About me and my garden
My name is Sali Morris and I live in a beautiful, mountainous area of Wales. We’re blessed with a mild, though famously wet climate, and a long growing season. I rarely have to worry about frosts. I'm very lucky to live in such a lovely place, and I like my garden to reflect this beauty whilst still retaining its individual personality, so I let some native wild plants in on purpose!
A lovely orange Welsh poppy, Papaver Cambrica, one of the native plants I happily allow into the garden.
We're lucky to have a very mild climate. Years ago, before global warming was an issue, frosts nearly always came late and left early. I only lost plants if we had a hard winter with snow. Lately, the weather seems to have lost the regularity of its old patterns. Sometimes, plants survive which really shouldn't and at other times an exceptionally cold spell means that we lose favourites which have been with us for years.
A gorgeous rich purple Iris ensata at the edge of the pond.
In fact a hundred and fifty years ago there was quarry on our plot!If the weather isn't too much of a problem, despite our famous Welsh rain, the land itself, here on the edge of Snowdonia, can be quite challenging. My garden is on a slope and full of rocks and slate. The soil is fairly thin and stony.
So in terms of plant selection, the mountain soil can be limiting, especially when it comes to growing some of the more hungry plants we like to see in our gardens: roses and the large-flowered clematis, for example. On the hand honeysuckle, old roses and clematis montana grow really well.
Helichrysum italicum, the curry plant, with our Belgian Shepherd dog and the washing! I love the silver foliage of the curry plant as well its strange scent. The yellow flowers are particularly beautiful in bud.
The soil of North Wales isn't infertile, of course, although it is often quite acidic in this region. Together with the wet climate, it's ideal for a wide range of British native plants such as buttercup, dandelion, dock, chickweed, goose grass (cleevers), creeping grasses and horrendously persistent bindwind.
Like most people, I wage war on these particular weeds because they stop me growing other plants that I prefer. But I also nurse a slight guilt about not giving them garden space! They are, after all, just trying to survive like the rest of us. And I do allow Welsh poppies, native primroses, daisies, foxgloves etc to run riot and compete with me, the gardener!
Why I love it!
Despite all the difficulties, the clumps of stubborn weeds, the overgrow, blotchy roses, invasive perennials and areas of bare ground, I can still go out into my garden on any day in the spring or summer and rejoice in lovely combinations of plants, individual gems, glorious scents and the amazing buzz of hundreds of bees. And that is magic!
Hydrangea macropetala: our soil is basically acid, but there are little pockets that are alkaline, possibly due to liming or dumped building waste. This hydrangea was pure lilac blue in the pot, but as you can see is now much pinker!
Blue Geranium himalayense peeping through the magenta flowers of Geranium "Anne Folkard".
Why a blog?
I'm not an expert professional gardener. I'm an enthusiastic amateur who has been gardening for over forty years. Although I'm sure I could give advice that would help less experienced gardeners, I am mainly interested in sharing knowledge and ideas and communicating with other gardeners.
I love the sight of the Japanese anenome, Anemone japonica, when it appears in late summer, although I've noticed that happens much earlier than "in my youth".
So I hope people will read my blog and post their own comments and ideas. That way I should be able to improve my own gardening!
Sali's Magic Garden is still under construction. Coming soon: My Blog and pages on Garden Design and Favourite Plants. Please visit again!