In July 2013 an aerial photograph of our house was taken and, in the following autumn, we purchased a framed print because it showed the garden layout from a perspective that we could not have achieved.
The house called ‘Charnwood’ was originally built for someone who had been a teacher at Hanley High School in Stoke-on-Trent when my Father-in-Law, Norman Wainwright, was a pupil there. When he was no longer able to maintain the garden, he sold it to my In-Laws and they lived in it for over thirty years. After the death of both my wife’s parents, it was the possibilities that the garden offered that was a large factor in our decision to move to ‘Charnwood’ in 2006.
My wife had a vision for the back garden, illustrated in this picture, which saw it as having five linked areas occupying the 60 metre length to a boundary with the woodland created by our neighbour. The first, nearest to the house, which is not in this aerial view, has a paved patio and a conservatory built to link the house with the garden. The second, at the bottom of the picture, has flower beds surrounding a lawn, which is not too formal to prevent our grandchildren from having a place to play on. The third, reached by steps going down below the pergola that is seen with a wisteria growing on the south-west side, has four pottagers, mostly containing annual vegetables grown on a rotation basis, although the bed nearest the Greenhouse (seen behind the large Fir tree) contains asparagus, rhubarb and longer living herbs. On either side are fruit bushes. The picket fence has a small gate in it, as well as a path to the left in this view, that leads to the new orchard (the original owners had created one in the late 1930s but the only surviving tree is the large Apple now seen in the top right corner of the vegetable and fruit garden). The orchard is under planted with spring bulbs, meadow flowers and grass that is allowed to grow longer than the lawn nearer the house and is much appreciated by our grandchildren. The final section, seen at the top of the picture, is a semi-woodland area that takes advantage of the cover of the mature trees in our neighbour’s garden.
Since the spring of 2013 I have been using the service provided online by GrowVeg.com to plan the vegetables that I take pleasure in growing. Current plans and developments can be followed at the web address https://www.growveg.co.uk/garden-plan.aspx?p=813608, which can be accessed by clicking on this link or copying and pasting this address into your web browser.