meal and feed to the soil giving it a good digging over before adding Winter bedding plants.

10 Jobs for the Autumn Garden

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The Old House Garden Round up: Blight, Mildew, Apples and Enormous Dragonflies!

The round-up this week is tinged with sadness as some of my vegetables are just not doing very well! My outdoor tomatoes had blight so I had to take them all out and burn them. In the same vegetable bed I have pumpkins and they have mildew! I have cut off all the affected leaves but I think it has already spread to the other bed. I think I’m going to hope that I can manage it until the pumpkins are ready to harvest. If any one has any suggestions though? I will burn all the leaves and give the bed a good turning over in the Autumn. I expect I will take out most of the soil in this bed and replace it. Luckily, my large compost bin is full and the compost is ready to put onto the garden. I think both the mildew and blight are due to all the rain yet humid conditions we had in July.

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Mildew on the pumpkin leaves that I have removed and burnt.
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It has just spread to the other bed -you can just see the splodges of mildew on the leaves.
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If the pumpkins can hang on I think they should be ok!
The tomatoes in the Greenhouse have been producing fruit though and the beans have been great. The salad leaves, rhubarb and beetroot all seem fine too and we have some plums, pears and crab apples appearing now on the new fruit trees.

The old apple tree is groaning with Bramley apples! They keep falling down though and giving me a shock; especially when the squirrels are chasing each other through the trees! One apple hit me directly on the head the other day and it hurt! Some of the apples are huge!

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Bramley apples on the old apple tree
We had to employ a dry stone waller to repair the wall that fell down. Dottie kept trying to escape so it was a job that needed doing and this was one that we couldn’t do for ourselves. This is the third section of wall that has needed repairing so we are keeping our fingers crossed that this is the last, at least for a number of years anyway!

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The dry stone wall has been repaired.
We have enjoyed some calm and sunny weather here in Wiltshire for the past 2 weeks so I have seen lots of insects enjoying the garden. The most spectacular are these huge dragonflies and damselflies that can be all sorts of stunning colours. This one today was a beautiful red and was massive! I believe you tell the difference by looking at their wings; if they are closed at rest they are damselflies and if they are open at rest, they are dragonflies.

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Photographing these are very tricky as they don’t settle for long!
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One of the beautiful dragonflies here in the Old House Garden.
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I have been enjoying the sunshine this weekend and reading in this spot!
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Dottie enjoying the Japanese Anemones.
 

 

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The meadow keeps the insects happy!
We have been busy in the Middle part of the garden. We started this section and I blogged about it

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I will be blogging about these changes soon but I will leave you with this teaser….here is Dottie on the soil that we have removed from this part of the garden! It’s taking a while because we are doing it all and it’s very hard work…..I will reveal all soon, I promise!

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Dottie trying to admire the view over the back fence!
OH THE JOYS OF LIVING IN THE OLD HOUSE IN THE SHIRES!

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The Gardens of Alcázar of Seville: #MyGloriousGardens.

During a long weekend in Seville, we visited the Alcázar Palace on a gloriously hot day in August. Whilst the weather looks perfect in photographs, it was in fact 42 degrees centigrade and so our visit to the gardens was not as long as I would have liked as Siesta called! The good thing though about the boiling weather was that the palace was not crowded and we could amble around the gardens at our leisure.

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The Courtyard of the Maidens. The orange trees are a fairly recent restoration as a medieval sunken garden was discovered here. The orange blossom must smell wonderful in the Spring!

The extensive gardens have undergone many changes in the life of the palace which was declared a UNESCO heritage site in 1987. The gardens extend over seven hectares and are surrounded by walls of varying age and colours. The different areas of the garden reflect the periods of time that have passed since this glorious place was built. Over hundreds of years, areas of the palace and gardens have been extended and changed giving the whole complex distinctly different areas. In the main, the gardens are formal gardens with water being a major part of the Moorish design in the form of rills and pools. The gardens would have been planted to provide food for the palace but also for pleasure.

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The many trees surrounded by formal hedging in the garden Garden of Vega Inclan.
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Entrance into the Garden of Vega Inclan and English Gardens

Moving away from the Palace lay The Garden of the Poets with pools and rills of water.  The planting is of palm, cypress, myrtle, mulberries, magnolia, orange and lemon trees.

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Rills of water are a major feature in this part of the garden known as The garden of the Poets.
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Beautiful formal fountains
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Mosaic tiled places to sit and admire the surroundings and rest in the heat.

The gardens of the Alcázar of Seville have undergone many changes. In the 16th century during the reign of Philip III the Italian designer Vermondo Resta introduced the Italian Mannerist style. He was responsible for changing an old wall into a viewing Loggia to enable visitors to admire parts of the gardens. This is a fabulous spot to take photographs of the garden as you get to look down and admire the views.

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View towards the palace from the Loggia. The small orange building plays music
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The Loggia was once an old wall.
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View towards the main garden with pools.
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A lovely and welcome shady spot!

Nearest the Palace buildings lies the Mercury Pond, named after the God, Mercury. This pool was made in 1586 and as it lies higher than other parts of the garden acting as a reservoir for many of the other water features nearby. This area of the garden is known as The Garden of the Reservoir.

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The Mercury Pool in the Garden of the Reservoir
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Lots of Koi Carp in the Mercury pond.
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This section is nearest the Palace and has wonderfully decorated tiles and fountains.
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The entrance to the old wine cellars were a cool place to sit.
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The old wine cellars were stunning inside.

The Gardens of Alcázar of Seville were amazing and I would love to go back in the Spring to see the orange blossom and to visit without battling such boiling temperatures. So many kings and queens have walked in these gardens and there is so much history that one afternoon is not enough.

My advice? Take your time and visit for a couple of days.

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The Old House garden round-up: Flopsy Flowers and caterpillars!

So far, August has been very wet and cold in Wiltshire. Today was the first day for a while that we could enjoy the garden as it was lovely and sunny. I decided to quickly take some photographs of the garden so that it looked gorgeous in the sun however this was what we have enjoyed since Saturday!

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Rain, rain and more rain!
Of Course, this really took it’s toll on the garden; especially the flowers. It also made everything grow like crazy!

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The tower of beans fell down in the wind but there is still lots of beans to harvest!
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The pumpkins are developing well.
My pumpkins, although developing large fruits, have also got mildew on their leaves and I’m worried that it will spread so I have removed the infected leaves and have my fingers crossed! It’s due to all the rain and humid conditions. The tomatoes, beetroot and peppers all seem to be happy as they are now producing fruits.

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Cabbage White caterpillars
Now vegetable lovers will shake their heads at me but I actually planted these cauliflowers hoping to attract butterflies! I’m not too keen on cauliflower but I do love butterflies so am pleased that the cabbage white has laid her eggs on them! There are also some on my nasturtiums too but they have self seeded from last year and again, I planted them for caterpillar food!

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Caterpillars on the nasturtiums
This seems to be a theme in the old house garden as we also have sawfly larvae on a small patch of roses….

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Sawfly larvae on my roses
Although incredibly annoying, sawfly larvae are great food for ladybirds and I have seen many ladybird larvae eating the sawfly larvae so they can stay. I garden organically so I could take these little pest off by hand but I’m hoping the damage will be limited by encouraging natural predators.

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The Rhubarb is now monstrous!
The rhubarb we planted last Spring is now enormous so we are hoping to harvest from it next year.

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The apple tree is groaning with apples this year.
Now for the rest of the garden…

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The meadow continues to be in full flower.
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Zinnia
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I love these Love-in-a-mist (Nigella) flowers. I found them as seed pods by the side of the road and planted them as seed straight into this area.
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Tiger enjoying the garden. The grass has grown really long in places and is full of tiny frogs!
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The cottage border is still in full bloom but the flowers are all flopsy from all the rain!
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The Japanese Anemone are coming into full bloom. I love these as they are so pretty!
I replanted this plant stand last week, adding Dahlia and Hydrangea. I think it looks stunning and I’m really pleased with it.

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My plant stand by the back door.
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Dahlias
Lastly, here is a photo of my dear little Dottie dog taken with my new camera. I’m really pleased with it. Happy August everyone……in the next round-up there will be some changes to the Old House Garden. x

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Dottie dog
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