Monday, 1 May 2017

Making plans for the garden, and a return to blogging

I've spent most of this bank holiday weekend trying to get the garden under control.  As you can see from the photos above, the garden has become a bit overgrown and neglected.  It has the bones of a good garden but for several reasons last year I hardly touched it, which has meant some borders are overrun with hellebores (and their giant leaves), nettles or weeds.  The lawn is very patchy, a vine has grown so wild it has strangled (and killed) a beautiful choisya in the main border, and a dogwood tree has grown so tall I don't even know what to do with it.  The paths and patio are covered in moss, the decking, fence and pergola were badly damaged in the recent Storm Doris and needs to be replaced, and the shed needs some repairs to the roof.  

The only thing I've done to improve the garden was to book a tree surgeon to prune the huge cherry tree in the garden.  It was much too big and meant that 75% of the garden was always in shade, making it difficult to grow some plants and causing the lawn to be patchy and full of moss.  The canopy of the tree is now much more in proportion and is letting the light back into the garden.

I'm kicking myself that I let the garden get into such a state, but last year my priorities were elsewhere and there was little time or inclination for anything else.

So, my plan is to do it in small bite size chunks.  

I'm going to try and tackle it for 30 minutes at a time.  Thirty minutes is short enough to fit into a busy weekday schedule, and long enough to tackle one job at a time.

I have a list of things that I need to do, some of them more pressing than others:
  • get the small curved shaped border thinned out, it has become overrun with hellbores;
  • plant out some favourite cottage garden flowers, such as lupins, delphiniums, foxgloves, sweet peas and dahlias;
  • clear the paths of moss and weeds
  • clean the patio
  • repair the shed roof 
  • tidy the border under the living room window, which gets full sun, and choose some suitable plants to go in
  • dig up the roots of the choisya, and replace with another shrub (possibly another choisya or perhaps a ceonothus, we had one in our last garden) 
  • plant up some tubs
  • renovate an old bench I bought, which has seen better days
  • paint the garden gate
  • replace the broken fence panel
    There are also some bigger jobs that need a bit of planning:
    • plan what to do with the damaged decking and pergola
    • get estimates for replacing it
    • repair the lawn
    • buy and install some garden lighting
    I'm already nervous about the amount of work ahead but hopefully doing it in smaller chunks will help make it more achievable.  Watch this space!

    I've enjoyed my prolonged break from blogging, but just recently I started to miss it again.  The blogging world has changed considerably since I first started 10 years ago, but even so it's still cheap therapy and an enjoyable hobby, and that's enough for me. 

    So although there won't be any international gallivanting (unfortunately!), fancy photo shoots, or award-winning blog posts, there will be the occasional ramble about parenting, gardening or life in general and the odd photo here and there. It'll be lovely to have your company again.