On a previous post I showed you a shady path on the right of the property leading to an iron gate in the wall. On the other side of the house is another gate which leads into a graveled courtyard. I’ve been posting a few photos of this courtyard on Instagram recently, so I thought I would follow up with a short description.
This little area was created when we added on a bedroom addition to the house over what was just a rather plain area of grass at the end of a driveway. It has become a perfect secluded spot. The whole area is covered in pea gravel with stone edged flower beds around the perimeter. Depending on where the sun hits, I can actually grow a whole spectrum of plants here depending on whether there is sun or shade.
The entrance here is festooned in a huge arch of Confederate Jasmine which is unbelievably fragrant in the spring. I have planted a climbing rose to wind its way up through it – Souvenir de la Malmaison, a Bourbon rose dating from 1893. She was slow to take off but is now starting to grow. I’m hoping that the pink and white combination will be pretty next spring.
The beds which face south and get the sun for most of the day are a tumble of perennials, mainly Angelonia and Evolvulus Blue Daze. There are some Daylillies in here somewhere and some yellow Coreopsis, but I think they have become engulfed! There is also a splash of pink here from La Marne Rose which is just beginning another flush.
I have a lot of pots and containers here right by the steps to the door. Everything has grown so much with the heat and afternoon rain that it is hard to see where the containers end and the beds begin, but somehow it seems to work and it has that typical English garden exuberance to it!
I can’t say I really have a color scheme out here but there is definitely a multitude of yellow, blue and purple plants with a touch of orange too. It looks good over the summer and helps transition into autumn. I have used Dwarf Allamanda, Firebush, Dwarf Sunflowers, trailing Lantana and Scaevola in these pots.
Against the entry wall there is a lot more shade and the plants are quite different. I have some Limelight Hydrangeas under the olive tree and this summer I have added some Hostas too. Thanks to the lovely Janice and her garden blog, Gardening Outside the Lines I learned that I could actually grow them in Florida. I used to have a whole collection when we lived in North Carolina and I have missed growing them.
The olive tree grows over this wall and somebody likes to hide in its branches
If you ever wonder why this blog is named as it is, it is because this is really Oliver’s garden and I am just its caretaker!
Oliver the Grey Tabby
The other plants which spill over this wall into the sunshine are my lovely but boisterous Noisette rose, Crepuscule and an equally enthusiastic Pyracantha or Firethorn. I have posted photos of Crepuscule before and currently he is sulking from a drastic haircut in readiness for fall so I hope you will forgive me for showing another one, and one where he is in all his glory!
As for Firethorn, I know this is a really popular plant to grow against a wall in England and I tried one here, thinking that it wouldn’t survive too well. It has actually exceeded all expectations and I can’t seem to contain it. It is currently loaded with berries which will turn red in the winter and cause a massive influx of Robins and Catbirds which strip it in a matter of days! The show is nice while it lasts!
I have it espaliered to the wall where it is growing around the stained glass window.
Against the other part of the shadier wall I have a mixture of Gardenia, Agapanthus, Camellias, Yellow Shrimp Plant and Birds Nest Ferns, with a few other fillers and creepers.
There is just enough morning and evening sun here for things to flower, but not enough to burn delicate plants. Most of the Camellias I grow are Sasanqua Camellias which flower from about November. This one I have had about a year and I am hoping to grow this on the wall too. It is loaded with buds!
I just noticed the fuzzy outline of a little lizard on one of its branches which is probably why this happened a few moments later…..
I love these old garden urns. Well I say old, they aren’t really but they have aged with lichen so nicely I like to think they are antique!
Birds Nest Fern
The little sitting area is lovely in the morning when the sun hasn’t quite reached it and again in the evening when it has dipped below the oak trees.
That’s a little lemon tree in the corner there
View from the guest bedroom
The tree in the background there is a Loquat tree which, if you live in the South, you know already. I love mine growing in the corner here and it has the most beautiful orange fruit. This fruit is supposed to be delicious but, just when it is ripe, it disappears overnight….every last drop! Same with anything else edible around here. I haven’t identified the culprit yet but I suspect it is grey with a bushy tail or grey with a mask around his eyes. Luckily whoever it is doesn’t like lemons!