The Quickest Way Down Off The Bank


Geranium x oxonianum f. thurstonianum

Thriving in the dappled shade of the woodland path.


Gradually the bank alongside the 84 steps is emerging from the weeds. But it’s hard going. Not least because the soil here is so loose and after recent rains, slippery. Earlier this week I had the garden fork perfectly positioned under a clump of those wretched Spanish bluebells when, just as I’d applied all my weight to the task, something gave way. The gardener was propelled backwards and gravity took over. It must have been quite the pirouette.. the gardener somehow turned in the air 180 degrees because when she smashed into the handrail alongside the steps it was ribs first. Is this more painful than back end first? I don’t know. But until we have comparative evidence, which surely can only be a matter of time, I’m going with the ribs.



Mike was quickly on the scene. (As was I the day before when he dropped a one inch thick slab of slate on his big toe.) Having established, probably on account of the cussing, that the gardener’s lungs were still fully functional he gave the handrail a hard shake. It moved. Quite a lot. “Looks like I’ll have to put another buttress on that now..” Sigh.



Iris ‘Gerald Darby’ with Rose ‘The Lark Ascending’


But my goodness this restoration job is tough. Even more so when the gardener has a birthday looming with a nought at the end of it. Which maybe wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the fact that the number in front of the nought is alarmingly high. And so, once again consigned to light duties, I can offer you a post. And as it’s Bloom Day, let’s have some blooms.



The terraces are starting to take on some summer colour



Peony ‘Bowl of Beauty’



Rose ‘Jude The Obscure’

And rose season is well underway. I do wish you could smell this one. It’s probably the most potent rose I have.



Philadelphus ‘Belle Etoile’

Another knock out shrub for scent



The weather has continued to be mixed for June. Some lovely warm days this week but preceded by strong wind and rain. My poor chives have been blown horizontal, the blooms collapsed into the marjoram below. It’s created a heap of fluffy purple balls, an effect which I actually rather like.



The bees aren’t complaining either. The flowers are absolutely covered in them.



Cornus kousa ‘Wieting’s Select’

It’s cornus time again. I’ve photographed this tree so many times before (according to the record this is picture no. 13). But I just can’t keep the camera away from it. Could it be my very favourite?



Cornus kousa ‘Satomi’

Possibly not. This image is no. 19 of ‘Satomi’. Underplanted with Geranium ‘Rozanne’.



Brodiaea laxa ‘Queen Fabiola’



I love this little inherited geranium, here against a backdrop of Alchemilla mollis. It secretes itself happily through the border, growing no taller than 5-6 inches and never getting straggly. I’ve no idea which one it is though. Any ideas?



Alchemilla mollis, doing what it does best after this morning’s rain.



And finally. The echinacea munched by the bunnies has been dug up and entered into intensive care. She is responding well and has produced two new leaves. With luck she can be released back into the wild in the fullness of time. Suitably clad in chicken wire, of course.



Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’


Isn’t summer wonderful?


Linking to Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens (here) where you will find many other June bloomers from around the world.


2017-10-26T10:08:55+00:00June 15th, 2017|Tags: |


  1. Linda from Each Little World June 15, 2017 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    Glad to hear you did not suffer any worse effects. Steep topography makes for great views but tough gardening. Those peachy roses are just yummy – even without being able to smell them!

    • Jessica June 16, 2017 at 7:35 pm - Reply

      It is much tougher than I thought it would be. Hill gardening requires huge amounts of energy. Which some days I have and some days I don’t.

  2. Lea June 15, 2017 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    Beautiful! Love the bees on the chives photos!
    Happy Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day!

    • Jessica June 16, 2017 at 7:35 pm - Reply

      Thanks Lea. Yes, the bees really love the chives!

  3. Sue June 15, 2017 at 3:12 pm - Reply


    I hope you recover quickly ….. the garden needs you. It’s all looking absolutely amazing, you’ve worked so hard since you got here and it shows.

    • Jessica June 16, 2017 at 7:44 pm - Reply

      Thanks Sue. It’s getting out of control. The more I clear the more available land there is for new weeds to grow. I’ll get there eventually. Each weeding gets easier. In the meantime it’s lucky I can be selective in where I point the camera 🙂

  4. Henriet from Holland June 15, 2017 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    The Geranium might be a Geranium dalmaticum ‘Bressingham Pink’ or else a G. x cantabrigiense variety. Going by the books I’ve got here (my husband being a geranium lover, not to say fanatic). Do not ever call a Pelargonium a Geranium in his hearing.
    Climbing rope tied to a tree next time? We value you!

    • Jessica June 16, 2017 at 7:52 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the ID! It certainly does look like Bressingham Pink. It’s perfect for growing on top of walls, as it does in the photo. Funnily enough we’ve been talking about geraniums/pelargoniums here today. I wish my husband was so keen on plants. I had to educate him.
      I’m beginning to think a climbing rope might be a good idea.

  5. Freda June 15, 2017 at 4:16 pm - Reply

    I knew from your title it wasn’t going to end well. Wishing you a speedy recovery Jessica. I cannot choose a favourite from so many splendid things!

    • Jessica June 16, 2017 at 7:54 pm - Reply

      Thanks Freda. I’m running out of ‘easy’ jobs!!

  6. Backlane Notebook June 15, 2017 at 5:10 pm - Reply

    Ouch. I hope there’s steady improvement and so glad the garden rewards your substantial effort. Your choice of plants are stunning and they are looking really gorgeous.

    • Jessica June 17, 2017 at 7:19 pm - Reply

      It’s getting to the point now where it is starting to reward. The trouble is I have to keep going or it will all go to pot again.

  7. Andrea June 15, 2017 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    In a very British way it encourages me to know I’m not the only person combatting unwanted animals on a daily basis. I have neighbourhood cats using the veg beds as their toilet, and the daily clean-up is most depressing. Any tips welcome! Good luck combatting the bunnies.

    • Jessica June 17, 2017 at 7:24 pm - Reply

      There’s a bunny on the lawn as I write. Debating whether to go and chase it off or not. A tummy full of grass is better than something choice from the borders and the lawn needs mowing anyway. On cats I can’t help, that’s about the only critter problem I don’t have!

    • karen June 26, 2017 at 10:34 am - Reply

      Andrea I hope you don’t mind me butting in, we are using solar powered devises to scare off, but not injure cats. You can get butterflies or dragonflies from diy stores. They spin round in a circle on a short wire. You have to move them about and switch them off now and again so the cats don’t get used to them. Also pir lights for night which are activated by movement.

      • Jessica June 26, 2017 at 8:56 pm - Reply

        Thanks Karen. Would be great to hear more about how you are getting on with these. Will you be doing a post?

  8. bumbleandme June 15, 2017 at 5:50 pm - Reply

    Get better soon Jessica. Beautiful blooms. X

    • Jessica June 17, 2017 at 7:24 pm - Reply

      Thanks Hannah. Getting there.

  9. aberdeen gardening June 15, 2017 at 5:59 pm - Reply

    I really need to get that Cornus Kousa. Great post, bad mishaps.

    • Jessica June 17, 2017 at 7:26 pm - Reply

      It’s a great tree. Slow growing, gorgeous blooms, fruit (allegedly edible) and stunning autumn colour.

  10. An Eye For Detail June 15, 2017 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    Oh I do miss Alchemilla… too hot and dry here but they are so lovely. Do take care of yourself!!!!

    • Jessica June 17, 2017 at 7:28 pm - Reply

      As soon as the flowers take on a brown tinge they have to come off. Mike hates it so it is subject to periodic clearances if it gets too rampant. Which it usually does. Lovely at this stage though.

  11. Christina June 15, 2017 at 6:51 pm - Reply

    Hi Jessica, sorry to read about your fall!
    You are taking so wonderful close-ups of all the lovely blooms in your garden, my favorite being the one of iris ‘Gerald Darby’ and rosa ‘The Lark Ascending’.
    I think the terraces in front of your house look particularly good this year!
    Enjoy the summer!
    Warm regards,

    • Jessica June 17, 2017 at 8:02 pm - Reply

      Thanks Christina. The garden is a bit battered by storms, but the plants do seem to have appreciated all the rain.

  12. Kris P June 15, 2017 at 7:16 pm - Reply

    As soon as I saw your post title in my feed, I feared its meaning. I’m glad you survived the fall without long-term damage – every time I teeter on one of my own slopes and catch myself, I breathe a sigh of relief but now I’ll think of you and your closer call and perhaps reconsider the value of getting professional assistance before I push my luck too far. Your garden is glorious despite your mixed weather. I love that peach rose and the peony of course. And I must say your precipitous bank is looking very good!

    • Jessica June 17, 2017 at 8:09 pm - Reply

      I’ve just been watching a deer scamper up the bank below us and jump niftly over the low hedge on to the lawn. (Where it chased off the bunny that was already there..). I wish I had their nimbleness and sense of balance.

  13. wherethejourneytakesme June 15, 2017 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    I thought at first you were referring to testing your new steps – but oooh that is painful – gardens are dangerous places – I slipped on the edge of our pond 2 or 3 years ago and still get a twinge even now in my back.
    Your pictures are beautiful and having seen your Peony Bowl of Beauty I know I have got Sarah Bernhardt – I couldn’t remember which was which. Your terraces are to die for you have worked so hard on them. Have a great birthday celebration when it arrives – if it is the one I am thinking of then I am not that long off either and wonder if I will be able to cope with our garden in Scotland when I get there!

    • Jessica June 17, 2017 at 8:12 pm - Reply

      With luck our challenging gardens will keep us fit Viv. The guy we bought the house from was 90 on the day he left.

      • wherethejourneytakesme June 20, 2017 at 11:32 pm - Reply

        That is strange as the old lady that owned our cottage lived to 103 and only gave up the cottage at age 99 – it must be all the gardening!

        • Jessica June 22, 2017 at 7:39 pm - Reply

          Let’s hope so. Although some nights it doesn’t feel as if it is doing me any good at all, quite the reverse!

  14. Denise June 15, 2017 at 8:17 pm - Reply

    Crumbs, Missus! Just be a bit careful on that naughty slope, please? My philadelphus has refused to flower. I think it might be rebelling against my pruning technique but I’ve told it to buck up its ideas or it’ll be good-bye time next year. Any special birthday celebrations lined up for the ‘0’ birthday, perchance? X

    • Jessica June 17, 2017 at 8:28 pm - Reply

      It was philadelphus (not the one in the photo) that formed the high hedge to the left of the lawn here. I saved one plant but hacked it down to half its original height. The next year, no blooms. But this year it has returned with a few. Be patient, it appears they’re prone to sulking.
      Birthday celebrations still undecided. I’ve a few months to go yet but I want to do something adventurous. No boats though.. not that adventurous!

  15. wherefivevalleysmeet June 15, 2017 at 8:37 pm - Reply

    I am glad that you came off better than the handrail – putting an extra buttress up is far easier than attending hospital with broken bones – some really yummy flower photos here. Hope that you have a lovely birthday when it arrives.

    • Jessica June 17, 2017 at 9:03 pm - Reply

      It’s lovely to be working under all those trees now the weather is getting warmer. But it’s a tough place to get to apart from anything else, necessitating climbing through the handrail and then hauling myself up the slope. But we walk past it most days.. I couldn’t put it off any longer.

  16. annincumbria June 15, 2017 at 8:44 pm - Reply

    Flippin eck you need a skyline attached to you before go on that bank, glad your ok pictures gorgeous as usual

    • Jessica June 17, 2017 at 9:06 pm - Reply

      Thanks Ann. And something with more grip than wellies. Crampons!

  17. justjilluk June 15, 2017 at 9:24 pm - Reply

    I am really sorry about the fall, rib damage is the pits. And Mikes toe. But the blooms you have should go someway to making it better?

    • Jessica June 17, 2017 at 9:11 pm - Reply

      The garden offers many rewards at this time of year. It’s just getting to a stage of maturity where I can begin to appreciate it.

  18. snowbird June 15, 2017 at 9:33 pm - Reply

    Oh noooo….poor you! Bashing the ribs is not fun, at all! I hope you recover in time for your birthday. All the very best. Loved that peony and geum, gorgeous!xxx

    • Jessica June 17, 2017 at 9:14 pm - Reply

      Luckily the peony and the geum are placed well apart!

  19. ourfrenchoasis June 15, 2017 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    Ouch, sounds painful, thank goodness it wasn’t anything more serious and lucky us in return, we got a post and some fab photos! Ironically I posted about the garden as well today, it’s that time of year isn’t it, when the garden is still looking fantastic, before the heat of the summer takes its toll. I am in love with your setting and garden! x

    • Jessica June 17, 2017 at 9:17 pm - Reply

      Thanks. We’re in for a warm spell apparently and it will take its toll. This is the time when I start to wish I’d got all the planting done weeks ago!

  20. Lisa Greenbow June 15, 2017 at 9:51 pm - Reply

    I hope you are well into your recovery. What a flop. Take care of those ribs. Your blooms are spectacular. I sort of wanted to take a bite out of that delicious looking Rose. Your hillside is looking pretty good in this picture. Happy GBBD.

    • Jessica June 17, 2017 at 9:27 pm - Reply

      Thanks Lisa. Thankfully I got off lightly, it could have been a lot worse. Roses do look quite magical with the addition of raindrops don’t they?

  21. Sue Garrett June 15, 2017 at 11:18 pm - Reply

    I hope that you ribs are feeling better. It’s great to see colour gradually takinfpg a hold. As for birthdays I have got to the stage where I no longer count the years.

    • Jessica June 17, 2017 at 9:41 pm - Reply

      After this year I won’t be counting birthdays either. Far too depressing. 🙁

  22. germac4 June 16, 2017 at 4:34 am - Reply

    Sorry to hear about your ribs… the injuries gardeners bear for the cause! At least you have a glorious garden to look out on…everything has grown immensely on the sloping part hasn’t it? I am so envious of peonies and all the glorious flowers you have at the moment. Rest up for your birthday!

    • Jessica June 17, 2017 at 9:44 pm - Reply

      A little while to go to the birthday yet.. thank goodness! It’s amazing how the garden has grown in the last few weeks. All the rain has provided the perfect conditions.

  23. Caroline June 16, 2017 at 8:23 am - Reply

    Oh goodness me! A safety line may need to be installed for future Bank work. Please do take care. I’m glad of the blooms photos though, especially as there are blue skies above.

    • Jessica June 17, 2017 at 9:46 pm - Reply

      It’s been proper blue sky today. We were tempted to get the parasol out for lunch on the terrace.. but that might have been tempting fate too much!

  24. New Moons For Old June 16, 2017 at 9:35 am - Reply

    Blooming. Dangerous.

    • Jessica June 17, 2017 at 9:49 pm - Reply

      I wish I could say it was going to get easier further up the hill. But no.

  25. derrickjknight June 16, 2017 at 11:39 am - Reply

    The garden is coming along beautifully. However, as soon as I saw the title, I guessed the quickest way. I do hope nothing is broken and you will back on the job soon – even if it means you won’t be posting.

    • Jessica June 17, 2017 at 9:52 pm - Reply

      I can still wield a garden fork so all must be well. Thanks Derrick.

  26. FlowerAlley June 16, 2017 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    I am glad ti hear from you, but sad it is the result of an injury. I too have banks to contend with. Heal quickly friend.

    • Jessica June 17, 2017 at 9:53 pm - Reply

      Gravity has a lot to answer for doesn’t it!

  27. Brian Skeys June 16, 2017 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    I hope you are ok from what could have been a nasty fall. I think the geranium is Geranium Sanguineum, I have a pinky white one which looks identical except for the flower colour. Bowl of Beauty is on my list for this autumn. Take care.

    • Jessica June 17, 2017 at 10:00 pm - Reply

      Bowl of Beauty is a properly flamboyant peony, there is certainly no missing it in the garden. But we need a statement now and then don’t we. The blooms don’t last long and expire rather messily but they are quite amazing just after they open.

  28. jenhumm116 June 16, 2017 at 11:49 pm - Reply

    Oh poor you – glad you’ve got such a beautiful garden to look at from sick bay! Happy Birthday.

    • Jessica June 17, 2017 at 10:04 pm - Reply

      I’m not a very patient patient. And a little ‘light weeding’ can so easily turn into wrestling another surplus fern out of the rock-hard ground. I could well regret it tomorrow.

  29. grammapenny June 17, 2017 at 1:00 am - Reply

    Glorious.. I think I have that same little geranium.. and I think I will move some so that it is near my Alchemilla.. lovely combo… I hope the ribs heal quickly

    • Jessica June 17, 2017 at 10:07 pm - Reply

      I love that purple pink/chartreuse combo too. Wish I could say I’d thought of it but you know what alchemilla is like.. it put itself there!

  30. hb June 17, 2017 at 3:04 am - Reply

    I was alarmed by your title–I hope you are okay and recovering. Sometimes on my slopes I use a fork as a sort of cane–I plant it into the soil and hold on to it as I step. That it also aerates is a plus but it’s mostly for safety. The west side slope has a 10 foot fall onto concrete–so no mistakes allowed.

    The peony is beautiful, as are all the other flowers–the Brodiaea laxa ‘Queen Fabiola’, what fun. Mine is still blooming, yours looks like it is just starting. What is that you have in the terra cotta pot on the extreme left of the terrace photo? It almost looks Callistemon-y, but couldn’t be?

    Take care of your ribs, be careful, be well.

    • Jessica June 17, 2017 at 10:15 pm - Reply

      It is a callistemon and lives in the greenhouse over winter. I inherited it from my mother but as it was somewhat neglected in her later years I took some cuttings to try and raise another with a better shape. I managed to root three of them and with nowhere else to put them shoved them in the veggie garden while we were away over Christmas. And what do you know, all three are still alive and one is even sprouting new branches. So maybe it is a garden plant after all?

  31. Virginia June 17, 2017 at 5:08 am - Reply

    Oh H#@*! As soon as I saw the header I knew you hadn’t been away on a wonderful National Trust holiday, which is what I’d put your silence down to! I do hope you heal quickly, and get yourself some reins and a stout rope – reins like the ones you put on toddlers! Mike wouldn’t enjoy trying to manhandle you from the bottom of the bank! We had roses at our last home, 55 of them, and my very favourite was a Compassion that flowered for ages and smelt divine, it must have likes the place it was planted.

    • Jessica June 17, 2017 at 10:23 pm - Reply

      I shall have to get some abseiling kit, similar to what they use at St Michael’s Mount.
      55 roses! Your garden must have smelt absolutely fantastic. I hope you still have some in your current garden. It seems to be a very good rose year. I must have a dozen or so and they’re all doing much better than this time last year.

  32. willisjw June 17, 2017 at 5:12 am - Reply

    Sometimes we would like to rewind an event and try again but alas we are always moving forward. Best wishes for a speedy recovery and I note that we share a love for Queen Fabiola, long may she reign in the garden…

    • Jessica June 17, 2017 at 10:27 pm - Reply

      Queen Fabiola really is fab. I don’t know whether it is just here but the leaves come up, then go all limp and I think I’ve lost it until up come the flower stalks and those beautiful buds. Perhaps I need them growing up through something to hide the foliage.

  33. smallsunnygarden June 17, 2017 at 6:50 am - Reply

    Ouch! I did a very elegant back-ended twirl recently, but nothing so exciting as yours… think I’ll defer to your ribs! Hope you have a lovely birthday and are not too sore to properly enjoy it 🙂
    You’ve just convinced​ me that I had better plant some chives – love the photos, and I suppose the rabbits mostly leave them alone? The Lark Ascending looks like such a beauty…

    • Jessica June 17, 2017 at 10:34 pm - Reply

      So far the rabbits have left them alone. But until today I thought the rabbits might have gone away. Today we’ve had a rabbit on the lawn most of the evening. Then a deer leapt the hedge and chased it off. It’s been a proper wildlife fest. Then the bunny came back. Twice. Flopsy has a worryingly determined look on her face..

  34. Brenda June 17, 2017 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    At least it wasn’t your ankle.

    • Jessica June 17, 2017 at 10:36 pm - Reply

      That was last year. And the year before..

  35. Sue C. June 17, 2017 at 10:55 pm - Reply

    Gardens are dangerous places!! Sorry to hear about your enforced rest – hope you manage to enjoy the sunshine instead. The garden is looking great, lovely flowers. My Philadelphus “Belle Etoile” is amazing this year – hundreds of blooms and highly scented. Take care

    • Jessica June 22, 2017 at 7:14 pm - Reply

      And there was me thinking it was my skilled pruning! Yes, Philadelphus have had a very good year. Another, brutally hacked back specimen, has even managed to put out a few blooms.

  36. Cathy June 18, 2017 at 8:06 am - Reply

    Are you sure you don’t subconsciously create these incidents to add impact to your blog…?!! 😀

    • Jessica June 22, 2017 at 7:15 pm - Reply

      Impact being the operative word..

  37. Marian St.Clair June 18, 2017 at 12:30 pm - Reply

    Oh, how we suffer for the love of plants. But so worth it. I caught my breath when I scrolled down to your photo of the terraces. Simply sublime.

    • Jessica June 22, 2017 at 7:16 pm - Reply

      Thanks Marian. Even better this week as some of the roses have come out.

  38. misemisemiseMise June 19, 2017 at 9:36 am - Reply

    Poor Jessica, about your spill, and happy happy happy birthday, for the looming. I hope your ribs are settling down. Your place looks utterly lovely in the photo above, perfectly idyllic, as though it somehow transcends all the undoubted hard work.

    • Jessica June 22, 2017 at 7:18 pm - Reply

      The house and garden laugh at me I think. The more work I do the more they manage to find for me.

  39. frayedattheedge June 19, 2017 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    I think I may have mentioned before that you should abseil down the bank as you work, so hopefully the ropes would halt your fall!! Gorgeous photos as always. We are gradually creating little flower/shrub beds in amongst the vast expanses of grass (it’s not fit to be called lawn!!) to provide some colour ……. as the entire garden is surrounded by hedges, there is an awful lot of green!!

    • Jessica June 22, 2017 at 7:21 pm - Reply

      I’m sure you and Malcolm will make an excellent job of it, certainly if the previous garden is anything to go by. Do as I do (hah!) take it slowly and enjoy the process.

  40. Mark and Gaz June 20, 2017 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    Sloping gardens and aspects are so challenging but so rewarding when conquered. Yours is a fine example! Lovely photos!!

    • Jessica June 22, 2017 at 7:28 pm - Reply

      Thanks guys. Much trial and error is involved in getting it right. It seems I’m forever moving plants that have either grown too tall or not tall enough. Nor does it help that both the terraces and the bank are seen from both sides.

  41. linda June 20, 2017 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    Hello jessica….
    I do believe that you have the most beautiful gardens that I visit…kudos to the gardener…and get well wishes!!
    Hope you have a wonderful birthday…how old? hahaha!
    Summer arrives tomorrow…lets get this show on the road, eh??
    Crazy weather over here too…humid 40c…rain…wind…yuck!
    Enjoy your week…
    Linda :o)

    • Jessica June 22, 2017 at 7:35 pm - Reply

      It’s been very hot here this week too, hot for us anyway! Still way short of 40C but also humid. 10 degrees cooler today and definitely more comfortable for working. Now in England no-one asks a lady her age… 😉

  42. CherryPie June 20, 2017 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    I am glad that you were not badly hurt. You have some pretty blooms in your garden 🙂

    • Jessica June 22, 2017 at 7:36 pm - Reply

      Thanks Cherie. Who knew gardening could be such a dangerous sport?

  43. Laura June 21, 2017 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    Since when do bunnies eat echinacea? I hope it didn’t digest well.

    • Jessica June 22, 2017 at 7:42 pm - Reply

      They don’t usually get the chance.. the slugs beat them to it. This year I have been so diligent on mollusc watch. And this is the reward I get. Pah. At least the echinacea is recovering. Six leaves now. It’ll soon be ready to go back out into the garden.

  44. Sarah June 21, 2017 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    Your bank is such a challenge, I hope you are getting better after that nasty fall. Other parts of your garden are looking gorgeous. Sarah x

    • Jessica June 22, 2017 at 7:44 pm - Reply

      Thanks Sarah. Slowly getting better. Tough day today so maybe some easier jobs for tomorrow.

  45. I am so sorry to hear of your nasty fall and hope you are healing quickly. The grade change you have really creates a challenge, but your garden blooms all look so wonderful. The Peony and Roses are especially gorgeous!

    • Jessica June 22, 2017 at 7:51 pm - Reply

      Thanks Lee. My previous gardens have been flat so this learning curve has been as steep as the gradient! Positioning of plants is slowly becoming intuitive but I totally underestimated the level of physical exertion required. On some days just carrying the gardening kit up to the top of the hill is enough, never mind the work.

  46. June 22, 2017 at 10:17 am - Reply

    Summer is beautiful and so is your garden. You still have Geum flowering?

    • Jessica June 22, 2017 at 7:56 pm - Reply

      Hi Pauline, thanks and welcome!
      The lower growing geums have all finished flowering but ‘Totally Tangerine’ goes on much longer. It has a similar form to ‘Mrs J Bradshaw’, which also blooms for most of the summer. Mine has almost finished its first (and main) flush of flowers so I’ll cut it back now and get more flowering shoots.

  47. Chloris June 22, 2017 at 8:46 pm - Reply

    Oh my goodness, I suppose it was only a matter of time until you tumbled down your slope. Maybe you should use ropes. I hope you have stopped aching. I am most impressed both by your wonderful June blooms and the stunning photos. It’s no good, you have finally convinced me that my life is not complete without Cornus kousa.

    • Jessica June 24, 2017 at 1:56 pm - Reply

      You absolutely must have a Cornus kousa. It’s the highlight of my gardening year. Even more so that it needs absolutely no attention whatsoever. Maybe a little water in these very hot spells, especially on your side of the country as they aren’t drought tolerant. Other than that it just struts its stuff every year. Gorgeous autumn colour too.

  48. Peter/Outlaw June 25, 2017 at 5:29 am - Reply

    Oh my goodness! Sorry to hear that your garden dance ended so painfully! Perhaps Mike would like to consider dancing with you instead of slate. Much less painful if you step on his toe. Wow, you’re almost thirty already? Fear not, it’s just another year. Your blooms are beautiful.

    • Jessica June 25, 2017 at 10:07 pm - Reply

      Ahh to be thirty again!

  49. bittster June 28, 2017 at 3:18 am - Reply

    Wow. I’m halfway considering putting down my camera forever after seeing these photos 🙂
    The closeups are amazing, but to see the longer view of terrace and house it really shows all your work is paying off. It looks perfect, and so inviting as well!
    Happy birthday and I hope you’re (once again) off right duty in no time.

    • Jessica June 28, 2017 at 8:34 pm - Reply

      Please don’t put down your camera Frank, I’d miss you terribly.
      The terrace has changed again already. Between the rain showers yesterday I had the machete out and the shrubs at the back are now much lower. It didn’t help the rehab any but it does look much better 🙂

  50. Linda P June 28, 2017 at 11:14 pm - Reply

    So sorry to hear about the slippery slope tumble. I hope by now your ribs are less painful and Mike’s bruised toe has recovered. An enforced rest is not really what you need, but take it easy. Delicious blooms especially that orange rose.

    • Jessica June 29, 2017 at 10:06 pm - Reply

      Thanks Linda. Yes, we’re both on the mend I hope! The dreadful weather is keeping me away from the hard garden graft. Perhaps that is a good thing for a while.

  51. Josephine July 1, 2017 at 11:11 pm - Reply

    I wouldn’t do well on a slippery slope, my balance is too wonky 🙂
    Hope all is mending nicely for you.
    Your garden is simply stunning, a literal feast for the soul.
    I’m smitten by your terrace.

    • Jessica July 4, 2017 at 8:29 pm - Reply

      Thanks Jo. Sadly the terrace has since suffered in the rain. The roses have all turned brown 🙁

  52. Indie July 3, 2017 at 1:57 pm - Reply

    Ouch! I hope you are feeling better! You have such steep slopes that look like quite the challenge to garden on! Your garden looks gorgeous, though. I just love the terraces. They look so charming, and you have some beautiful blooms! Happy birthday!

    • Jessica July 4, 2017 at 8:31 pm - Reply

      And a Happy 4th July to you.
      Ouch indeed. I am feeling my age. Things take longer to heal!

  53. Chris N July 6, 2017 at 1:12 am - Reply

    the terraces look lovely. Your flowers all look beautiful. Very idyllic except for all the work:)

    • Jessica July 7, 2017 at 8:04 pm - Reply

      Thanks Chris. Far too much work. I keep telling myself it will get easier.

  54. Proctor Landscapes July 7, 2017 at 3:00 pm - Reply

    Wow these photographs are incredible. It just shows that garden design doesn’t have to be over-complicated sometimes the most simple designs are the best.

    • Jessica July 7, 2017 at 8:13 pm - Reply

      I couldn’t agree more. Especially in a natural landscape such as this. It’s more about the garden sitting well within its surroundings than cutting edge design. Fortunately the modern prairie style planting that I love does fit the bill here. It makes an ideal transition zone between the woodland and the (few!) formal areas such as the terraces.

  55. Diana Studer July 14, 2017 at 11:10 pm - Reply

    Taken me this long to brave finding out what happened to you.
    I slid down the slope in our Camps Bay garden, and stopped when I whacked my ribs into an obliging shrub.
    Had to … breathe … carefully … for a while.

    That garden is one scary place.
    But how beautiful yours is!

    • Jessica July 15, 2017 at 8:07 am - Reply

      It’s taken this long for it to stop hurting! I suppose I must have done some sort of damage. When Mike had a much more serious fall a few years back he went to Accident and Emergency but they don’t even do an X ray these days. If you can still breathe then basically it will heal itself. Which seems to be right.. heavy duty shrub hauling still finds it though! Thanks Diana.

  56. Virginia August 2, 2017 at 6:35 am - Reply

    Goodness Jessica, that was a serious fall. We’ve been away for three weeks so I had expected to be well behind on my blog-reading – I was really worried when I read the same heading was still up, so I’m most relieved to read your comment and know that although you’re sore, you are basically in one piece! hope you’re 100% very soon.

    • Jessica August 3, 2017 at 8:32 am - Reply

      I hope you’ve had a wonderful trip! Yes fully recovered now, thank you Virginia. There are just too many projects on the go and as ever I’m falling behind. But that’s no excuse. I didn’t mean to leave it this long and a post is well overdue.

  57. woolythymes August 9, 2017 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    I’ve been out of pocket in the blogosphere….but was in real need of a burst of late summer beauty (something I definitely can’t find in my dried up patch of parched earth!). This is where I always turn…..and of course, you never disappoint. Glad to hear (from above post) that you have recovered….and hoping that the birthday was wonderful!!

    • Jessica August 10, 2017 at 8:00 am - Reply

      Hi Steph. I wish our little patch would dry up a bit, it’s fairly rain sodden here. Everything, except the weeds, is looking pretty miserable. There’s never a happy medium is there? Hope all’s well with you, will catch up soon!

  58. CherryPie August 11, 2017 at 11:25 pm - Reply

    I just popped in to see if you are OK as I hadn’t seen a new post from you for some time…

    • Jessica August 12, 2017 at 10:27 pm - Reply

      You’re very kind Cherie. I’m fine thanks, just rushing round trying to get caught up with a few projects. It’s that time of year. Back soon. I hope you are well and enjoying your new found freedom!

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