What I Love About Where I Live: Garden Culture

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Everyone has a garden. Even if their place is tiny, they probably have a little garden. This might seem like a waste, since there is very little time in each year to enjoy sitting outside– but British people are wholly committed to enjoying every second of sunshine, when it does come. And that is why they tend their gardens meticulously. And by “garden” I mean yard. That is the word here for yard. Because just about anyone who has some dirt turns it into a real garden. I love this.

 This is my neighbor’s garden. Yes, that is a face carved into a tree trunk. They have many places overall to sit and enjoy the sun, should it decide to show up.

 This is our yard. Yes, complete with trash bin for all of the jungly vines I’ve been trimming lately.

 Next neighbor over. They have a beautiful “veg patch.”

 My “veg patch”– raised beds– I like to eat as much of my yard as possible.

 I have been becoming British in a very specific way– if the sun is out, I am most likely laying in it.

 We spend as much time as possible outdoors, when the temperatures are over 55º and it’s not raining.

 A huge boon for me is that many things (besides vegetables) have already been planted, and are there for the enjoyment now, with no work at all. Like these yellow flowers. (Do you know what they are?)

 Others, we have planted. But I don’t mind. It’s fun to be an English Gardener.

What do you love about where you live this week?

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18 Responses to What I Love About Where I Live: Garden Culture

  1. Two Infinity and Beyond June 20, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

    I can see why you love your garden — it looks so relaxing and quite beautiful!


    • Ariana June 21, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

      Thank you Allison– we were so thrilled when we first visited this house and knew right away we wanted to live here– it feels like a little park back there!

  2. greatdana June 20, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

    Awe, I simply love it. I may plant some flowers around my garden beds like yours. So pretty!

    • Ariana June 21, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

      Thanks Dana! It was kind of cool, because we didn’t have to plant any of the flowers here– we just cleared out space amongst them for our boxes, and everything has grown around it. It can be a little bit of a problem in terms of the leaves and stems being an awesome highway for slugs straight into the veggies, but I do like the look, too! It makes it seem like they’ve been there forever.

  3. Great Aunt Gretchen June 21, 2012 at 3:22 am #

    I love the fact that you like to eat as much of your yard as possible. 🙂
    Love the shot looking back at your house. Now I can picture it all better. Enjoy!

    • Ariana June 21, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

      Yes, there is nothing more satisfying than wandering out back for something to put on our plates… At first, I thought that there was almost nothing edible back there, but now that things are flowering and showing themselves a little more, I have hopes for some berries and maybe some pears! We will probably install at least one more raised bed– there is always something else I want to plant!

  4. Nathan June 25, 2012 at 2:56 am #

    Those raised beds are beautiful. Glad you are enjoying it so much!
    My summer gardens are my favorite thing about summer and being at home. One of my favorite times of the day is when I’m the only one awake and I water the veggies and take a peek at the progress. June is super optimistic, and July is really busy trying to do something with the bounty. I try to eat something from the yard everyday.

    • Ariana June 28, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

      Thanks Nathan! We have been kept happy with tons of greens and lettuce and now a steady supply of herbs. It’s been a really slow month for June, since we’ve had tons of rain and cooler weather– which also seriously favors the snail/ slug population! I spend most of my “gardening” time collecting them for the chickens. Here’s hoping things take off in July!

  5. designgratis June 26, 2012 at 10:14 am #

    What a lovely garden! I clicked on your link in the AT comments section. I live in central London and although Im lucky enough to have a garden its a bit of a trek down the indoor stairs, down the outdoor stairs, to the left -so it doesnt really feel like “our garden”. Im originally from the Bahamas, so I definitely get the whole “the sun is out – quick go outside before its gone!” issue. I will have to add your blog to my list 🙂

    • Ariana June 28, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

      Hi there. Thanks for stopping by! I imagine it’s a pretty rough transition to British weather– I am from Southern California, and it is a real challenge. The other thing is that gardening is completely different in this climate, as well. But there’s a lot of fun to be had!

  6. monika June 30, 2012 at 3:09 am #

    What a lovely garden! Oh and the sweetpeas…!

    You should check out Bolton’s sweetpeas (you have to google their address as they don’t have a web site). I used to order them when we lived in our little house on the prairies… We had a 75 foot long, 7 foot high, white fence along the sidewalk, which I covered with netting and Bolton’s sweetpeas… it was glorious!

    • Ariana July 3, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

      Monika– I had never heard of Bolton’s sweetpeas! We had lots growing in California, and they climbed an ugly chain-link fence beautifully. I will have to look them up– I love the gingery fragrance!

  7. monika July 4, 2012 at 2:30 am #

    I was just trying to find the address for you; it is a tad difficult online, as they are the most traditional of firms. It never ceased to amaze me how quickly the packets of sweet pea seeds would arrive from England, all the way to our little pink house on the Canadian prairie — within less than 2 weeks of mailing my order, I would be holding the package of seeds, from halfway around the world. A beautiful, traditional package, with lovely script written in longhand with a fountain pen. There was something very, very special about those packages! I hope they haven’t changed!

    Here’s the address (I think): R. BOLTON & SON, Birdbrook, Halstead. Essex, C09 4BQ

    I also came across this about Bolton & Son while I was searching for the address, and thought you might be as fascinated as I was:


  8. Anonymous August 14, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

    I love the photos of your garden.

    You asked what the yellow flowers are. I’ve got them growing in my front garden here in Enfield (North London). Their common name is Yellow Loosetrife; Latin name: Lysimachia Punctata
    See https://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/plants/plant_finder/plant_pages/6866.shtml

    There’s also a Purple Loosetrife that grows near streams and other damp places, but it’s a different genus of plant to the yellow one.


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