Paths in Middle Garden
Middle Garden has a small network of paths running through it. The main path, called Middle Path, forms part of a well-trodden route from the house through to the Hazelnut Orchard. It crosses the water at Middle Bridge, and pushes carefully past a beautifully huge pink rhododendron.
Middle Path - Spring 2011
In the early days Nicotianas and cherry red peonies were dominant plants near Middle Path's edge. But then the big pink rhododendron grew - and grew... And so Middle Path had to be moved again and again - no way was I going to prune such a beautiful shrub!
Middle Path in Spring 2004
In 2004 I tried out roses and a rose arch - oops. Not enough sun. Then the peonies were shifted out in the winter of 2006 - they had a brighter, better garden to go to. And still the beautiful pink rhododendron grew - and grew...
Middle Path in Spring 2008
By 2007 I accepted that the whole feeling of Middle Garden had changed from a sunny, open border into a woodland. I planted foliage plants in the gaps and shifted out anything that needed to see the sun.
My Very First Path Picture
Nicotianas (Llansdorffii and Sylvestris) still self-seed in here, but a cute little purple leafed euphorbia now does better. It produces many welcome seedlings, and I encourage it.
This photograph is from the Moosey Archives, and was taken in the year 1999, right at the beginning of Middle Path's long life. Back then the path was littered with huge self-sown Nicotianas, and some red sun-loving Canna lilies can be seen, on the left. Often the huge Nicotianas would completely block the route.
A Newer Access Path
Sweeping in a graceful curve though Middle Garden I've created a new access path, surfaced with soft bark mulch. A little side path leads down to the huge Gunnera at the water's edge. It's the best way to properly appreciate many of the rhododendrons in the middle of Middle Garden.
In Goes the Path
Paths which lead into the middle of gardens are so important and desirable. Not only are they functional, but they're imagination-friendly too - whether weeding and trimming, or just wandering through, looking at the plantings from the inside out.
And Out Comes the Path
In the Early Days...
Very early in Middle Garden's life a gardener (attended by cat or dog) could walk right along the water's edge, without having to didge anything, or worry about being thrown into the water. Oops. A little over-vigorous planting of large bulky green things (Gunnera, Phormiums, and so on) by the water put paid to that idea! Several large Phormium tenax flaxes were growing here from the very beginning.
As in nearly all the Moosey paths I've laid newspaper down as a weed suppressant and edged the route with river stones. Paths can then easily be shifted, rather than plants, when things get blocked up. As they so often do. The Phormiums in the garden are forever bulking out, and stray leaves too near a path can trip up the unwary.
I buy the mulch by the trailer-load from a local landscape garden supplier. The surface feels and looks natural, and seems to last.
Laughing at my Chooks
One problem I used to have makes me laugh when I remember it. My chooks used to escape from the Hazelnut Orchard and free-range in Middle Garden. You can imagine the excited scratching frenzies that took place amongst the path mulch. And the little nests they'd build to rest in...