The planting in my own small courtyard garden is rapidly establishing itself - just ten weeks after planting some of the healthiest stock I have ever seen, courtesy of Orchard Dene Nursery, the garden is a leafy haven, with wonderfully coloured perennials picking up the colour of the Cor-ten steel tank and, incidentally, its fish. Bronzy-green Carex testacea, fantastically varied Heleniums and purple punctuations from the bomb-proof salvia, S. nemorosa 'Caradonna' are thriving in the sun and heat, with necessary shade at times from the pleached hornbeams at the end of the plot. These were an extravagance, but worth every penny and stubbed toe in getting their 4m lengths through the house - they screen a pretty ugly view and bring the garden up to first floor level. As the living accommodation is on the first floor, the extended and newly-canopied balcony leads to a view of this flying hedge, and the glass screen to the balcony allows the view to be appreciated from the interior.
The fish have doubled in size during our two-week absence, thanks to our assiduous house-sitters, although I think we are one down in number - Monty, visible in the top photo, is the likely culprit.
Water plants grow exceptionally fast, and I am looking forward to the first water-lily flower. As a novice to water gardening I was worried about algae filling the tank up, but over the past three weeks the water has cleared beautifully, without any intervention.
There will be bulbs to plant this autumn, then the spring show to look forward to after a winter admiring the skeletons of the grasses and fennels that surround the garden.
You can see more images of the development of this garden, from plan through to build, on my website here.