We have had a few goes at doing bits and bobs this year but yesterday was the first concentrated “let’s go to the garden centre and buy some stuff then go home and make the garden look different” day. Partly motivated by the need to bury a couple of rats (as you’ll know if you read my other blog) and partly by the decision that the hedge next to the greenhouse had to go, we had a mooch round the garden centre and if I’m honest, didn’t do as well as we normally would. Though I had some money-off vouchers, so that made up for it.
There was a reduced section but many of the things in it were still £20 even at half price, but we did manage to find a rather sorry-looking fern for £2.50 (which will be fine once it settles in), a flowering currant for £5, and a tray of 6 hardy perennial dianthus for £6. We also bought a hydrangea – a white lace cap type – and a couple of lavenders. This year I am going to try and resist the urge to buy bedding plants.
There wasn’t much to do at the front – just some weeding, really – so most of our efforts were at the back. Lots of hedge-trimming courtesy of J, who started off weeding and got side-tracked. We dug up the artemisia as it had got very leggy and the only life was at the very ends of the stems; I took several cuttings so we hope to have another few up and running this summer. The really big change was the hedge by the greenhouse, which we had tried to keep under control but no matter what we did it got bigger and blocked light to the greenhouse. So its time had come. Digging the stumps out was tough going but J managed it (I did help with the last one). The flowering currant and the lavenders have gone in there instead.
Elsewhere I removed a lot of phacelia and pulmonaria seedlings and popped them in pots for now, until I decide where to put them. I also lifted a lavender and a santolina as they were struggling; cut them right back and put them in pots to let them sort themselves out. A few things have started to get swamped by their neighbours, so other things may need to move before the year is out.
The artemisia’s place has been taken by the new hydrangea, accompanied by two handsome ratties. It already has buds so I’m looking forward to seeing it flower. Good news too from the front garden, where there is some new growth on the ornamental sage; and from the back, where we haven’t lost the sarcococca after all. I moved it and forgot I had. The various fruit bushes are putting on lots of growth and the gooseberries are covered in flowers, so fingers crossed for fruit this year.
Yesterday’s photo’s didn’t come out very well so I took some more today.
After some debate we think that this year will be the year for replacing the sheds and greenhouse. With a proper slab for them they’ll last much better. In some ways I’d like to repair the greenhouse but it’s something we have to look into in more detail. The sheds, however, are not going to last much longer. Watch this space!