Monday, 17 January 2011

The Garden : Part One

Our Garden : January 2011
We moved into our house in June last year and we have done next to nothing to the garden.  It's a nice spacious garden with a small paved area, two huge trees and some grass.  When we moved in, the centre of the grassy area (I won't call it a lawn) was home to a circle of mud with a couple of flowers in it.  The guinea pigs ate the flowers and we levelled out the round 'flowerbed' and grew some grass seed to cover it.  You can see where the bed was in the photo above - the slightly brighter green area.

As I mentioned last year I bought an Alan Titchmarsh book and have been reading lots about gardening.  So far all I have planted is some tulip, daffodil, snowdrop and crocus bulbs and they are just peeping through the soil in those black plant pots in the picture above.

Seeing as I spend a heck of a lot of time in the garden making beads in my shed I figure it'll be nice to have a lovely garden to gaze upon whilst doing so.  The previous occupiers appear to have had some kind of addiction to mail order catalogues and the postman delivers at least one new shopping brochure in their name on a weekly basis.  They range from holiday and gift brochures to swanky knitwear, jewellery and cosmetic booklets.  Anyway, the publication that arrived last week was the Spring 2011 Sarah Raven's Kitchen & Garden catalogue.  It looked pretty so instead of filing it in the bin I saved it and on Thursday night I opened it and had a flick through.  I loved it and on Friday night I placed an online order for some seeds.  On Saturday morning I was looking on the web for instructions on how to make a raised flowerbed and yesterday we went to Homebase and I bought some more seeds.  I am now raring to start our garden revamp.

So that up there is our garden.  Think of the image as the 'before' photo.  Like when overweight women pose for before photos in a magazine and they've clearly been told to wear their scrottiest underwear, not to put on any make-up, not to brush their hair, not to breathe in and to try and look as miserable as possible.  Yes, this before photo of the garden is the equivalent of that - a boring, bare garden on a rainy Monday in January.  It couldn't look any worse.

Come with me and let me give you a little guided tour of our garden .....

To the left and back, just out of shot is a little area where we keep the wheelie bins.  To the right, out of shot, is the guinea pig hutch.  You can see a white rubble sack behind the bird feeder.  No, you're mistaken.  I know it looks beautiful but that's not a modern minimalist Bag Garden.  It is in fact a white rubble sack filled with soil that was removed when the shed base was put down.  Weeds have taken to it and they now live in it ... but not for much longer.  Behind the weed-garden-in-a-bag is the compost bin.  Then we have my shed where I spend a ridiculous amount of time.  On the right hand side is the Little Green Shed which houses my propane, guinea pig hay and bird food.  As we move down the very rickety and annoyingly messy fence (it's the neighbour's fence) you can probably make out some green mesh.  This stops the guineas getting under the aforementioned rubbish fence.  Then you're back on the patio and those black pots contain the flower bulbs that I spoke of earlier.

That's it.  Very basic but I reckon it's got potential.  We haven't got grand plans as I am a novice gardener and will be learning as I go.  Chris has said he'll help me build the flowerbed and he will mow the grass.  Apart from that I don't think he's that fussed about planting, weeding, pruning and flowers in general.  So I think the garden is going to be my little project.  I'd like to get rid of the gravel border and put a raised flowerbed along the left.  It's got to be raised to stop the guinea pigs eating all the plants.  The bed will start at the edge of the patio and will run all the way up to where our fence ends.  Half of this bed will contain vegetables and the other half will contain flowers.  My flower seed purchases include sweet peas (to grow up the fence), poppies (one of my Mum's favourites), trailing lobelia and some honesty.  I know the honesty won't flower this year but I really like the little seed pods it produces.  I will be getting some more flowers - I would just love a big mish-mash of colour and lots of different types.  Then so far for the vegetable department I've got courgettes, spring onions and lettuce.

I'm also planning some kind of shelving and I'm going to fill it with little pots of herbs along with some chillies and tomatoes.  This will stand on that patch of gravel to the left of the paved area. Some pot gardening is also on the agenda and I'm going to give broad beans a go.  I've got some marigolds, limnanthes, nicotiana and alyssum to put amongst the foody plants to attract the helpful insects and repel the not-so-helpful ones.

Obviously I will get some more seeds and bedding plants as time goes by.  I'd also like to grow strawberries and possibly a blueberry bush but the first thing we need to do (I'm involving Chris here) is stain the fence and build the flowerbed. 

So that's our garden.  I will keep you posted as progress is made and hopefully you'll see the garden change from the metaphorical miserable grey-pants-wearing one into a happier, brighter and tarted-up-with-make-up-on version of its former self.


BeadyPool said...

Oh how exciting a blank canvas to put your own mark on. Enjoy pootling in your garden in the next year - it's one of my fav past times.
BTW I have a large pot with a blueberry in bush in (make sure you have erichinacious compost - acidic one) with strawbs planted around the outside - works like a treat. Yummy Vxx

SilverNikNats said...

looking forward to seeing the after shots!

Sue Doran said...

I'm really looking forward to seeing how the develops! I grew some honesty from seed the year before last and it looked lovely for absolutely weeks last spring/summer.

I saved the seed pods and have tons of seed. It's best saved fresh but I'm sure some will still germinate. (I sowed some as soon as I harvested it) but if you'd like any more, I'd be happy to pop some in an envelope for you.

Caroline B said...

Lucky you, whatever you do in that garden, it will be all your own work and so satisfying.
I've got a couple of blueberry bushes at the bottom of our garden straight in the soil and have had good crops for the past three years - they are pretty easy. Nothing better than having homegrown berries on your cereal in the morning!