Until July 2017, documenting the seasons of coastal Dorset. I'm a complete amateur so don't trust I'm always right. If ever you see I'm wrong - whether with identifications or in anything else - do say! Meanwhile . . . I've now moved to Halifax in West Yorkshire. Click on the link below to collect the new URL. Don't forget to follow there!

Monday, 14 July 2008


This is a post left over from when Loose and Leafy was a work of fiction. Later, it evolved into what it is now - a blog about the wild plants of the South Dorset Coast.

To make sense (in so far as there is sense) of these early posts, you may like to take a look at Esther in the Garden.

* * *

Well, after the leatherjackets, I had to decide what to do with the muddy patch they left behind.

I was properly working then and sometimes away for weeks trying to persuade delicatessens in Europe to sell Casterbridge Pies in their stores - so I looked in the telephone directory and found a firm of landscape gardeners, phoned to see if they would take on the task and a man soon came round. I chatted with him for a bit, showed him pictures of gardens I liked, assured him that he was the expert and that I'd leave all decisions with him - and went to France.

I don't know precisely what I thought he'd do but I certainly hoped he'd make clever use of perspective so it would all seem much bigger than it really is. And I explained that, although he'd need to choose low maintenance plants, I would like something dramatic and interesting to look out upon and I asked for a good way to hide the dustbin and the compost. In my mind's eye I was seeing . . . perhaps a nice curve in the path suggesting a shrubbery beyond . . . or the hint of an entrance to a walled vegetable garden - a tasteful variety of horticultural trompe-oeils.

So, off I went, happy with the reasonable quote I'd been given and surprised how short a time he said would be needed to complete the task.

He put down floorboards.


Barbee' said...

Leave it to a man to think up a different solution. Now, no mowing, no clipping, no weeding... just sweeping!

Nancy said...

well, it is low maintanenc, but. Really!

Time to build either a trellis, or a bonfire. Or a gallows with a bonfire beneath...

'Course, being from Texas, I'd consider shooting him in the big toe, but not until he'd torn up the floor boards.

Amy said...

Oh dear! I suppose you could put lots of pots on top :)

Zoë said...

Hi Lucy,

yes, it was really all inside a Pavilion!

I am not sure they intend to instill Daily Mailness, apart from perhaps that it represents a little corner of the UK, in this case a hypothetical Dorset Vineyard , cottage, barns and gardens etc. Having helped with planting a couple of years ago in one of the areas of it, I can tell you that in three weeks they transform some tussocky grass in the part at Hampton Court and create this, irrespective of the weather. I always think its an amazing achievement.

I think you might enjoy it, its far less formal than Chelsea, it is the largest flower show in the world, but it has the atmosphere of a quintessentially English village Fete! The Palace and the grounds are worth a trip too if you ever get to Surrey.

easygardener said...

I'm sure we'll soon see your new garden featured in a Gardening Magazine as the ultimate low maintenance garden!You could inspire a revolution in garden design.

Amanda Thomsen said...

I miss Esther