We were finally able to buy the land to complete the garden in December 2020. This allows us to create a wildlife garden on a larger scale and we have various projects we would like to develop.
Here are some photos of the garden as it is now.
The garden has several micro-climates which will favour different species and habitats. The front garden is very sunny and in places gets quite dry. We hope to have a rockery at the front and a wildlife flower meadow. The rockery and dry stone walls will be good for lizards and snakes, etc.
The terrace is shaded by the field maple and will allow a bed of shade-loving plants. At the front of the house we already have a thistle garden for goldfinches and we are developing a poisonous plant bed - just out of interest!
Front garden, Christophstal November 2020
Field Maple terrace edge, Christophstal November 2020
Dry stone wall, Christophstal November 2020
Large Leylandii hedge, Christophstal November 2020
The dry stone wall stretches the whole length of the garden. It is rather overgrown and will need some quite major repairs in some places.
The huge leylandii hedge takes up a lot of space below the terrace so we would like to remove it.
Terrace steps, Christophstal November 2020
Back garden, Christophstal November 2020
Long dry stone wall, Christophstal November 2020
In the lower back garden we hope to create a wildlife pond and leave long grass for amphibians.
In the upper back garden, we can see the outline of what might have been a vegetable garden, so it would be fun to re-create this. The enclosed cottage garden will have lots of nectar-producing plants as well as vegetables.
Behind the cottage garden we will plant some fruit trees and a wildflower meadow. The last corner of the garden at the top will be a caterpillar garden with lots of sorrel and red clover, etc. foodplants of some rare species we hope to encourage back into the garden.
The fence will be replaced in some parts with a bird friendly hedge of native shrubs, and plenty of berries in the winter.
Things will certainly change or be added to as we go along but it has been good to think about the process.
Leylandii hedge removed, Winter 20/21
Dry stone wall, Christophstal December 2020
Dry stone wall repaired, Christophstal December 2020
In Winter 2020/21 once we had finally bought the land we made a start clearing up the fallen trees in the back garden. These had probably been lying around since a storm in 2011 - the year before we came here. The large willow on the slope behind the house had some dangerous broken branches which needed to come down. We also had the dry stone wall repaired.
Winter is a good time to think about the next year in the garden, to check the plans and hopefully get things done in the right order so we don’t forget anything.
We have decided to approach the garden in zones - according to target species and the strategies we need to adopt to encourage them in the garden. This helps to prioritize the plans and have an overview of how things will affect each other.
We’ll also use this framework to create videos dealing with each strategy and environment.
The clearance has changed the aspect quite a bit. It was very overgrown before but now we can see the layout of the garden better and have marked out the possible farmer's garden with string to get an idea of how it will look from the house.
Wide view of the back garden, May 2021