Making plans

It’s starting to feel spring-like at last. In contrast to the photo I posted two weeks ago, the gardens front and back are looking green and full of potential. We spent an hour or so yesterday afternoon out in the sunshine looking around and seeing what’s coming up, while getting a feel for what we might do with the space we have.

We have always had a fair idea of what we want to achieve in the front garden. The edging between what was once a flower bed in front of the house, and the lawn which has now taken over the bed, will go (we will probably re-use it) which will move the centre of the garden from the position where the monkey puzzle tree was, to slightly nearer the house. This will be the centre of a small, roughly circular bed with the ceanothus in the middle. Around that will be gravel, linking to the drive and making it easier to get up the drive when there’s a car parked there. Against the front wall of the garden we have the flourishing rhododendron, a rose which has seen better days but may be rescue-able, and a potentilla which is slowly emerging from its winter sleep. We will have scope for more planting along the fence with next door, and in the bed near the house. At the moment we have lots of sedum, daffodils and tulips showing themselves, and most excitingly the first dark red shoots of a peony. This will be under the living room window, and I can’t wait to see what it’s like.

Round in the back garden, there are fewer plants showing up (though the flowers are finally opening on the daffs). We do have three little primroses which I liberated last week from a site where they had naturalised in a huge garden (it’s soon to be ripped up by developers, so I did the plants a favour). They’re in the bed by the path just now but will no doubt move at some point – I just wanted to get them in the ground quickly. Otherwise it’s pretty much blank canvas, apart from the cotoneaster and snow-in-summer in front of the greenhouse.

The sunny weather yesterday and today has meant that we’ve been able to see what is getting sun at this time of year, and at what time of day. The front garden is is shade in the morning and gets full sun in the afternoon, while at the back the border alongside the path seems to get the sun all day. The bottom end of the garden gets virtually no sun at all, and the bit between the greenhouse and the back wall of the house gets some sun mid to late morning. The middle part, which is mostly lawn, gets the afternoon sun. So we will have to bear these things in mind as we decide what to plant where. The old sand pit, which I want to turn into a herb bed, is in the shady bit near the house which is a bit of a concern. On the other hand, the bed alongside the path will make a fantastic nectar bar to attract bees and other pollinators, so I’m pleased about that.

It’s also pleasing that the sheds and greenhouse are going to be usable. We have fixed the greenhouse door, and now it needs a good clean and two panes of glass replacing. There’s a nice sturdy potting bench which will stay, but I think the rickety shelves will have to go. Both sheds also need a good clean, and a coat of Ronseal (or DIY store own brand equivalent), along with re-felting their roofs, but otherwise they seem sound and it will go a long way to saving us money if we can just patch them up and get a few more years out of them.

At the moment, we haven’t started on anything because of J’s hand – he impaled his thumb on the Splinter From Hell several weeks ago, we thought it had all come out but then it started getting infected, and another huge chunk came out the other day. It does seem to be getting better now, but apart from the risk of getting dirt in it, it has been very painful to use (even writing or turning a key in a lock has been difficult) so there won’t be too much happening till it’s healed a bit more. I may start getting some plants in the ground soon, though.

Hoping you are having good weather. Happy gardening!

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