Thursday, 15 September 2011

Alpine Heaven

If you have been reading for a while, you will know that in this household we're a bit partial to mountain scenery and the kind of fun that can be had once the slopes are covered in the white stuff.   We also like the mountains in summer.

Cooling mountain streams...

...maybe a bit TOO cooling!

Space to play in the fresh air...

... friendly locals...

...swimmimg amidst stunning scenery...

The foursome grouped (shivering) in the water being us!
...picnics on the lush slopes...

Hmm...yes.  Maybe next year?

We may not have managed a bit of summer in the Alps this year, but for my birthday a couple of weeks ago, my parents very kindly offered to give me plants and a labour-force (ie. them!) to do up the wall that runs down the side of our house. 

 Over the past few years certain plants of the thug variety had flexed their muscles and all but taken over from the Alpines that used to be more dominant.  The soil was rather impoverished, having been in there for probably about twenty-five years with not much organic matter added.  It was time to dig it all out, save the few plants that have prettier and more delicate natures and give them a chance to flourish again, and send the thugs to the compost facility!

Needless to say, we forgot to properly take photos before.  We'd already half cleared one side of it it by this time.  My Mum and I had levered out a huge rosemary bush and Mr U-t-B was just loosening a huge heather (which has been re-homed by my Mum).

This is the other end which we hadn't started on.  It consisted of one enormous lavender, a bit of heuchera, an enormous patch of snow-in summer (which had been crawling all over the pavement a few weeks before) and a lot of dandelions!

The preparation took some time and created a huge load to take to the dump.

After a few window-ledge rests, it was clear of all but a couple of plants which we wanted to keep.

We then nipped to the local garden centre for lunch and to buy new plants, bulbs and soil.

My Mum is a very knowledgeable gardener, so she positioned the new plants and the salvaged ones to ensure interest around the year.

The following Sunday both my Mum and my Dad came to do the other side of the wall.  By the end of the afternoon, that too was planted up, and my amazingly supple Dad had wire-brushed the paint ready for a new coat of paint soon!

I added a topping of Alpine Grit a couple of days later, which should help all the mountain lovers amongst the plants (and it seems to have deterred the cats so far!)

With a re-planted tub by the door...

...and our house number re-done in house-leeks...

...we now have much more 'kerb-appeal'!

Thanks Mum and Dad!

(PS.  Locked myself out to get that photo - had to go five minutes down the road to 
Mr U-t-B's offices to get a key IN MY SLIPPERS!  And then I spotted something unmentionable on a plant, left by one of the neighbourhood cats!  Grr!  Spoke too soon...)


  1. That looks great! I never get around to sorting out our garden/plants, maybe next year, it's all sadly neglected!

  2. Locking myself out is SO my thing.
    I love your mountain pics. I live quite close to Austria and I still haven't been to the mountains there yet. It must be great in winter too.
    Your street looks beautiful and the plants are great.

  3. The cat was just showing you how fantastic a job your parents did! What a fabulous present, truely the perfect gift. x

  4. What lovely parents you have. Love how you have done your house number in houseleeks. I need to do some rather serious tidying in our garden ... we can't see our garden from the house and so if the weather is not good it tends to get a little forgotten! M x

  5. Brilliant job, it all looks lovely so hurrah for Mum and dad! As for the cat poo, the local neighbourhood cats seem to think the 'herbs' sign on my herb patch says 'toilet'. We can no longer eat those herbs, grrrrr!

    I hope you walked down the street with pride in your slippers :D


  6. That is such a lovely present (the plants not the cat poop!)
    It all looks very lovely

  7. We are mountain people too.
    The trough is going to look lovely as it grows and develops.

  8. It's looking lovely! I adore alpines and had a rather similar front garden when e lived in the UK. When we moved here and I actually saw an alpine meadow in the Pyrenees I was bowled over...

    Thanks for your comment too.

  9. Your Mum and Dad have done a brilliant job. The wall looks great and it's such a good place for alpines where you can see and appreciate them easily.

    I love anywhere with mountains too, I lived in Austria for a while and spent quite a bit of time in Cortina.

    Have a great weekend.