Are you bored yet? I promise this is the last garden-related post for now.
To the right of the tree is the area where the swing seat is supposed to be, with ground cover of mint and thyme all ready and waiting.
Speaking of which, thank you for all your suggestions. I stupidly missed one of the eBay auctions you suggested which would have been ideal, so can only hope that something similar comes up again.
Or what do you think of this? More within our budget than the egg chair in the same range but I'm worried it's too dark a colour for such a shady spot. I think normal rattan would look better in this area.
Around the tree is a lovely shade garden full of hellebores, acanthus mollis and sarcococca, which looks lovely in the dappled afternoon sunlight
To the right of the swing area is a tangle of geranium Anne Folkard and a most beautiful dark purple heuchera which I found in the garden center this weekend and added myself (don't tell the designer!). I'm really liking the contrast between the lime green and dark purple leaves.
Against the old wooden fence you can see some penstemon Blackbird. This was originally specced but the landscapers couldn't source it and brought along penstemon Sour Grape instead which is a slightly bluier purple and which we planted anyway. But then I saw the real thing in the nursery and had to have it - the slightly redder purple goes so much better with the russets of t echinaceas. So we spent the weekend replacing the Sour Grapes with the Blackbirds and planting the Sour Grapes in the front garden. I tell you, it is a curse being fussy about colours.
As you can see from the pictures the lawn is a bit of a disaster. We couldn't afford new turf, so it has been dressed and re-seeded, but it still seems to me to be entirely composed of weeds, clover and moss, so I'm not sure how good we can get it to look. A mow would help as well, but we need to buy a new mower first.
This part of garden is also looking the most autumnal with the reddening nandinas against the oak-leafed hydrangeas, which are just starting to turn.
In this corner I've also planted the fabulous Chocolate Cosmos - again found during the weekend's trip to the garden centre. Not only is this flower the most fantastic deep, deep brown, it also smells of chocolate! No, I didn't believe it either but it's true.
It wasn't part of the design, but I have to say it's looking good against the crocosmias and the fabulous rusty pink echinacea Big Sky we've got in this part of the garden.
Behind this bed is the new bit of patio which we created at the weekend, where the bins used to be.
We've salvaged the arch, which was one of the only features in the original garden and which directs the eye to the trellis on the back fence, which I'm also hoping will turn less orange over time.
We still need to create a raised bed at the end (not entirely sure how we're going to do that) which will then give us scope to grow lots of climbing plants. Since the arch was not part of the original design, nothing has been specced to climb it either.
I've been told that roses don't grow too well in this part of the world, but I'm tempted to try an old-fashioned rambler nevertheless. Can anyone in the Pacific Northwest recommend a climbing rose that they've seen grown successfully round these parts?
The rest of the patio is also looking somewhat bare. I really wanted to include low growing lawn camomile between the flagstones. I can find the dwarf chamomile Treneague everywhere on UK websites but nowhere in the US (I think the idea of a camomile lawn is a peculiarly English romantic dream). If anyone can suggest somewhere we can find it then I'd be really grateful. I've Googled it to death and the landscapers can't find it either.
The patio also needs some seating and possibly a firepit. I like this one, though I'm a bit worried about it's compatibility with the Minx. I think we'd be most likely to use it in the evenings after she's gone to bed though. As for chairs, would you believe I'd never seen an Adirondack chair before I came to the US? I know they're absolutely everywhere here, but I feel we ought to get some - just because it will be fun to have them as a reminder of the US when we finally get back to the UK. Will keep you posted.
Last but not least here is my little herb garden, outside the wall of the house and next to the steps leading up to the patio.
I've currently planted sage, rosemary, thyme and oregano with Italian parsley and tarragon in other, less dry, areas of the garden. I cannot describe how happy it makes me to have a herb garden at last.
I also cannot believe how deeply I've been bitten by the gardening bug. (I think we've noticed - Ed). Much looking forward to watching everything grow and develop over the seasons and now keen to get started on the front garden. And now I have vegetables seeds to plant with the Minx and bulb catalogues to go through....