Tastes, colours... Individual choices, really. In the colours category, at our place, there is the flashy blue, and as far as tastes are concerned, there are the garden gnomes... There weren't just a few individuals which were haunting the garden but a whole army...
A typical setting, in all "flower beds", looked like that:
Out of curiosity, let's count: there were 5 scattered on 2m²...
Here is a more hidden one... Did you find it?
And yes, yet another garden gnome on the edge of the Stonehenge flower bed... And the barbecue is quite sexy, isn't it ? (yes, yes, these are in fact flying garden gnomes )
Please, just admit you want more...
Let's also consider the famous "twit with a jug" and its lighting posts which don't function properly and on which... terra cotta frogs are glued. The frogs can very well be regarded as honorary garden gnomes...
We will add the cherubs...
...and the lions...
... to the list of honorary garden gnomes.
I'm not a FLNJ (Garden Gnome Liberation Front) activist, but the extent of situation almost makes me feel like joining them !
In any case, our personal liberation took place last August for the most part. Some people chase after eggs at Easter, we chased after garden gnomes in August... A whole 100L bag: wow ! However our approach was different from the FLNJ's: the garden gnomes were freed at the waste collection centre... They even ended up in the rubble skip. Let's try and remember this fact: when you'll be driving on Maine-et-Loire roads, at some point, below your wheels, as part of the embankment, there will be a garden gnome. How moving !
Anyway in August 2010, the next large work after the hidden garden gnomes hunt was the fall of Stonehenge:
By the way, the twit with the jug was way heavier than expected ! And we were quite nice with it: it didn't join the rubble but went on holidays in the South of France in the garden of one of Manu's parents' friends.
The second phase took place in December: cherubs and lions left Angers to join the twit in the South...
- No more lions:
- And no more cherubs:
Last August, we came back from holidays with the car's trunk full of various plants that really needed to be bedded; that included white lilacs that were tillers of a neighbour's lilac. The far corner of the garden, behind both the barbecue and clothes line, seemed ideal.
The lilacs were therefore bedded there in the insufferable heat of August in a hole that had to be dug with a pickaxe (just like so many things):
Well, you'll have to agree that it definitely looked lonely over there... I started clearing a wider area around it in autumn, encroaching on the "lawn" around it.
... and after:
There - it's starting to feel like something one can work with!As a matter of fact, in November, it looked like this:
The plants I added there were all procured from the school (valerian, euphorbia, geraniums and Stork's-bills, bellflowers... and other things whose names I can't remember because I have the memory of a goldfish), from the father-in-law (alumroot, yucca) or from other parts of the garden (forget-me-nots, violets).
It started looking good in late March and most of the plants seemed to be surviving, even the lilacs (despite what they had to go through).
In April, I had what seemed to be a good idea... I tried bedding a rhubarb at one end of the flower bed, because rhubarb is good, and because we have various berry bushes in the area as well (OK, I have to admit my logic is somewhat peculiar on that point). And it didn't go well.
... I'm exaggerating a little here ...
What happened is that I cleared a small, round area on a side of the flower bed, encroaching on the lawn some more, and planted the rhubarb there. But the problem is that Manu, who's the one who mows the lawn, doesn't appreciate circling around little plants in a corner with a 20 kg lawn mower (go figure). The rhubarb was at risk! Actually, so was the rest of the flower bed, because it had grown well and the border wasn't very visible any more. So I got my tools and expanded the flower bed some more... I hate cinquefoils (and various other kinds of weeds)!
And so the flower bed got bigger... so I had to plant even more stuff. I obtained some eryngos from the school, shamed myself by stopping on the side of the road at rush hour and fetching cowslips that grew there... I also attempted to sow various flowers using a seedbed: cosmoses, sunflowers and lupins. They were really, really tiny when I transplanted them - not really the recommended approach, but I needed the jardinière they were in.
A fortnight ago, this is what the area looked like:
I'm afraid my father-in-law's yucca will not make it - it's really brown (but it has brothers in other areas which are still green, so I'm not going to complain... much). However some of the other plants - for example the geraniums and Stork's bills - are starting to bloom, at least one of the euphorbias looks like it's adapting well, and the bellflowers look promising. I've also discovered white forget-me-nots (I was quite sure forget-me-nots were blue): I picked one at random from the bunch of plants that grow on the "heap of horrors", and it wasn't blue, while all the others from that area are!
I should shoot a few more pictures now that it's starting to be more colourful. True, it's nothing grandiose, but it will get there, eventually!