Extending the Spring walk

Last year the spring walk gave me so much pleasure that I decided to extend it last autumn so that now it is at least half as long again as it was before.  Even more pleasure I hope!

In autumn 2013 I enlarged the back border by straightening the path and making it slightly narrower.  I couldn’t have been more pleased with result.

Standing by the fig where the Spring Walk ended last year

Standing by the fig where the Spring Walk ended last year (today)

So last autumn (2014) I continued the straightening process, past the fig, to a point where the border meets the boundary fence.  This isn’t the actual boundary of our property as previous owners, who had dogs, had fenced the garden cutting off a part which is on top of a tuffo outcrop.  I hope the image helps you understand how this works.  Under the tuffo outside the fence is what was once, probably, an Etruscan tomb but which had for many years been used as a stable for animals with a manger all along one wall and drainage, lighting etc.  Sadly it is too damp to use for anything, a case of wine lost their labels within a month or so of being put there so now it has just a few plastic pots – but I digress.

The bed now extends to where I'll put the arch and then further to meet the olive tree

The bed now extends to where I’ll put the arch and then further to meet the olive tree (today)

At the point where the path meets the fence I’d like to put in an arch with or without a gate to reach the area outside which isn’t flat but I might be able to use in some way, if only I could think of how!  As it isn’t fenced outside animals can reach it so I don’t think it is suitable for bulbs and the soil is very shallow so nothing large would grow there.  But again I digress.

There is just a small curve where the bed meets the fence

There is just a small curve where the bed meets the fence (October 2014)


I would put the arch where the two fence posts are close together

I would put the arch where the two fence posts are close together  (October 2014)


The gravel will extend to the arch even if you can't actually walk under the arch and out the other side

The gravel will extend to the arch even if you can’t actually walk under the arch and out the other side (October 2014)

I planted more tulips and Dutch Iris, Allium and Anemone coronaria and moved some clumps of Muscari.

Muscari  (that I moved) and new Dutch iris which are already showing their shoots

Muscari (that I moved) and new Dutch iris which are already showing their shoots

I bought one pack of a mix of tulips, the same as I’d used along the rest of the path then mixed in 25-30 bulbs of packs I’d bought separately, creating I hope an interesting random mix; the rest of the tulips where planted in drifts of each colour among the mix to give swathes of concentrated colour, we’ll see how it all works in spring.

For a taste of things to come, here’s the spring walk in April 2014.

April 2014

April 2014

Are you making plans for changes to your garden in the coming year, if you are, do share your ideas.

31 thoughts on “Extending the Spring walk

  1. Can’t wait to see that spring walk in all its glory again Christina! I planted a lot more bulbs last autumn too, including lots of summer snowflakes which did so well last spring. But with fresh snow on the ground I find it hard to believe right now that anything will ever grow again! Have a good weekend!

  2. I love changing bits of my garden although much of it works well after many years of re-jigging so there’s less opportunity. I do however have plans for a major redesign of one large bed and this post has reminded me to take photos before I start work. I shall of course blog it in three stages-it’s to be a cutting bed using perennials to add to the one on the allotment. Roll on spring then we can all get going again. Love those tulips and grasses together.

  3. The mix of tulip colors is stunning; you have an artist’s eye. Here, we’re getting our ducks in a row to build a porch, so no garden progress planned for the next few months. There will be plenty to sort out when the builders are finished, however.

    • Last year this gave me such pleasure and I can’t wait for the tulips to start flowering this year, so far there aren’t even any shoots, so I’ll have to be patient.

        • I can understand your not wishing to encourage badgers into the garden; we had them here and it was difficult to stop them coming back as it seems our garden is part of their learned path. They can do a lot of damage.

  4. I loved your spring walk last year so I am looking forward to seeing the extended version. I have copied your idea but ours is under trees and we only managed to get things cleared back this year. We just did not have enough time to get anything interesting planted.I’d like to keep it with a natural feel to it with spring woodland plants, if possible, as there is too much shade for summer flowers. Bit by bit! Amelia

  5. Lovely idea to have a Spring walk. I thought your tulips looked stunning on your Spring posts last year. I am afraid I am always too mean and don’ t buy enough to make an impact.

    • I feel vindicated in buying tulips because most are perennial here AND I don’t have to dig them up each year. If I had to do that I would instead plant them in pots, you can achieve a good concentration of colour for not a great cost. Peter Nyssen’s prices have risen but are still very resolvable if you buy 50 of one variety (great impact in 2 pots) and his tulips are excellent quality.

  6. Well you know my answer to your question…yes, yes, yes, and yes….lots of changes coming. What a delight to see this walk again with all the tulips and to see your extension. I can see a gate there that will look fabulous.

  7. The Spring walk looks beautiful – I especially like the mix of grasses and bulbs and the drifts of colour of the tulips. I like your idea of creating an arch between the two fence posts. Even if you were to put a decorative, faux gate between the two posts, it would extend the garden beyond the fence line and add a certain air of mystery to that area of garden

  8. I can understand the desire to plant every inch of usable space. Your spring walk was beautiful last year and I’m sure it will be even more so this year. I’d plant loads of tulips if there was a chance of reliable bloom here but I’m concentrating on projects with a better likelihood of success: filling out the blank spots in the front garden, creating a screen between us and our neighbors at the bottom of the slope, and addressing the gaps left in my other borders by plants that failed to live up to their potential. I’m committed to doing more with the open area I have near the street too. And then, there’s always more lawn to be removed…

    Best wishes with your project. I look forward to seeing how it evolves.

    • You projects are on a much larger scale than mine; my garden is more or less completely planted now, what I am doing is tweaking areas that were very well considered at the beginning or that I have changed my mind about. Our cold winter this year is a timely reminder that I cannot grow many of the plants that I would wish to when I read about them and see them in your garden.

  9. I’d forgotten how wonderful your Spring Walk looked last year with all your tulips, it will be even better this year if you have added more and extended the border. Tulips don’t like my soil, so I planted loads in pots one year, and put them on the balcony to try and keep the voles and mice away, I even covered them with netting but something managed to dig down and eat most of them, I have almost given up!

    • Oh! that it a shame Pauline, but you have so many other beautiful plants and bulbs, you’ll just have to enjoy those that are shared on blogs. Don’t the other bulbs you have get eaten too? or it is just the tulips that are liked?

    • I think with the much colder weather this winter all the bulbs will be later, but of course I may be wrong because the tulips need cold and so may be earlier! That’s what I love about gardening – the unexpected things!

  10. An Etruscan tomb in the back of the yard really does have an exotic sound to it! Not everyone can have a tomb path.
    I’d forgotten how nice the spring walk was last year with the tulips and anemones. Now I’m really looking forward to seeing the changes and I hope the tulips have fattened up and multiplied!

    • I’m happy if they just return each year; very few actually multiply. There are Etruscan tombs around every corner here. I love the fact that this area has been lived in for at least 3 thousand years. I imagine them using the hot springs in the area and paintings in some of the famous painted tombs show them growing grapes and olives so nothing much has changed.

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