I have always been a bit dubious about grasses. Most grass gardens look terrible by the time you visit in July. They’ve gone to seed and presumably they spread relentlessly if you are not on them like a ton of bricks. However, while BD and I were away for a wedding in the Philippines, JR decided to tidy up a bed on the parterre by the Drawing room and Library wing and it looks fantastic.

We had been away for rather longer than planned as BD suffered a heart attack and had to have a triple bypass. Now he is not allowed to do anything strenuous for the next 10 months! This is a little alarming as light gardening is a life saver for us both, but do you know what? I am not willing to put BD’s recovery in peril at any cost. So in order to be helpful and to alleviate the boredom I drove us to every garden centre and nursery in the greater Belfast area to fill JR’s list of grasses. We did need rather a lot and most places could only stump up a percentage of the whole. Still, with perseverance and a little judicial splitting of the plants bought I think we did a great job.

The really big part of the job – digging out the herbs and replanting – was done by JR and KS who led our two interns in the battle against the mess that was my herb garden. The 2 garden interns from Blois university arrived two weeks ago. I will write more about them and their hard work later.

Yes, I know it was my cottage mind set, that imagined it would be great to have the herbs so close to the house, but actually the Walled Garden is the right place to grow herbs. JR and KS are very good at growing herbs and they lets me have pots of herbs when we have corporate events here.











In the bed that used to house my herbs there is now a wavy line of different coloured grasses that will hopefully fill the border in a few years. Grasses seem to have come a long way from the Pampas grass of my youth and if you look at the rather blurry photo below you can see there was plenty of Pampas grass here in 1902! There was a flamingo too!

                                                        The parterre now looks very beautiful and newly done. As a farmer’s wife I have to admit I really love seeing a bit of earth newly dug, ploughed or harrowed. I’m not fussy… much!?!



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