Wednesday, 27 November 2013

The Parterre in winter

When the house was originally built, the Duke of Bedford would visit for only a few weeks each year and that was generally in late summer to enjoy the salmon fishing.  The little Parterre (which was the children's play space) enjoys the summer sun and is a fantastic vision in summer...but winter proves much more challenging.  The soil depth is shallow and the ancient practice of using the arsenic sand for pathways means that we constantly have to improve the soil and bring in new nutrients.

The garden was never intended to be used in winter but nowadays we keep the house fully occupied all year round and want to look out on something interesting (even if we don't want to venture out in the freezing temperatures).So winter on the Parterre is a bit of a struggle.  In previous years we have tried various plants but they just don't fare well.

A couple of years ago we hit upon the idea of taking a more modern approach.  Using turf and gravel we 're-created' the river bed to echo the mighty Tamar that flows through the end of the garden. The concentric rings were filled with small sized gravel (like the river bed), bigger gravel (like the river edges), turf (like the river banks) and box balls (like the trees along the river bank).  To add atmosphere we then placed 4 moss filled wire fish, swimming along our pseudo river bed!  It took a bit of imagining but we liked it!

This year we are going back to re-creating the river bed but with an added dimension.  More fish AND a river monster who will chase the enlarged shoal.  The river bed is almost there and the fish are waiting in the wings.  Another day or two and it will be complete...wait for the photo of the monster!

Watch out...he's behind you.

1 comment:

  1. I have just returned home from a delightful stay at Endsleigh, taking a great many photographs of the garden! How I envy your daily access to this space and the opportunity to capture the moods of the differing seasons. I'm delighted to be your first follower and I hope that you'll take a peep at my blog to see the images that I have posted. I'm hoping to return when the tulips bloom!