South Park Self

I'm feeling green

I have a very simple philosophy about gardens. The top three things required by a garden are:

1. Lots of green.
2. Shade.
3. Scent.

All else is optional. Which makes it a little difficult in my current otherwise much-loved domicile, because it has a back courtyard rather than a garden, all paved except for the middle bit where for no reason known to cultured humanity the landlord has put down astroturf. Astroturf's essentially plastic colour does not, alas, constitute "green" for the purposes of the above algorithm. Any green I achieve has to be imported, in pots. There are also no large trees in the courtyard, which rather puts the kibosh on "shade" - because of the walls and hedge, the courtyard is in deep shade except for the bits in the middle, which are in blinding, unrelieved sun for at least half the day. I do what I can with small trees in pots, but they hardly compensate. And the whole flock of things in pots has to migrate slowly about the courtyard to follow the sun as the seasons change.

I am thus forced to fall back on "scent", which is in early days. I have jasmine, yesterday-today-and-tomorrow, lavender and herbs, which are surprisingly scented if I brush against the burgeoning mint or basil, but nothing really flowered this season. Curses, foiled on all fronts.

"Green" is coming along, though. Even if you ignore the astroturf. Viz:


My subject line is from The Postal Service, since my car sound system has reached the essentially random collection of bands it files under "The", giving me The Postal Service, The Section Quartet and The Shins in quick succession. We appear to have struck a motherlode of wistful indie.
Ever thought of rigging an awning of some sort? Just a piece of suitably sun-blocking canvas stretched across part of (the centre of) the yard?

Our yard is also mostly in deep shade - being as it is on the northern side of the building, with an outside wall as well. One end of the yard gets sun for about half of the day. The honeysuckle grows rampant there. In the more shaded part we have an old bath containing winter jasmine and varied bulbs, there are also very large pots with a climbing rose, bracken and more bulbs. It's not much but it is green, and flowers - snowdrops over, crocuses out, the daffodils are coming!