Monday, 29 April 2013

The April garden ~ planting, painting and planning ahead

The rain has held off enough this weekend to get a few jobs done and so I got on with my garden To Do list because  we all know there's nothing more satisfying than crossing jobs off a list...well, maybe crossing jobs off a list whilst eating cake.

One of the biggest jobs was to apply some wood stain to the shed as it was looking a bit tired, so I shopped around and found a huge tin of 'wax enriched timbercare' in Wilkinsons.

It cost £8 for 5L which is more than I need but at that price it was good value. I haven't used this one before but I've used other Wilko products and they've always performed well, and incidentally Wilkinsons had the best prices for the brand names such as Cuprinol and Ronseal.

This is the shed before staining. I didn't want to paint it with a coloured stain because as much as I like them I want the shed to blend into the garden rather than stand out. The garden's too small for big statements like that.

Applying the wood stain took about 2 hours, not too bad - and once it had dried I planted a new clematis against the trellis.

I bought a Clematis montana rubens from Aldi, a bargain at £4.99 and it was already quite healthy with plenty of buds on it. That's the problem with supermarkets selling plants, you go shopping to buy a pint of milk and a loaf of bread and you come home with a clematis and potting compost. No milk or bread.

Anyhow, I followed the instructions from one of my gardening books and dug a hole so that the base of the plant was 3" lower than the soil level. I put some bone meal in the hole, refilled and watered generously.  I also teased out some of the growth and pushed them gently around the trellis. Apparently it's a vigorous grower with plenty of flowers so hopefully it'll give a bit of much needed colour to that part of the garden.

Then it was time to plant some other favourites that I'd bought at a local plant fair. I love this garden but there are some plants missing that I absolutely adore so I've been busy buying them and finding the ideal spot.

I put the iris in this semi circular bed right next to the seating area because it already has some cottage garden plants such as hellebores, aquilegia and veronica so I thought it would fit right in.  According to the picture on the plant fair stall the flower is a lovely pale blue.

The dicentra spectabilis was planted in a neglected little area, between the shed and the tree. I hope it does well there. I haven't decided where to put the fuschia yet, I might repot it for now and decide when it's more established.

And here's the final result. The shed has been stained, the dicentra and clematis have been planted and I placed this verbena at the front. It had been in the front garden but I think it looks better here.

Anyway, here's where I'm up to with the list:

1.  Clean the patio table and chairs. Done!
2.  Get the new bird house attached to an outside wall.
3.  Give the new lawn its first cut. Done!
4.  Buy some wood stain for the side gate.
5.  Buy (and apply) a light coloured wood stain for the interior of the shed.
6.  Reorganise, tidy and declutter the shed.
7.  Consider staining the shed exterior. Done!
8.  Decide what to do with the raised deck area.
9.  Buy a small garden bench.
10. Hang my lovely Green Man plaque (which I brought with me from the old house) onto the wall. Done!

So I'm making progress. But take a look at the inside of the shed - gah! That's definitely a job for when I have a week off work!

What does your garden to-do list look like?