We moved into our Durham garden in 2005. We live in the Sands, looking north, with a fine view of the East Coast mainline. It’s north-facing, sloping, with 4 mature Silver Birch, a Leylandii, and a quarter of a huge Scots Pine. It was already a mature garden and I inherited a lot shrubs.
I also started a course in arboriculture at Houghall College. This informed my views and direction a lot.
I removed the rhododendron, spotted laurel, and a few other functional but unexciting low-maintenance shrubs. I’ve planted a lot of chaos in its place. It’s about time I made a list.
Arum maculatum (Lords and Ladies, … and many others)
This is a surprise. It has appeared underneath a blackthorn. Not sure how it propagates, but I didn’t plant it. Lovely to see it anyhow.
Crataegus monogyna (Hawthorn)
A native species, with high wildlife and chaos value. It instantly appealed. I planted a lot early on, with no real direction or plan. It is joyously inconsistent. It’s all over the garden now.