Introducing the Septic Tank Garden

 Two summer shrubs.
Hypericum and Deutzia

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 shrub singles were proudly in residence - one Camellia, one Ceanothus, one Weigela, one Azalea, one Philadelphus, one Hydrangea, one Deutzia...

One of Each Shrub...

This was just what every house garden planted in New Zealand in the 1970s had to have - one of each, and no more, even in a country garden where there was lots of space.

I added rose-covered archways, roses along the fence, and more and more flowers, with herbs and lavenders to encourage the bees. Alas, not many flowery things are left now, as the garden has became too shady. And several of the original shrubs have gone. But not that wonderful cheery summer flowering shrub Hypericum. I love it!

Clumps of green ferns have planted themselves (they've self-spored?) and filled up spaces near the house. They are rather beautiful, and only occasionaly have to be rationalised (i.e. thinned out).

 On the side of the Septic Tank Garden.
Summer Hypericum and Ferns

There are invasive plants in the Septic Tank Garden. There was already a lot of yellow-flowered Lamium, busy ground-covering and semi-smothering everything. This I did not plant, honestly! Over the years I've had several great digging binges to get rid of it. Not with much success, I'm afraid. But silly me - I did transplant in some Alkanet, which I'd found growing in another part of the garden. A big mistake? Possible, but in late winter the bees wouldn't agree.

On The Shady Side

The Septic Tank Garden has other parts to it. There's a shady side just through the fence which edges the Pond Paddock. This has always been a shrubby garden. You'll enjoy Phormiums, small Maple trees, Pittosporums, and one brave pink Rhododendron - a survivor of my original plantings, but who knows for how long?

And by the Laundry...

The small Laundry Garden is reached from the back door of the house by stone steps and a concrete and stone path. It has a reading seat surrounded by herbs and lavenders.

The Laundry Seat

Philadelphus, Daphne, and Lavender shrubs make this a fragrant place to relax in late spring. Summer brings out a mass of white Shasta daisies (not so fragrant), and autumn shows off with yellow perennial daisies.

So what's in a name? The Septic Tank Gardens contain a beautiful variety of leafy textures. Some garden borders simply name themselves, without asking for permission. Sorry about that!