Septic Tank Garden Tour

For a garden with such a 'down-to-earth' name the Septic Tank Garden certainly is pretty! Ornamental shrubs, herbs and Lavenders, and roses (naturally) live in the house-side of this garden.

Over the fence on the shady side, you'll meet hostas, hostas, and more hostas - all recycled, from a friend cleaning out her garden. Lucky me! Rhododendrons and small Japanese Maples make the prettiest picture in late spring, when the nearby flowering cherries in the lawn put on a fluffy show.

Self-seeding annuals (like Honesty) are always welcome in the Septic Tank Garden, on either side of the fence. And there's always something flowery for the buzzing bees to enjoy. I hope that, like those busy bees, you'll also find something to enjoy.

Introducing the Septic Tank GardenIntroducing the Septic Tank Garden...
A garden border was already dug around the septic tank on the east side of the house when I arrived in 1994. The obligatory set of shrubs were proudly in residence - one Camellia, one Ceanothus, one Weigela, one Azalea, one Philadelphus, one Hydrangea, one Deutzia... One of each, and no more.
Lily of the ValleyLily of the Valley...
I forget who gave me my first Lily of the Valley plant. I knew about its perfume, but not its tendency to spread - and spread - and then spread some more. Oops!
Stone Path and StepsStone Path and Steps...
This is one of the darkest parts of the garden. The flat stone laundry path and steps were already here, as was the Hydrangea on the left, when we came to live here. Ferns line the path up to the Laundry seat and on to the washing line.
Garden BenchGarden Bench...
The Septic Tank Garden has two sides, with an old sheep fence running through the middle. On the side nearest the pond I've put one of my new garden benches. There's even a tiny path to lead you there from the Laundry steps.
Non-Gardening CatNon-Gardening Cat...
Tiger the cat does not do gardening. But just occasionally she'll venture out into the Septic Tank Garden to provide some lightweight cat-company.
First Camellia to FlowerFirst Camellia to Flower...
Gardeners are allowed to make a fuss over the first Camellia to flower in their gardens. My first Camellia is in the Septic Tank Garden - it's pale baby pink, really beautiful, and turns up in late winter.
FernsFerns...
Ferns have decided that the small garden area near the Laundry is their destined spot. They line the paths and stone steps, and pop up in the middle of the garden. And I love them dearly!
Laundry SeatLaundry Seat...
The Laundry Seat is a basic wooden set of planks, nestled into the Laundry Garden. Surrounded by Lavenders and herbs this is a rather 'buzzy' place to be! And very fragrant...
More HostasMore Hostas...
In 2005 I overheard a friend talking about the hostas she was digging out. 'Yes please' I said, and came home with a whole car-load! I decided to plant them together in the Pond Paddock side border.
Lavender, Daphne, & Orange BlossomLavender, Daphne, & Orange Blossom...
All of the shrubs in the side garden by the laundry are original plantings, and I haven't really thought to change anything. They include Lavenders, a deciduous Azalea, a Philadelphus (or Orange Blossom), and two Daphnes. The aromatic shrubs are a delight for my bumble bees.
White DahliaWhite Dahlia...
My dahlias are randomly scattered throughout the Moosey garden (and throughout the Moosey web site!) - they seem to survive my attitude of total neglect. This large white flowering dahlia is a real beauty, surprising me every mid-summer.
Pink RhododendronPink Rhododendron...
This is one of the first rhododendrons I planted in the garden. This shrub grew quietly at first, minding its own business. But fairly soon it would cover itself in spectacular late spring pinkness. Such a pretty colour!
Phyllis Bide RosePhyllis Bide Rose...
The top rose arch has two Phyllis Bide roses growing either side. After a slow start they are finally fluffing themselves out and reaching together, as all well behaved roses on archways should.
Heuchera & AsteliaHeuchera & Astelia...
I love this combination of the perennial Heuchera and the New Zealand native Astelia. Their colours are subtle, like tarnished silver or pewter.
Cherry Tree BlossomCherry Tree Blossom...
In 1996 two flowering cherry trees were transplanted into the Pond Paddock from another part of the garden. Every spring I photograph their beautiful blossom - before the winds blow it all off!
Rose Garden in SummerRose Garden in Summer...
Roses, roses, roses - climbing over archways, growing sedately surrounded by ferns. This was my original vision for the Septic Tank Garden in all its summer glory. My best success is one of the earliest plantings - David Austin's Constance Spry.
Pond-Side Garden BorderPond-Side Garden Border...
The side border of the Pond Paddock backs onto a fence, and contains a great mixture of plants. One beautiful rhododendron shows off in late spring, followed by pink roses and foliage perennials. Dahlias grow here in late Summer, and Honesty in Spring. And don't forget the hostas...
Yellow Hypericum FlowersYellow Hypericum Flowers...
Between the rose arches in mid-summer the shrub Hypericum steals the limelight with its bright glowing yellow flowers.
Scrophularia & FungiScrophularia & Fungi...
'Still life' in the Septic Tank Garden - a composition of fungi, gnarly old tree stump, and new variegated scrophularia leaf, tastefully recorded by an artistic son.
Red & Pink Rose ArchesRed & Pink Rose Arches...
The two archways along the house-side of the Septic Tank Garden look like they were always meant to be here. The garden with its narrow dividing grass path is the perfect shape to be 'archwayed'.
Lavender Rosemary Garden PathLavender Rosemary Garden Path...
This stone path leads from the laundry to the top of the Icing Sugar Border, You have to push past the lavender on the right and the Tussock and Rosemary on the left, often competing with buzzing bees.
Jerome the CatJerome the Cat...
Jerome the cat is sitting by the pots on the septic tank cover, thinking about cat things!
Hydrangea FlowerHydrangea Flower...
On the way to the washing line from the back door you'll pass through the Laundry Garden. A blue hydrangea was well established here in this dry spot when I first came to Mooseys. Plants, like gardeners, have to be tough in the country...
Gardening WriterGardening Writer...
The laundry seat is sheltered and gets the morning sun. I can sit here with a cup of tea and pretend that nobody can find me. Trouble is that it's between the laundry and the washing line.
BanksiaBanksia...
As you walk towards the washing line you'll pass this oldish Banksia with its corn cob-like husks. This plant is an Australian toughie.