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Our home garden is on the west side of the Malvern Hills, 800 feet above sea level. In 2014, I started a renovation project and, given the area involved, it is likely to be an ongoing task.
This area is at the northern end of the largest level piece of ground in the garden. It used to be a chicken run, then was just a patch of rough grass mowed at irregular intervals. All of it completely infested with running buttercup.
Looking towards the north, this border screens the vegetable garden. Beyond you can see that the garden has a generous background of mature trees. The area of garden facing west has a tree or two at the southern and northern ends. We are careful not to plant anything which might obscure the view along the 100 metre stretch in between. This consists of two very steep banks with a narrow pathway running midway. There used to be a “Ha Ha” between the garden and the front park field. Eventually, the supporting wall collapsed. For many years we did not have time to do more than allow the banks to grow a wide assortment of wild flowers and a giant specimen of Rose ‘Wickwar’. Willow Herb, Teasels, Foxgloves and Buddleias fought their way through brambles and rose briars. We started the clearance job in 2014. The Rose ‘Wickwar’ still remains on the upper level. It is a massive grower with viceous thorns, of the sort which retain your clothing after you have escaped. A lot of pruning is required every year to prevent it from imitating a triffid.
The pictures in the gallery below give an idea of the current planting. If you click on one a larger image and slideshow will appear.
The conifers on the upper bank were planted in 2015 and are growing in a sunny location between the ‘Wickwar’ and a large Silver Birch. on the north side of the birch the bank is much lower and is semi-shaded. This area is now home to a variety of plants needing acid soil and shade. South of the birch and below the conifers, in full sun, there is an alpine bed. Further to the south, over 40 metres of raised bed, on the sunny lower bank, holds a wide variety of plants able to cope with dry conditions. The steep upper bank on this southern stretch is still being worked on. In 2019, a mixture of Lavenders and Roses was planted along the top level, next to the croquet lawn.
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