Lisa and Chris Sayner
It was love at first sight, this derelict patch. Once a well tended garden with a beautiful wooden greenhouse,West facing, elevated, with a wonderful view of the Valley and Bishops Palace. The light in the house and the garden is lovely.
We cleared the pathways, cut back the brambles, nettles and ivy and got the Sycamores
pruned. (They are not trees we would have planted, but they support a lot of wildlife and have been home to Rooks and Jackdaws for centuries) filled skips with rubbish and broken glass. We waited to see what grew and we didn’t want to remove all the cover at once.
The garden has been terraced using local stone. It would be too expensive to change, so we have to work with what we have. The square shape doesn’t lend itself to interesting rooms, more,
has to be seen as a whole. I am not really happy with the way it looks, it is work in progress.
Some of the plants and shrubs planted by previous gardeners remain, many came as little bits from Yorkshire wrapped in newspaper, I have grown from seed (Sara Raven) and last but not least, Bernie the Plantsman at the top of Tyddewi. His advice has been invaluable. What he grows survives the salty wind, the alternate rain and then the rapid drying out of the soil.Once they are established, I try not to water. I apply lots of mulch. If the plants survive, they stay! I also let them self seed and weed them out where they are not wanted. I try to create a natural appearance and enjoy blending colours, textures and punctuating the borders with bold colours or structures.
Chris and I are passionate about wildlife, especially song birds and bees. It is very difficult to attract and feed the birds, as the Corvids are so clever and dominant. Squirrels are also very artful. We have various cages and feeders and enjoy tame Robins and Blackbirds.
The boundary wall is home to various bees. We have encouraged wild flowers from January and keep the vegetation close to the wall and maintain a pathway for pedestrians so that the Council don’t feel the need to strim it back and disturb the inhabitants!
We would like a substantial pond, but the site eludes us, we have made a couple of puddles for the birds and insects, but they will not support newts or frogs which we would welcome.
A couple of before and after photos…….