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Why when we plan our gardens do we not think how big tall bushy wide and invasive that plant that looks so pretty in its little pot can get. When we decide where its going to be planted we then have to keep it where you put it and not let it have free reign to ramble where it will.

Last year was written off garden wise as the RA wouldn't let me have any time out there, and as we had planned a 2 week holiday in July I even left the patio pots empty. The winter took its toll on the garden as told in a previous blog. This year I’ve taken more notice of the garden and realised that what looked nice and pretty last year (my rose coloured glasses) is this year choking the rest of the plants and shrubs around it; and the unplanted patio pots are now full of wind blown weeds.

A few years ago more than 10, I had the idea of planting a honeysuckle on one side of the wall that splits the garden; it was only going to be allowed to grow on the one side of the wall huh!! That’s what I mean it didn’t do what I wanted and I wasn’t forceful enough, the same with the clematis beside the gate that was only meant to grow up the one side now honeysuckle meets clematis very pretty for about 2 months then its dead flowers can’t be pruned because they’ve grown too high. The previous owners also planted 3 climbing roses against the wall 1 of them died the others over the years have been allowed to ramble through the honeysuckle; again as the wall is only 6 foot high the roses need more support. There is an arch through the wall to the lower garden and the opposite side of the gate is a quince bush beautiful flowers and fruit but grown so high and pruned wrongly by me over the years now it only has a few flowers this bush is also beside the BBQ so a fire hazard as well.

So this year has been different the RA still stops me from doing some things but hubs and I have a solution -I point he has the use of my very good secateurs, so he can prune and we have pruned big style, we can now get the garden table and chairs on the patio with out people having a rose that is meant to climb stick up their nose. The honeysuckle is now only on the one side of the wall which has left some very interesting intertwined branches that look like a sculpture. We did 4 runs in the car to take the pruning to the tip. The clematis can now breathe a bit it still needs to be freed a bit more but will wait. The quince has been cut to the ground and I have the job again of driving the cuttings to the tip.

There is no news of my beautiful cordylines I lost in the frost and snow, its incredible how the plants you want to keep, die but the ones that we have just pruned to their end thrived through the winter. The other news is the grapevine survived the winter and has grown well, we have grapes set on it and hopefully we will be able to enjoy them this year.

The patio pots have been weeded and are planted up with violas and other assorted small plants, and the only new climbing plants I have are sweet peas; they shouldn’t grow more than 5 foot :)

7 Replies

Hi Tricia - soounds like a lovely garden. I used to love doing my little bit of gardening, but then I moved here and all we had out front was a field!!! full of docks and a few chickens in a coop. We started to get some sort of shape to it but then RH's father retired and I had to work full time on the farm, and the garden has been given over once again to the brambles nettles and docks. I have a few shrubs about which get overgrown in the summer. I would have thought that as you have a mansion you would have your own gardener,but I understand how you want to do it yourself!! :-)

Take care

Julie xxx


I live in a very spacious two bedroom flat on the first floor, perfectly suited to me and my RA.

I have a large decked balcony. My friends have put some beautiful heebies in pots and a wonderful red cordyline, I also have four topiiaried bay trees (football shape) which have little solar panelled lights that twinkle in the dark. I have a small table and two chairs. The balcony overlooks a beautifully maintained communal garden. I am so lucky it's all gorgeous and I can re landscape my little balcony plot just by getting the pots moved fantastic.

love it

Sue xx


Wow Sue, this sounds idyllic ... now, where's the bottle of vino and the glass of course!


You know Sue most of our garden is hard landscaped with cotswold stone the owner before us must have had shares in a quarry or went out at night a lot. So I do garden in pots stationary and ones like yours that I can move about or tell hubs to put somewhere, I even managed to grow potatoes in a pot and my daughter in law is growing peas and runner beans in a couple of big pots. Now your bay trees I'm envious as I did lose mine this winter it was in a built in pot by the back door with mint growing in the bottom, now it's a big stick :( but I've cut it back and will wait to see if it grows, if not where do you live I fancy twinkly solar lights. :)



Hi Tricia

Your garden sounds fantastic! You are sure that you're not landscaping the local park by accident are you?

I used to enjoy pottering in my little patch but it's mainly beyond me now with wonky hands and knees. I have however got OH to put trellis along a south facing wall and I now have sweet peas growing, just like you. It will be lovely when they start to flower :)

BBQ? Arch? Lower garden? It is the park!! :) :)

Lyn x


You know Lyn we had ducks on the pond once upon a time, I think they though we were the river and stopped for a rest. they stayed for a couple of days munched most of the weed and a few fish then flew off leaving only a feather and lots of duck poo luvley :)

Re The park we do have a couple of benches in the area by the pond. I must get the tramp off them. Truthfully we have an ex council house which is old enough for when they built houses to last with gardens for families so we have a plot 120feet long 20 25 feet wide, as I said it was all landscaped with cotswold stone when we bought it 25 years ago and i'm just trying to get rid by chopping down and pruning hard my planting mistakes from the past.

With Julie who has a farm an Ali in her apartment in Gloucester coming to stay we have had to get the duster and lawn mower out. I do really hope we can spend time in the garden putting the world to rights over a glass of something fizzy even if its lemonade lol :)

cheers from Stratford Mansions and Parks



mansion,, stately home and park in impressed.. do I need to dress for dinner lol xx


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