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"The kiss of the sun for pardon,

The song of the birds for mirth,

One is nearer God's heart in a garden

Than anywhere else on Earth"

 




The Stephen B. Cox Garden of Spirituality is constantly  undergoing development and harmonic improvement. At the moment however it includes the following:


Herb Garden & Statues

This is a a long rectangular raised area with a low brick wall, situated between the Orchard/.Fruit Garden and the BBQ Patio.square area.

1.Salad burnet.   2.Chives.   3. Welsh Onions.   4.Orange scented Thyme.   5.Winter savoury 6.Snowdrift Thyme.   7.Bressingham Pink Thyme.   8.Creeping Red Thyme.   9.Silver Queen Thyme.  10.Lemon Variegated Thyme.   11.Foxley Thyme.   12.Oregano.   13.White Rosemary.   14 Iceringa Sage.  15.Tricolour Sage.   16.Sage.  17.Roman Chamoamile.   18. Double Chamomile.   19.Woodruff.   20.Curry Plant.   21.Mace.   22.Feverfew.   23.Catmint 24.Spearmint.   25.Black peppermint.   26.Italian Parsley.   27.Cotton Lavender.   28.Cotton Lavender vireus.   29.Digitalis.   30.Fennel.   31.Angelica.   32.Blue hyssop.   34.Creeping penny royal.   35.Sorrel.   36.Chicory.   37.Lavender compact/Devonshire.   38.Sweet rocket.   39.Horseradish.   40.Echinacae pupurea.  41.Heartsease.   42.Marshmallow.  43. Comfrey.


The Herb Garden is completed with:

a three tier fountain;    two ancient Greek style statues;   four scented mini-cypress trees; and fuscias. There are also spot lights at night on the statues, and solar lights lighting the paths.

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Salad vegetable garden & cold frames

There is a very large vegetable garden between the perennials bed & kitchen patio and the greenhouse and its flower beds. This is surrounded by an evergreen hedge of privet. On the long side are set two wooden arches with clematis rambling over therm.


Inside the garden is a broad grass path for access. The garden is surrounded by a low wall of breeze blocks on edge. The garden is divided into five plots, each with a species/theme, division being made by concrete paths.


It being the first year of construction and with still two plots yet to be converted form deep field type grass and weeds, production has been limited: Courgettes;  Sweet Corn;  Spinach; and Curly Kale.

 

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Pond 

Is a large star-fish meandering shape edged in with medium and large rocks. It is raised about one foot above ground level. 


Fish: There are over 70+ cold-water, comprising:

Green Tench;    Gold Fish;  Yellow Comets;  Golden Rudd;  Silver Rudd; Metallic Koi; Red Shubunkin;  Blue Shubunkin; Yellow Shubunkin; White Ogon; Blue Panda; Ginnrinn; Bubble Eye;  Fantail; Honey Orfe; Blue Orfe; Stickleback. This year (2016) 25 fish were born in the pond..


Frogs: There is a colony of frogs. The ones from Reading were transferred to Wiltshire. The spawn was introduced 6 years ago and in February 2011 the survivors (9)  reached adulthood and produced their first spawn. There are now many small froglets hopping around. This year (2016) Newts were also added.


Wildlife: The pond is further graced with:

Pond skaters;  Pond snails; Dragon Flies;  Damsel Flies; Nymphs; Water beetles.

In 2013 the first Waterboatman appeared..


Plants: There are a variety of water plants. (deep water, and marginal). There is also a flower beds  all around the pond, one section being given over to a selection of grasses in different heights & colours, as well as irises and such plants in another and bedding plants at the front.


Fountains & Statues: There is a fountain in the middle of the pond, and also a human statue fountain in the shallow end. A medium size Buddha statue sits in one section of the pond, and around the margins various small statues and ornaments enhance the shallow margins and flower beds.


Seating & Lighting: There are chairs beside the pond to enable relaxation, meditation, and fish viewing. There are also two parasol to shield from high heat and also a side table for drinks, books.


A range of solar bollard lights, and also small solar spotlights magically bring the pond to life at night in a gentle manner. 

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Wildlife

Whilst the garden is planned and tended, with bedding plants organised in drifts of colour varying through the seasons and with some hard landscaping give thematic structures, Stephen Cox has been careful to organise things so as to create a haven for wildlife. This includes the following:


Bats: These live nearby and swoop across the garden every night.  Boxes have been put up but have not yet been occupied.

Field Mice: There are several familes of  field mice (also called wood mice). These are the creatures with very long tails, and tend to move in a hopping type motion rather than the scurry of the house mouse (which has a shorter tail).

Butterflies: Careful planting of flowers and herbs attractive to butterflies and moths means that a variety come to the garden. So far these include: Small White;   Peacock;   Red Admiral; Orange Tip;   Comma;   Blue (not sure which specie); Small Copper;    Tortoiseshell;   Speckled Wood; Brimstone; Gatekeeper;  are all regular visitors.. This year (2016) The Painted Lady made some appearances.

Moths include: Red Underwing; Yellow Underwing; Cinnebar; Hummingbird Hawkmoth; White Plume; Brimstone;

Voles: several colonies of these live in the garden. They have short tails and are slightly bigger than the mice.

Bees: A variety of bees feed on the herb garden and some of the flowers. The species have not been identified, but at least 4 different types. Plus the solitary Mason Bee (also called the Mortar Bee). These use the  boxes put up for them to lay their eggs.

The 7 Bee Boxes (with a viewable lid) so far has not been occupied.

Insects: A large variety of insects adorn the garden including: Dragon Flies; Damsel Flies; Lady birds; Hover flies; Mosquitoes; Hove Flies; Stag-beetles; Pond skaters.

Birds: The regular visitors (and nesting) include:  Robin;   Great-Tit;   Blue-tit;    Greenfinch;    Chaffinch;   Black Bird;    Nuthatch;  Long-Tailed Tit;  Coal Tit;   Sparrow;      Wren;   Pigeons;  

Ocassional visitors  include: Jay;   Crow;   Woodpecker;   Owl;   Magpie;   Goldfinch;   Bullfinch;     Sparrow;  Song Thrush;   Nightingale;  Pied  wagtail; Starling;  Goldcrest; many Swallows swoop over the garden.


Moles: There is a network of tunnels all over the front side and rear garden.

Shrews: It is not yet known if shrews live in the garden or simply are brought in by the cat from the fields.


A Badger visits.


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Orchard and Fruit Garden

A large orchard and fruit garden is surrounded by a low hedge of Escallonia Donard. So far planted are:

A large old Apple tree. Plum Tree;  four Cherry trees;  five Blueberry Bushes; five Redcurrant bushes;  five Blackcurrant;  5 Black Grape bushes; Cranberry bushes; and Strawberries. There is also a: Two Olive trees; Fig Tree; Sweet Chestnut tree; Hazelnut Tree;  and Walnut tree

At the back of the orchard a hardwood arbour bench is situated between the two cherry trees.


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Benches and Seating Areas

 

He feels that a garden should be, among other things, a place for reflection, silence, meditation. And a place to watch and listen  other life, and the rhythms of nature. As far as possible other creatures take precedence- for example if a creature is drinking then there is no movement or sound until it has finished and so on. Worms, ladybirds and other creatures are carefully placed away safely if they have a mishap etc.


There are five benches in the garden. Three of these have arms and the seats lift up to reveal storage. There is one in its own arbour looking down the length (160 feet) of the garden. Another is situated in its own paved secluded area between the vegetable garden  and greenhouse with formal flower beds The third sits opposite across the other side (75feet) of the garden between the herb garden and dining/bbq patio. There is also a hardwood bench in the orchard/fruit garden, and another one behind the summerhouse looking across the field to the hills. .


There are two other seating areas: one a bird sculpture stool next to the waterfall. Then there is a padded relaxer chair up on the kitchen patio overlooking the length of the garden.beside the pond.


Beside the pond are deck chairs, a recliner and side tables for quiet contemplation of the fountains and the pond.In the summer there is a table and chairs, two chairs, and a sun-lounger.


On the second (bbq) patio is a hammock and table and chairs.

 




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items to come next:

Waterfall. (four stage/levels) in stone

Three other free standing Fountains.

Garden furniture (table & chairs; deck chairs; recliners; four parasols; hammock)

Exotics Garden

Shrine/Buddha low walled meditation area. with pebbles and slates in green and plum

Birdhouses.

Bird baths & Feeders

Insect/butterfly houses.

Formal rose and scented garden with paved walkways and  sundial and fountain. 

Alpine  Garden

Grasses Garden

Greenhouse 8ft x 10ft high eaves 

Perrenials Garden

Heather Garden

Statuary.

Woodland.