Sunday, May 10, 2009

In the garden

At last we are enjoying some pleasant spring weather that has lasted a whole weekend! It's been very intermittent, with rain and clouds and single sunny days - but yesterday and today it has been lovely.

Sally, my mother, does lots of work in the garden throughout the week, weeding and tidying. Last weekend I mowed both lawns and trimmed the hedge. Our hedge adjoins the neighbour's so we always do both hedges (both families). Thing is - my extension lead doesn't reach all the way to the end so their hedge is only 3/4 done. Oh well!

Would you like a quick tour of my back-garden? It won't take long - since we built two extensions on the house, it isn't such a big garden as when we first moved in.

At the back there is a patio that extends the width of the house. There is a conservatory too, but it's in the lee of the house, so isn't too hot. Warm in the mornings, cool in the afternoons. Only two sides are glass. It's rotting away - the wood wasn't treated the last two years and now it needs serious repair, or even removal and rebuilding.

The patio has two sets of steps down to the lawn, and the lawn is surrounded by border on three sides, with a shed at the bottom in the middle. We are repairing one of the sets of steps, and one of our cats decided that the rubble bag would make a great place to snuggle. Daft animal!

The strawberry border has taken over what was the leek and bean bed too, so hopefully with the consistent rain and the sun (pleeeeease!) we will have a great crop.

In front of the shed is a small border too, that is planted with potoatoes. Next to the shed is a broken pot - it's actually a toad house. When I moved last year's grow bag (not many tomatoes) there was a toad in residence, so I scooped him and his surrounding earth into a heap and put the pot over the top to keep the earth moist and keep him protected. There's nothing worse than mowing frogs and toads accidentlly when the grass is long!

At the bottom and to the left of the shed is a lilac tree and it fills the garden with its scent. When it has finished flowering, the mock orange blossoms, and that corner remains fragrant. To the right of the shed is my pear tree and this year it has so many small fruits on it, following an amazing blossoming, that I've already had to support one of the main branches. I'll have to reduce them and give it more support, I'm sure.

Down the side of the house where the conservatory is we have a wider part of patio with table and chairs and this is also where I'm doing more vegetable gardening. There is not enough border to plant more vegetables (there are lovely flowers and shrubs down the sides of the lawn) so I am growing a variety of goodies in pots. I have three tubs in the conservatory with khol rabi and broccoli, and outside I am growing more potatoes (in a bag), tomatoes, beetroot, squash, beans, peas (only two plants!) and carrots. I'm not sure how successful they'll be, but I do enjoy getting my hands dirty - the feel of the earth between my fingers (not so nice under the fingernails though).

Hopefully we will have some home grown veg to accompany our home grown pears, plums and strawberries. The wall along the patio has a border on the lawn side and this has jasmine and agapanthaus (I think!). It's a bit wild, but in the spring it's full of bulbs including narcissi, tulips and hyacynth. At the moment it is a soft green carpet of nigella - waiting to burst into flower as 'love in a mist' over the next few weeks.
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