Demolita’s garden


Last summer you may remember we bought this piece of land to add into our garden. We’ve spent the intervening 12 months building a vegetable garden and compost bins at the far end and at the near end, opposite the patio doors, we’ve started on a Dutch Wave or Prairie meadow.

During the winter we removed the hedge, the sheep wire and the rabbit proof fencing to begin the process of incorporating the new garden into the old. It was hard work removing the buried wire, as nettles and couch had grown through the mesh and we dug out and dumped bags old brick debris that had been buried on the meadow side of the fence.


After some very heavy labour, by late winter we had a neat breakthrough, ready for the creation of new beds.


At the end of March the cherry plum was just starting to show blossom and we had stripped the turf off the first area, laboriously removed all of the thistle, dock, nettle and couch roots and enriched the soil with lashings of garden compost. Ah, if only it had taken as long to do as to write this! In my idler moments I had sown the seeds of many prairie perennials and grasses in seed trays and modules in the greenhouse and had started buying in some specimen grasses that don’t come true from seed. Friends were donating their spring thinnings of useful plants too, especially eryngiums and echinops.

imageBy April the planting had begun but after 3 nice specimens of Calamagrostis Karl Foerster went in as end markers we called it a day on this bed and concentrated on getting sorted for the Open garden and the Party.

prarie garden 1

And thus we resumed the clearing and the creation of the rest of the long border at the start of July after the fun was over. The plants already in were growing well, encouraging us to keep going and that’s how we spent the summer.

imageStipa tenuissima and salvia nemerosa made a good show together and the eryngiums were bulking up quickly.



We extended the border southward towards the boundary and yesterday we completed the last section,  a project that yielded a full wheelbarrow of stones; a similar quantity of tiles; a bit of baler twine; a piece of a large agricultural electric fuse and plenty of couch grass, all neatly covered by the free draining silt we are blessed with.



We put the lovely Lutyens bench under the shade of the  birch you can see in the pictures, next to the new bed and as  we sat on the bench enjoying a well earned glass of lime and soda, the Machine gardener coined the name and deity “Demolita”. We had been joking about the rubble being the remains of a Roman villa  and perhaps what we had found was  the shrine of the goddess of agricultural building debris. So the new garden is to be known as Demolita’s Garden in her honour.

The growth in the new planting is astonishing and this combination is one of my favourites- seed raised Achillea Cerise Queen with Eryngium planum in full flower. It’s taken from the bench.

IMG_2770Just visible through the Eryngium is Rudbeckia Goldsturm and here it is with Mollinia Transparent. I love both these combinations. I hope Demolita does too. And this autumn she will preside over the bed that we plan to run parallel to this one……



10 thoughts on “Demolita’s garden

  1. Your hard work has certainly paid off! It’s amazing how quickly plants grow when you’ve prepared a nice bed for them. I’m sure that Demolita loves your new planting schemes!

  2. Wow, you have been working hard. Looking at all that stone you’ve uncovered, I wonder if a rockery is now in your future plans for the garden.

    1. Thank you. The soil is beautifully easy to work when the stones are dug out and very free draining. We need to add all the compost we can lay our hands on but plants really seem to get going quickly. And yes, so rewarding to look back on some very tough work.

    1. Thank you It has been and continues to be a real slog, but it is the result that keeps me going. Ad for the salvia, seeds are good but if you want a named variety, it might be worth buying a plant next spring and taking cuttings. I took some in May of Caradonna – the one in the pictures- and they are already flowering in the border and I took more in July that have made sturdy plants to overwinter. They root really easily.

      1. That’s good advice, I may do that, I’ve had ‘caradonna’ on my wishlist for a while now, but might as well wait until Spring now so that I don’t have to bite my fingernails through the winter hoping it survives!!

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