What we did this weekend

Because I’ve nearly finished “What we did on our holidays”!

Last weekend we started taking out the last few bits of lawn, and if you’ve seen today’s “A photo a week” post you’ll have noticed that there’s no grass left at all now – much to J’s relief, as he never has to mow it again!

Yesterday morning we went to B&Q and stocked up on gravel, edging and membrane ready to finish the task. Last week the lawn J dug up just became flowerbed but this week we had other plans. We needed gravel around the setting for the washing whirligig, and wanted gravel around the apple tree and to create a new path to join up with the concrete one. After B&Q, I left J to dig up the last bit of grass while I went to Mum’s, to pick up our tomato plants and some bedding plants, and also to pay a visit to her local nurseries – Cramden – which I can thoroughly recommend if you’re in or near Northampton. They specialise in some of our favourite plants, which is very handy!

The main item on the shopping list was pelargoniums, as I wanted some for the troughs at the front and Mum wanted some for her raised beds. We also acquired some penstemons and erodiums.

The afternoon was a busy one. I sorted out the tomato plants – a Nimbus and two Gardener’s Delights – so they’re now snug in a growbag in their plant halos. Then I started moving plants into the new bits of flowerbed. A lot of things were getting crowded out so the new planting space means we can give them a bit more light and air and room to stretch their legs. I also planted up some of the new purchases and some of the bedding plants. Eventually we’d worked ourselves to a standstill with some things still not moved or planted out, so I did a bit more this afternoon until rain stopped play. There’s still some bedding (clary, asters and rudbeckias) to go in the ground but they’ll wait till next week.

Rescued and moved plants include a hydrangea, a sambucca and a mountain pepper (Tasmannia lanceolata) from the middle of the bed by the greenhouse, and from nearby a dwarf rhododendron which we had in a pot for years, and which I assumed had died because I hadn’t seen it for so long. There’s still some moving of bits to do from that bed as there are lots of pulmonaria and hellebore seedlings under all the other plants. I also moved a geum and the geranium Himalayense which was getting very straggly. It’s looking sorry for itself so I hope it bounces back.

Further down the garden, three cornus got moved out from under various other things and nearer to the edge of the new bed. I also moved some vinca, a hebe and the nemesia “Easter Bonnet” which on closer inspection is an annual so getting a second year’s flowering out of it is fairly impressive. A pink scabious has come out from under the gooseberry, and two of the aubretias I planted a few weeks ago have moved too. They’re in a very poor state for some reason and the third one has vanished altogether.

So, mostly general photos today, but a few close-ups because it wouldn’t be one of my blogs without close-ups. It’s pleasing that there isn’t a lot of empty space, really, and we’ve achieved a good deal by moving round what we already had.

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The hydrangea, sambucca and mountain pepper, which should be able to do their thing a bit more enthusiatically now.

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I didn’t plant this

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or this, but they seem quite happy so it would be a shame to disturb them.

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One of the new erodiums – related to hardy geraniums, good ground cover and tolerate poor soils. I’m hoping they’ll spread and help to soften the edge of the flower bed.

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And a few gratuitous close-ups – geum and hypericum, an allium just starting to go over, and pittosporum Tom Thumb settling in well and putting on new growth.

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We’ll probably still need to go in search of a few plants to fill in some gaps, but I’m hoping that a lot of the space will be filled by what we already have. Next weekend I’ll be planting up the troughs at the front with the new pelargoniums, and adding in the rest of the bedding.

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