Hi Jack and everybody. We moved to West Cork three and a half years ago to what had been out holiday home. When we arrived in 2003 we thought how wonderful. An acre of land. However, on the next few visits we found up an acre of brambles, gorse and nettles as high as ourselves- and more! It had been a field and all the trees were felled for cattle. So over the subsequent years tried to work on it to keep some of the wild but to make it more manageable. We planted many trees as there were NO trees or shrubs save for Scots pines on our rock. We’re getting there.
We now have an orchard,(posh name for some apple trees but I love it!) a gravelled area with various plants and beyond that a wildflower meadow( hard work!!) and a polytunnel. We have a stream down one side of the garden and a huge rock down the other side. We plant as many native trees as possible but love playing about with other plants too. We have a bog area and are aiming at making a couple of ponds because we need frogs for slugs.
We are lucky to be able to leave plants that have self seeded in the drive or anywhere really. We have lots of three cornered leek, nettles, foxgloves, honeysuckle and Ivy just growing wherever takes their fancy.
We learn as we go. We make many, many mistakes.
Ours is not a formal garden but is quite open to the elements and we have no boundary walls or hedges. We live on a windswept peninsula so have to choose wisely. We have recently planted more sloes, sea buckthorn, hollies, oleria and willows on the top of the rock.
My husband was doing part 1 of the RHS course but never completed as we decided to move lock, stock and barrel here. Most of our knowledge we have had to gain from reading anything and everything and be guided by friends and neighbours. When we arrived we were told, ‘ you won’t be able to grow anything here’ but we are pleased to say that we are proving them wrong.
We try to be as self sufficient as possible but spend time with our children and grandchildren in Oz so we can’t keep animals. However we swap our vegetables and fruit for eggs and plants and now our neighbour has a hive. The bees will use our flowers and they will give us honey in return!
Sorry that was really long!
Anyway we always need advice and use the gardening community on Twitter as well so this will be another resorce for ideas and advice! Phew. Ok I’ll go now.