Gardening is like life — sometimes good and sometimes not so good. There are things you get right and others you get wrong. But what’s for sure is you never stop learning. So I thought today’s blog might be a progress snapshot of my garden as it is today — an end of term analysis of its rights and wrongs. It’s actually the end of our first year at Flintstones — how time has flown.
When we came here, this rock garden was a depressing side alley lined by dank ferns that soaked you as you walked past. We transformed it with a one-tonne load of red Derbyshire limestone, some heavy lifting and stage-by-stage planting to inject colour. Big progress!
I have failed miserably with lupins. They are a flower my Mum and Dad grew in profusion but they are struggling here. Its partly our alkaline soil but also our voracious slugs and snails. More acid feed and better protection needed. Or maybe abandon this particular ship.
Undoubtedly, it was replacing the rotting wooden posts that held back the big central terrace. We did it with oak sleepers standing vertically and fixed in place with concrete. A slate path finishes the look. That’s progress!
A few contenders over the months but, here and now, it is a new rose called Nostalgia. Its colouring and shape are absolutely exquisite. It’s a cutting rose but thus far I haven’t been able to bring myself to deprive the garden of even one bloom!
Got it wrong
The pink shrub rose Bonica was a star plant last year. And the newly-planted salmon coloured standard Lady Marmalade is glorious. But why oh why did I plant them side by side?! The standard is on the move list for next winter.
I invested in a solar-powered dripper system when I bought the greenhouse. It feeds from a rainwater barrel and should deliver sustenance every hours during daytime. It seemed a good idea for holidays, but so far hasn’t been reliable. And if you can’t rely on it, its useless,
I gave up on a petrol mower because of the need to carry it up and down our steps. Cables for an electric mower would be endlessly frustrating. So I invested in a Bosch rechargeable and it’s a revelation — easy to carry and manoeuvre, high quality cut and 40 mins cut from one charge. Plus is came with two batteries.
Hedge cutting is my most hated job. It’s hot and filthy work, and the hedges on the top path are so high that it all falls on you. But I can’t put it off for much longer!
It has to be the lawn. It had reverted to a field when we came here. Last year’s cutting started the process but there were bare patches. I over-seeded it in the spring, and regular mowing has started to eradicate the tougher grasses. I threw caution to the wind and applied my dodgy DIY skills to creating a brick circle.
I love growing stuff from seed and (even better) from cuttings. With a new greenhouse, cold frame and an outdoor “nursery” area I now have all the tools. These sweetcorn plants are getting away strongly in my raised veg bed and are bound for the allotment.