The parterre vision is coming to life and my lovely neighbours are helping by donating bricks from their brick piles. I think I’ve gotten through about a 100 so far and I’ll need another 50 ish to complete the look.

I’m halfway there and decided that would be a good point to move in some plants. I know the proper way to do these things is all of the construction first but look at the size of the dahlias – they were practically leaping out of the pots.

Digging the holes was hard going, I excavated another pile of impressively sized stones. Apart from the geranium Rozanne in the near right corner (currently recovering from being moved from far back left position) all the plants so far have been grown from seed, self sown, propagated or over-wintered one year to the next. As a result, this qualifies as a low-cost project. I purchased the lavenders as plug plants from J Parker, who were much more cost effective than buying 6-packs from the garden centre.

The three penstemons in the foreground, next to Rozanne are cuttings of cuttings orginally taken from a neighbour’s garden. The neighbour, Molly had the corner house where it was difficult to work out where front and back garden ended or started. My second son struck up a friendship with Molly in her later years and they became partners in crime; him for the biscuits (he was 6) and Molly for the company. We would chat about gardens etc and I hope she would be pleased that the ‘Molly’ penstemon is still going strong and has pride of place in my front garden. I half imagine myself being the Molly of this neighbourhood – in the front garden trimming and pruning and having casual conversations with passers-by.

The orange geum was the only flowering plant in the back garden here. I rescued it before building work started and divided it into 6 new plants. I’ve grouped a geum, gaura and verbana b. together in opposite corners. I’m telling myself I’m OK with the gaps this year – there are more plants to be lifted from the plot this autumn/winter and more propagation to be done. I’m pondering the idea of interplanting with purple kale and parsley. Let’s see how long I resist the call of the garden centre…

And here’s the other half.

A bit different to this time last year