Friday, 30 May 2008

Hortus Conclusus

I've been rather admiring of Fr Zs photographs of the Sabine Farm. This is nothing to match, but I can't help loving my little flint-and-old-brick enclosed garden. This is, too, a lovely time of year, though the sunshine today is a bit half-hearted.
For the first time in fifteen months, I have no primroses! The plants seem to have finally decided to give themselves a bit of a break and behave as normal primroses do.
The bottom bits of the walls we think are old; there is a wall on this site from a map of the town from the 17th century. Flint is the local style here in Shoreham, and very pretty it looks on a sunny day.
I do have another problem; there are about eight cats who live in John Street, and all of them use my garden as their toilet! They never let me catch them at it, otherwise it would be waterpistols at dawn. Any suggestions? Besides getting one of my own, I mean—I'm allergic to moggy fur. And though I'd really love to get a dog again, I really don't have the leisure to be fair to it. A dog is high-maintenance, after all, though infinitely worth the pains if one can spare the time.


Sharon said...

Don't just get one dog, get two and then they can be company for one another. If you buy two, short haired small dogs they shouldn't be high maintenance. This will be the only way you can solve the cat problem.

PeterHWright said...

Cats like some open space, especially any areas of bare soil, for this purpose.

Therefore, though a liitle unsightly, perhaps, short lengths of garden cane, sited close together, should be pushed firmly into the ground where they are, er, trespassing, leaving 12" or so protruding. This usually deters cats, without harming them in any way.

Certain plants seem to deter them, but I don't know the names !

I love old walled gardens, and from the photos, this garden looks very pretty indeed.

Unfortunately, flint is not favoured by builders these days. days. It is very hard to cut without expert knowledge. (In fact, it can't be cut, I think. But it can be split.) It is time consuming to sort flints into similar sizes to achieve a level course. And the irregular shape of flints requires a good deal of mortar, always a point of weakness.

Anyone interested in traditional local building materials, brick, stone, flint, pantiles, etc., should read Alec Clifton-Taylor on the subject. And exposed concrete should be avoided like the plague !

Michael said...

Keep a hose pipe attached to your outdoor tap, if one exists, and spray the cats everytime they come into the garden, even if they are doing no wrong. They will quickly learn it is not their territory.

PeterHWright said...

Coleus Canina is probably the plant I was thinking of. Cats don't like its aroma.

Father might like to try planting a few.