The last blog entry was almost three weeks ago, just after the May Day Bank Holiday – shocking! It’s not that we haven’t done anything in the garden, it’s more that I haven’t had the time to sit and write about it. We had a weekend off after my last post, partly as the weather wasn’t great and partly as I was still afflicted by a nasty cold and spent a lot of the weekend lying on the sofa feeling sorry for myself.
The following week, though, we had a few days off to do some tidying up, then J’s brother came up from Bristol to help re-felt the shed roofs. He brought his daughter and mum along too, so while the boys did the DIY I took Niece and Mum-in-Law to the garden centre, via the supermarket to see what they had for £2 in their garden centre. I had already bought a couple more of the little cornus for £2 but they didn’t have any more, so I contented myself with a hardy fuschia, and M-i-L bought us a lovely little hydrangea in a tub as a house-warming present.
At the garden centre, I was aiming to get some trailing lobelia for various containers, plus lots of herbs, and anything that was on offer or reduced. All boxes ticked, which was good. Herb-wise, I got rosemary, thyme (2 types), chervil, tarragon, sage, oregano, majoram and chives to go with the rosemary, mint and parsley Mum had given us. I also bought some lollo rosso lettuce which is handy for my packed lunches. In the reduced section we found two cornus (bigger than the supermarket ones) and some wild geraniums. We took advantage of a special offer on herbaceous perennials. I even spent enough to get a free shrub, and chose a Polygala myrtifolia (sweet pea bush, amongst other names) purely because I’d never seen one before.
I’d asked the boys to get some compost while they were out getting felt for the sheds, but once M-i-L and I had planted up the hanging baskets and herbs we’d used the lot, so we went out again and got more. We put a lot into beds and borders straight away, and I finished off this weekend, along with getting all the bedding plants in at long last. Meanwhile on Saturday J painted the back door and dining room window, and yesterday he painted the sheds with timber treatment. We still have lots of challenges, at least some of which are due to what was probably several years of relative neglect; if you don’t sort out the sycamore seedlings when they’re small, you end up with big problems. We have bindweed rearing its head in various places, and I have tried my best to get as much of the roots out of the ground but I’m aware that there’s as much still in there.
The sweet peas are now in pots, with trailing lobelia to keep them company. I’ve also planted up several pots of French marigolds, to stand near anything vulnerable to aphids – one pot will stay in the greenhouse with the tomatoes, and the others are next to the sweet peas and the patio rose.
We still make surprising and welcome discoveries. In order to paint the side of the shed, J had to get the water butts out from the gap between shed and greenhouse. The first one was already almost empty and easy to move. The second, which actually had the downpipe running into it, was an old oil drum with lots of holes, and we had already decided it would have to go to the tip. J bailed out the water then moved it out and started clearing the loose cobblestones, to find a perfectly serviceable crazy paved surface beneath. The oil drum came apart on moving, but the blue plastic butt has gone back into the corner.
I tried taking some pictures yesterday but the sun was really too bright and there was too much contrast so I had another go this morning and was more successful. Front garden first:
A few plants singled out:
And the back garden:
The other two heucheras are starting to produce flower spikes too:
I hope you’ve been able to make the most of the good weather this weekend.