My blog is written to share insight into my world as a knitting designer and fibre artist.
Constantly I am asked ‘what inspires you ‘ and I answer ‘my travels, my landscape, my garden.
I love to garden but since moving to live 1300’ above sea level in an exposed bleak landscape my gardening has challenged me.
This year my efforts are paying off and I can say Yes again to being inspired by my garden. I have a small lawned area outside my bedroom window containing Rowan trees,( which incidentally were planted here when this chapel was deconsecrated to safeguard the area from Witches. I planted fruit trees amongst them and a Buckthorn hedge ( thinking of my favourite drink Sloe Gin.)Honeysuckle whips to grow over the thick stone wall have been added and nutured.Jacobs ladder grows and a large clump of primrose coloured appears by the wall echoing the contrast between the purples and creamy paler shades against the greens and stone.
Further down I have a very large Herbaceous bed for the plants that work best here and survive are those who disappear in winter when conditions are harsh.
An area of 4 large raised beds made from railway sleepers are home to 1. Flowers for the house. 2.Herbs 3.Cuttings and trial bed 4. Strawberries, pak choi, garlic, beans. These beds are protected from the wild easterly wind by the chapel and face west.
As I wander over the bridge of the stream bringing water gushing from the hills around me I have a large triangular piece of land totally exposed so trees are in here, beech, larch, willow,conifers etc and suddenly seeing the leaves appear again and looking they are growing up they look like trees in all their glory.
By the stream before you cross is an area I leave uncut for the wild flowers to thrive and the insect life is amazing in this grass.
This whole area is AONB ( area of outstanding natural beauty ) plus Natural England work with the farmers here to see that the fields return to meadow areas which is stunningly beautiful , they look like a huge colourful patchwork quilt in late spring trying hard to compete with the ever changing colour of the high moors around us and the myriad of blues in this ‘big sky’ landscape.
A long stonewall running North to South brings me to my last area and the part of the garden we have just completed. It dips North and East and was boggy and hard work.
Now the land drains gently trickle excess water into the last part of the stream on my land and a diagonal shingle stone path had been laid contained inside huge curved iron edges made at our nearest forge each side of this path is drained and is now paying off. A large stone built raised bed houses my bulbs my favourite Camassia’s and flowering herbaceous geraniums for colour after the bulbs have gone. The day I planted this up even standing was hard in the wind but oh my reward is now
This bed had manure and enriched soil and grit etc so really was ready for my beautiful tulips which are my favourite Spring bulb. Elegance personified. Many trees have been planted bearing in mind Autumn colours and today 2 new Scots Pine complete the picture.
A last bed running along the North South wall and facing East is for large shrubs and was dug out 3′ down and treated to 2 full tractor front loads of well rotted manure then the soil replaced. It was huge when we finished but over winter the bed has levelled out surprisingly and is looking very good.
Large plants went in and a couple of evergreens then a flowering crabapple and a mountain acer completed the garden