The bank is the first thing to greet you as you turn into Highfield. From the gate you can see little of the rest of the garden; the mossy bank to the right rises upward enough to mean that most else is out of sight. I’ve described this area before: two tiers climbing from the driveway to a flat area of lawn which is overlooked by the western windows of the house.
I look out of these windows a lot. The view from here does not reach beyond our boundary, bordered as we are on this edge by a run of trees lining the steep and narrow road to Trenewan. Even now, when the trees are not in leaf, the thickets mean we can see very little beyond.
There are no flower beds here and I like that. We have various trees, none of which I can identify, and all of which seem very late in opening up to the turning season.
We have some shrubs: an unwieldy dogwood and a huge buddleia, both of which were twice my height and a tangled mess of deadwood, entwined branches, and very little growth below head height. In my first act of gardening here, I have taken the loppers to both and reduced the buddleia by half and thinned the dogwood significantly. They both look vastly better from the top windows. Hopefully the shock won’t kill them and they’ll benefit from their dramatic haircuts! Also within this line of shrubs are a couple of narrow, dark conifers – one of which is all but dead and needs cutting down; a few weak low-growing shrubs including a hebe, I think; and another large one covered with very sharp spines and very little else which may be a berberis. Definitely room for improvement here but I shall wait to see how everything fares and make changes later in the year. I’m imagining a large, naturalistic hazel here somewhere, bearing a mass of catkins in the early spring…