Our duck enclosure is slowly turning into a secret garden here at PumpjackPiddlewick

As the eventual secret garden lies dormant it is time to get to work. Already the days are lengthening. Bed time for the ducks is now 5:30 pm, compared to 4pm just before Christmas. And days are warmer. Sort of. Depending on the sun, or not.

Yesterday was a beautifully mild, sunny day. The first real ‘oh my goodness what a gorgeous day’ day. The garden couldn’t, nor shouldn’t, be ignored on such a day. A good excuse to alter plans and get out of my office.

Best Laid Plans

It started out with simple plans for the honeysuckle. A little haircut just to make it feel like new. Some of the cuttings were dipped in root powder and tucked into strategic places around my restoration walled garden. My hopes are to enclose its corners in honeysuckle so that when I sit in my (eventual) secret garden to write that I am surrounded by scent. (I have done the same thing with rose cuttings from the front of wee medieval manor.)

The honeysuckle led to the old bay tree, which is now just root shoots. The bay tree was cut down by the previous owners and I re-used the rotting wood left in the corner of my garden for the raised hugulkultur garden beds. The bay shoots surround the duck pond (and eventual water feature) giving it shade, as well as a lovely laurel scent to my garden as well. And Bonus I can use the leaves for cooking.

The Secret Garden

My garden is completely enclosed by walls. It is truly a hidden away, secret garden. There is only one place someone walking by on the medieval cobbled path beside my house can see in to it. And then literally just a corner. But plans are afoot to even deter this view and make the garden truly a secret place.

The garden is essentially square. It has fruit trees dotted along the walls. Interspersed between are various berry bushes : Currants, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries. In one corner is my eventual patio area. My self named ‘Cafe du Canard‘. The best duck watching space in the village.

The centre of the garden has raised hugelkultur garden beds. All my vegetables will be planted here. Trellis’s are planned, that will curve over the paths between the raised beds. These will be for my climbing veg plants. But also they will create cool (both in temperature and look) corridors or tunnels of shade in the summer.

Restoration Work

I still have sections of stone wall to repair and mortar. Warmer weather is called for, but hopefully to be tackled in a couple weeks. In the meantime there are many creeping vines that need to be tackled and done away with. Although they look pretty and picturesque, if left to grow too big their roots start to eat away the mortar and fabric of the building itself.

It’s also a time of checking the overhead wires that stretch across the garden. Not a roof, but gives a little sense of one. The wires are to protect my ducks from predator birds. They inhibit the predators wing span so they can’t easily fly in to the garden. This method was chosen over bird netting so little birds could get in and out of the enclosed space to my feeders.

Patience is a Virtue

At the moment with the trees just considering budding and the ground laid bare in the centre, my secret garden really does have that eventual feeling about it. This will change as spring comes on and greenery starts to grow, creating bounty and shade for myself and the ducks by summer.

Meanwhile it is and has been about sitting in the space, looking and thinking about what I know from the past and planning its future. With each year my secret garden will slowly morph into a lush, maybe slightly wild, hidden paradise. I for one, can’t wait. But, with gardening, I am learning to practice patience.

More Gardening?

If you enjoy gardening, or simply like to read about gardening, please check out my other Garden Findings.

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  1. Am having a very happy Morning reading and following all the post I have saved, I can see all of your progress in my mind ‘s eye and my heart sings with joy as I read about your special Happy Space and I know that I am creating my own “New Normal” and it will be my Happy Space. Thank you my Friends!! Sarah

    1. I will look forward to hearing of your own Happy Space Sarah. Everyone is different, and everyone has a different Happy Space. The key is in recognising what works for you. 🙂

  2. Hi Alycea, a slow process for me My “New Normal” at this stage is a Sad and Lonely Space, but I know that with time, Love of God, Family and Friends this stage will fade into my Stage of New Hope, I am taking my time and not rushing this process, Not that I enjoy the Sad and Lonely Space, but in exploring this Stage of Grief I know time is one of God’s special healers, and I will find “My New Normal” Happy Space. will keep you posted Alycea!
    ! Love and Thanks for being my Friend.

    1. Sarah you are an amazing and strong person. I wouldn’t wish you to rush your grieving, as grief is founded on love, but I do wish you happy where and when you can find it. Sometimes, I feel, those little smile moments are all the more sweet, and poignant, when housed amongst sadness. Take care of yourself my dear.

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