Almost ready to cut in the Cutting Garden

It feels as if I’ve been working on my Cutting Garden for a loooong time; since about June in fact. Still I love a challenge and I’m lucky that Mr Fig is happy to lend some muscle and a sharp eye for straight lines! The Cutting Garden is being carved out from a rectangular paddock that used to be home to many, many apple trees. It is being slowly transformed into a very different kind of productive space with a fig orchard, a Nuttery, a Herb Garden and a Cut Flower Garden. This is how the Cut Flower Garden looked in June.

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Pretty Bleak. It’s at times like this that you have to have a strong vision! The bare bones are in place with paths marked with weed mat and blue stakes to indicate lines of bulbs.

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The next stage was building very simple edging to contain the soil and the gravel paths. I really like neatness in a garden and the straight lines please me enormously!! If only my house had this kind of order!

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We spent (the Royal We) quite a bit of time flattening the path before weed matting and gravelling.

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Finally the last bit of gravel was raked into place and this is the basic structure. The general idea is to start with bulbs in the spring and once these die back I’ll plant out annuals and biennials in between to grow over the dead foliage. The perimeter beds will house mainly Perennials and the sweetpeas. Dahlias will go in the central square beds. I started this project too late to do an autumn sowing of biennials like poppies, stocks and sweet williams but this will be the plan for next year.

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Other structural work included adding some posts and netting for the sweetpeas that have been overwintering merrily in the greenhouse. I started with two supports but ended up needing four – there were a lot of very happy sweetpeas to re-home!

It hasn’t been all plain sailing with this project. Apart from being very time consuming we’ve had a few pests to deal with.

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An army of Pukekoes have invaded the paddock and have taken great delight in playing in the Cutting Garden. I say playing because Pukekoes are like toddlers – they do things randomly and without much thought. So, iris bulbs were plucked from the soil, branches were snapped from perennials and the tips of tulip leaves were ripped off. Bad pukekoes! I think I’ll need to plant a hedge around for protection. However, it’s certainly not all gloom and doom. There’s plenty of colour to be seen and enjoyed even from this embyonic Cutting Patch.

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Tulips…….

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Anemones….

And here’s a photo of the next part of the project; The Herb Garden. As you exit the Cutting Garden you will move through to the Herb Garden. I haven’t quite decided on a theme (if any) yet. Possibilities are Aromatherapy or perhaps a mixture of fragrance, medicinal and a few culinary. I like to keep culinary herbs near the house so there won’t be many of these. Not sure but it’ll all come together eventually! In the meantime I’m busy sowing cut flower seed and pricking out and potting on. More about that next time.

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