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Louise Ireland, My Garden (RG30)

Styles: Allotment or vegetable plot, English cottage, Suburban

Soil types: Clay

Soil drainage: Moisture-retentive, Well-drained

Soil pH: Neutral

Light: Full Sun, Partial Shade

Aspect: South

Exposure: Sheltered

Hardiness: Hardy (H4)

Cottage garden consisting of shrub roses, perennial wall flowers, hardy fushias, clematis, winter jasmine, tree peonies, iris, ferns, hostas, lavenders, penstamons. Walled on two sides, pyracanthus hedge on the 3rd side. Shady at the back due to large fir and blossom trees in adjacent neighbour's garden. We have a beautiful bramley apple tree in the centre of the lawn, as well as a golden delicious tree and a cox apple tree. We also successfully grow raspberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants and gooseberries in the semi-shaded area at the back. The garden has been inherited from an elderly couple who owned the house previously. Lacks some structure and we struggle with a very dry, hard bed underneath the pyracanthus hedge. Patio and walls are at the end of their life, but we make do and make it as charming as possible, as there's currently no money in the pot for a revamp!

Louise Ireland's garden plan

There is not a published plan for this garden yet.


Louise Ireland

Louise Ireland

About me
Having inherited a tired cottage garden from the previous owners of my house, gardening has become an integral part of my everyday life. I'm in my early thirties, married with two ragdoll cats who love the garden as much as I do. I work full-time and spend as much of my spare time in the garden and on our allotment as possible. I have virtually no budget for our garden, so I rely on kind plant donations from family and friends, as well as growing things from seeds, taking cuttings and nursing plants that I buy from the "sick bay" of garden centres, back to health. My garden lacks some structure and ideally I'd love to revamp it and give it a more contemporary look. But until I win the lottery, I will just continue to collect plants and fit them in wherever possible, with the aim to give the garden interest and charm all year round. I've been gardening for 5 years.

Gardening expertise
Very Keen

Biggest gardening accomplishments
Digging out around 20 hardy fushias from all the beds and filling them with far more variety of plants to great effect.

Biggest gardening frustrations
Having inherited a cottage garden, my tastes are slightly more contemporary, but since I have zero budget to revamp, I need to make do and embrace the charm that my garden already has. The garden has a shady area at the back in which exists fruit bushes and trees. The rest is stoney clay soil with no lawn. With no budget I am struggling to think of ideas to smarten up this area, so it tends to be a dumping ground for compost and hard wood cuttings from the trees. I hate it! I'm not very brave when it comes to removing a perfectly good plant which just doesn't work in the space, and replacing it with a more bold planting scheme. So my beds tend to look spotty and jumbled.

The gardening project I am currently working on
Tidying up our allotment is the priority this year, since it's all about labour and very little to do with spending money. The garden gets tended to as necessary, but it may have to wait a few years until our financial situation is a little rosier, befor


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