This post is prompted by Al's recent blog post of 8th April where you go to your first folder of photographs and choose the 10th photo. He tagged me. I won't tag anyone specific, but if you want to join in, let me know in a comment to this.
These Johnson's Blue Geraniums are planted in a semi-circle around the apple tree by the paddock. The original plant came with me from Dorset, 22 years ago. I had bought it on a coach trip to Leeds Castle in Kent. I think it cost the princely sum of £1. Anyway, I added to that one little plant and am rewarded each spring by a mass of flowers (shame about the dried-up raindrop on the camera lens in this pic . . .) I have various other hardy Geraniums in the garden too, and have a bit of a soft spot for them, along with the Aquilegias which are my favurite cottage garden plant.
My garden is very important to me. It is a definite factor when house-hunting, and although I have found some absolutely perfect gardens, the house or the situation has let them down! One exception - and it was overpriced and we couldn't afford it! My ideal garden meanders a bit. You can't see all of it at once. It isn't neat and tidy, but the combination of colours and flowers give a WOW factor. Ideally it has views, and mature shrubs and trees, and a wildlife pond, and room for a polytunnel, vegetable patch and hens. It should have soft fruit and a small orchard, or room for one. It is a country garden, not a town one. If someone had done all the hard work and planted it up I would be more than happy, as I have had to start all my gardens, bar one, from scratch. That takes time, effort and money and I am now more than happy to walk straight into a ready-made one. The words "plantsman's garden" in the brochure really make me prick my ears up!
Not for me the vast expansions of flat lawn and straight borders of bedding plants. No garden fences in sight please. No postage stamps posing as "gardens". No high-falutin' designer gardens or Japanese gardens with strategically-placed boulders in a sea of gravel. Oh, and NO DECKING. I absolutely LOATHE decking.
Oh, and as a passing note to my dearly beloved one, the property in Shaldon, perfect though its Gothic bits are, offers only a concrete roof garden, and the cats and I say that WILL NOT DO!!!