We have recently moved to a bungalow we are renting for a year or so, and I thought it was time to introduce the new garden. Above is a photo of what the garden looked like when we moved in.
As the move is temporary, most of my plants are staying in pots. With the ME being pretty crap at the moment, I have given thought to how I can most easily manage all the pots and gardening in general. I’ve been reading Anne Wareham’s new book The Deckchair Gardener (a review is forthcoming). It has already helped me clarify my thoughts on parring back gardening tasks to a bare minimum, whilst maintaining the health of both my plants and myself. I’m taking to heart her challenge to be brave and question Do I have to? As a spoonie, there is a lot to be said for being a deckchair gardener.
The garden is north-facing, the sunniest place is in the top left corner. So reflecting upon all this, I have created a temporary garden for my pots. This consisted of putting down some mypex, then bark, then the plants, and voila!
I believe this arrangement, containing (tee hee) most of my pots to one area and thereby making it easy for me to do watering, should help with this. The mypex and bark will stop grass and weeds growing up around them. There is no moving them in order to mow, which would have been the case if I had just plonked them down on the grass.
The garden did have one long thin border, much of it choked with grass and weeds (right). I had my gardener, Andrea, dig these out, and I’ll be making this a herb and strawberry border, with a few perennials dotted between to give a bit more interest and height. The herbs include Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Blue Lagoon’ and Thymus x citriodorus ‘Golden Queen’.
At the shadier end of this border, I’ve placed the pots containing plants that like more shade, direct on the soil. I have added a few favourite plants such as Primula Veris and Fritillaria meleagris, plus herbs that are happy in light shade such as Viola odorata and Oreganum vulgare ‘Aureum crispum’. The plants in the ground I will all leave for future renters. Apart from anything, every garden should have a few herbs.
A new small border will be added along the back fence to right (again, I’ll get Andrea to dig this), into which I’ll be planting my comfrey, ‘bocking 14’. It’s currently in a pot, but comfrey really needs space in order to really grow so it’s roots can obtain the trace minerals etc that make comfrey liquid such a useful fertiliser. I’ll also add a few stray Digitalis and Stipa tenuissima that could do with a home. Very low maintenance, and the bees will love me. It’s always good to be on the right side of the bees.
One area was a mystery.
Andrea dug out some of the weeds and we discovered there was a Peony hiding under all that grass. I’m guessing the previous tenants weren’t gardeners. We are going to try and tease out more of the weeds, though it’s doing rather well despite them.
Otherwise, that’s it. The rest of the lawn will get a monthly mow and the hedge trimmed, again by Andrea. My main tasks for much of the year shall be a little seed sowing (a few Spoonie Veg in pots), at little weeding, quite a bit of watering (all those pots), but with the hose because it’s easier.
My aim is to be able to enjoy my plants, harvest a few veg, and sit in my comfy chair and enjoy the garden from the comfort of my ‘deckchair’.
My thanks to my partner Kevin and friend J-P for getting up my arch. When the arch is up, I’m home.