A little history

Some time has passed since my last blog post but we have been very busy with the theatricals. This entailed preparing the stage area and lots of mowing and edging. Now it’s all over for another year and we can concentrate on the continuous jobs of weeding and watering. Also, happily, on picking our produce from the veg garden. Sally and I were delighted to win prizes at our local show for our broad beans, potatoes and peas. And now the French and runner beans are starting to crop well.

I thought I ought to mention a bit about the history of the garden and especially about the trees as they are not, in the main part, anywhere near as old as the cottage. The garden only came into existence in 1952 when Dick and his first wife, Freda, bought the cottage. Prior to that, the area around the cottage had been used as a compound for dogs. The first part to be cultivated was the vegetable gardens to the west of the cottage on either side of the round garden. All the produce grown was a great help to the family and one or two existing fruit trees added to the bounty.

The cottage got its name not from the existing weeping willow at the front but from a row of huge willows that were growing behind the ponds. These came down in the 1987 storm and none survived. Luckily, the weeping willow had been planted as a sapling in 1973 so the name of the cottage is still appropriate.

The conifers around the garden were either purchased from Woolies for 6d or grown from seed collected by the family on their travels. For example, the towering one by the front gate is from seed collected in the south of France; and the one next to it is from Corsica. Behind the greenhouses and along behind the back of the ponds are several from seed from the Welsh hills. The land must be very fertile as the trees have become huge and we are having some taken down to give others room to thrive and to be seen. But we are also planting many new ones for future generations. Behind the ponds we have put in a Handkerchief tree, a Paulownia, a Himalayan birch and a Cercidiphyllum and apple, plum and a medlar have gone into the orchard area by the bee hives. So far they are all surviving despite being nibbled by the deer and attacked by caterpillars.

If you come to visit the cottage over the next few weeks I think you will agree that the dahlias and the vegetable garden, festooned with nasturtiums and sweet peas, are looking fantastic. I think Dick would approve.

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