Achievement number 1: getting around the DIY store yesterday morning. Normally we avoid DIY stores or garden centres at Bank Holidays because they will be awful, and with this being the beginning of May and the weather starting to improve the likelihood of it being horrendous was very high indeed. And it was, but we survived.
The reason we were there was the need to accomplish Achievement number 2. Mum wanted the no-man’s-land down the side of her conservatory sorted out. It’s a narrow gap between the conservatory and the fence with next door, and it had been a rather neglected spot for some time – full of weeds and bits of concrete. So she wanted it cleared out – she made a start but it defeated her – and gravelled over so that it would at least look a bit neater. We had some membrane already, and some wood we could cut up to make a kerb alongside the fence, but we needed to get gravel. Hence the shopping trip, on the way to Mum’s.
I neglected to get any “before” photos so you’ll have to trust me that it was untidy and sad-looking. Now it looks much better:
And Mum decided it was a good place to put the bay tree in its pot:
So that was a good morning’s work, and we were rewarded with a very good Sunday lunch (thanks, Mum!).
The afternoon saw Achievement number 3 tackled – the winter jasmine. The side of Mum’s garage was covered in a combination of jasmine and clematis which hadn’t been cut back for years and was matted and woody, though still growing and flowering. Back in October before we started tackling it, it looked like this:
There’s a flower bed under that lot but you could barely see it. Our first attempt got it to this stage:
And since October Mum has had the odd go at it herself but it was a bit too much for her. So yesterday, having established that there was a lot of new growth lower down and the jasmine could be relied on to bounce back, we went at it:
The clematis has been left alone for now but may get a chop later in the year, we’ll have to see. There was too much for the garden waste bin so a lot of the cuttings were left piled up in the garage waiting for the bin to be emptied.
Today I’ve had a bit of a potter round our garden. I’ve watered in the first dose of nematodes, and am determined to keep on top of that this year. I’ve also evicted the winter pansies and miniature narcissi from the troughs under the front window. The narcissi have been laid out in the shed to dry and the pansies went in the compost bin. The troughs are now planted up with pelargoniums which I bought as plugs from a specialist nursery near Mum’s house. They came as large plugs for £1 each and are lovely plants – I got 2 each of 5 varieties. Glacis and White Pearl are both white flowered , Stefanie is a salmon-pink, Julian is red and Flower Fairy Berry is a purple. So I’m looking forward to seeing the colours all together.
We had some older pelargoniums which we’ve been nursing for the last couple of years and which seem to be surviving fairly well, so I gave them a bit of a trim and potted them up with some fresh compost and plant food.
Finally I did a bit of weeding. We are still getting sycamore seedlings coming up and I also wanted to get the lithrum under a bit of control. I don’t mind it self-seeding but like to keep it to a few chosen locations rather than popping up everywhere. It looks as though we have a few phacelia seedlings emerging, and lots of self-sown hellebores as well which is nice. One of the hostas is finally putting in an appearance so I remain hopeful that the others will survive too.
It’s starting to cloud over now so I’m glad I got out in the garden this morning while there was still a bit of sunshine. Hope you have had a productive Bank Holiday!