Wednesday, 18 April 2007

"In the Garden of the Eternal Optimist" - Pete Malinverni, 2006

There are loads of photos to come of our new home. But given the semi-chaotic conditions within the house, as we have only been in for about a week now, I thought I might start with a few outdoor shots.

One of the joys of our new home is the "back garden", as it's called here in the UK. The previous owner -- an elderly woman, who died last year -- was obviously a keen gardener. We saw a lot of promise when we first went into the back garden back in January, when we made our quick decision to try to buy this house. But we didn't know what surprises were to come!

Firstly, here are a couple of views (not good photos, sadly, because it was raining that morning) of the back garden when I first saw it last January. Our offer to buy the house was accepted a few days after this first viewing, by the way.

As usual, you can click on any of the photos for a larger version!

This was the NE corner of the garden, featuring a curious little shelter in the corner which John and I nicknamed "Tahiti". It had a thatched-type roof. We assumed that there was nothing growing back there. We laughed at it initially...and had no idea how much we'd come to appreciate it!

And this view was looking toward the NW from outside the kitchen door. The bricked "patio" is just outside the sliding-glass doors off the back of the living room. Again, remember this was taken last January.

Now, let's move ahead to this week. I'll first show you four shots of the garden that I took on Tuesday evening, while doing a little weeding.

Here's an example of the fascinating assortment of plants which are appearing in the beds around the patio! The color is beautiful, and we've done nothing at all in this area of the garden.

From the rear of the garden, I'm now looking north toward the patio doors at the back of the house. (Those are the vertical blinds, at the end of our living room, that can be seen on the left side of the photo under the archway.)

And this is what "Tahiti" looks like now....with our teakwood chairs and table under it and with the clematis coming to life on what we thought was a dead roof! (I think this is a "Montana" variety clematis.) So those woody stems are the base of what's obviously a very well-established vine! Around this part of northern Oxfordshire, these pale pink flowers are among the earliest clematis to bloom. This is the very best spot in the garden to sit in the late-afternoon/early-evening sun.

A close-up of the clematis flowers on the top of "Tahiti". The actual shade of pink is a little richer than this photo shows.

Finally, here are a series of views from one of the rear upstairs bedroom windows. I took these early this morning, before work, to show you a panorama of the view of the same garden. The views from this particular window -- which will be "John's room" -- are my favorites from the house....especially (and unfortunately you can't really tell from these photos) because you can see the surrounding fields in the distance.

Looking west. Over the wall, next to us, is the playground for the village primary school.

Rotating the camera slightly to the right, so looking more northerly.

Looking more NE. There's "Tahiti" in the corner of the garden, and you can see that even more of the clematis flowers have opened since the other photo was taken!

Here's a vertical image of the eastern edge of the garden, to complete the panorama. Our new bird table has become very popular with the large number of birds in the area!

Photos of the interior will be posted when we've gotten things a little more organized!



At 19 April, 2007 14:13 , Anonymous bronxboy said...

Luvly! You will enjoy letting your thumb turn green.

At 20 April, 2007 03:55 , Anonymous M Sinclair Stevens (Texas) said...

The clematis is lovely. When my husband went back to Brasenose last May to receive his MA, we spent a night in the Cotwolds. I was enthralled with the wisteria, especially in Broadway. When I saw your first photo of the clematis in winter, I thought it might be one of those spectacular wisteria. But the clematis is just as lovely.

I like the design of your back garden very much. It is very serene. And green! I made the mistake once of calling it my inlaws back garden a back yard...apparently "yard" is something not very nice.


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