Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Front garden design complete

I'm a bit behind with the blogging. We actually finished the front garden 2 weekends ago, but have been so busy with other things that I didn't have a chance to show you the final result. Firstly, the 'before' photo, from March 2009.
The front garden previously had no structure, ie. no paths so walk anyway meant standing on something growing, very random planting, some nice plants, some I wasn't so keen on. As it is south facing, I knew it had the potential to be more productive and attractive, and hence the redesign.

And here is the final layout of the new design.

Clearly I haven't done a lot of planting yet! I kept things like the rosemary and sage bushes, and dug out a lot of bulbs which I put temporarily in pots; I'll replant them in autumn. There is a bed all around the edge, ie. with the Frances & Simon, our neighbours front garden, and along the sidewalk. The trellis is for the pear trees that you can barely see as they are only one year old maidens. I will be growing these as espalliers so the trellis is for training them as they grow.

The middle bed has broad beans, towards the house, and some lettuce at the front end. I've scattered some eschscholtzia californica 'mikado' (californian poppies), calendula (basic marigold) and cornflower 'black ball'.  In the middle of the obelisk is Helenium 'Moerheim Beauty' which flowers after the poppies and cornflowers.  I'm hoping ths will be a warm contrast of yellowy-oranges and dark auberginey-blacks over a few months.

I'm finishing with a arty picture I took of the Prunus early evening yesterday, looking up through the beautiful flowers and reddish-green leaves. Just so pretty.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

A busy Easter in the garden

Despite the weather at the beginning of Easter being utterly crap for most of us in the UK, it slowly improved and in the end Kevin and I got a lot done in the garden.

Firstly, the back garden. Though tradition dictates that you plant your potatoes on Good Friday, that wasn't going to happen this year for too reasons. One, none of the beds either in the garden or at the lottie were ready. And it was bucketing down with rain all day, probably to the disgust of my friends in drought-stricken Melbourne.

However, the skies improved and we got a few hours of the magical sun shining upon us. Honestly, living in England has taught me why ancient peoples used to worship the sun. It also explained why when I first lived in London in 1992-4, I found the moment the sun came out English people would rush outside, and in many cases, strip down to 35 degree clothing when it was only 15 degrees. I get it now. Hey, I'm one of them. Well, I rush outside, I'm still not sure about the stripping down though. I think English people are tougher than ex-Aussies.

So, the taties. Here is a cheery photo of me preparing a bed, and then Merlyn coming along to inspect the work. I've only planted the 1st earlies so far, Red Duke of York, Pentland Javelin, Linzer Delikatess , plus Will, which is an unknown.

As usual when digging in the back garden, I was visited by my very friendly robin who gets incredibly close, like only a foot away from me at times. I'm assuming it is the same one as they are territorial. I guess it knows that when I'm in the back garden, I make it easy for the robin to get some quick treats. Isn't it a cutie patootie!

The major work of the weekend was in the front garden. which I am redesigning. And I must make it clear, much of the really hard work was done by Kevin.
Even though he is incredibly busy getting lots of Green Party stuff sorted for the upcoming local elections, ie. fielding phone calls mid-digging,  he also found time to do some serious raised bed building. Am I lucky or what? I'm lucky. And here is the partially finished result.
It's only about half done so far, but a pretty impressive half done if you ask me. See my lovely obelisk in the middle? It will look even better when I have french beans growing up it. I got the woodchips from a local tree surgeon, Dan, who did some work in the garden for me last year. He mentioned he often had lots of woodchips to get rid of, so with a £15 donation to Helen House, I got a massive pile of woodchips delivered which are now paths between the beds. Bargain!

Still got the beds around the edges to do. I ran out of the wood stainer for the last planks, so they will need to be done in another couple of weeks. However, I do have a bed all ready for planting. If it doesn't rain tomorrow, in will go some broad beans and lettuce.
So at the end of Easter Sunday, here is a very happy Gwenhwyfar.

Merlyn's belly

Merlyn not impressed I took a picture half-way through his daily belly clean. tee hee.