Six on Saturday: Jobs to be done

The garden has looked quite beautiful under its white blanket this week, but now that the snow is receding, I think it is reaching a low point for the year.

So what better time to think about the what I need to do so that by high summer – and even hopefully by the spring – our garden will once more be a delightful place to be. That’s why this week I am joining in with The Propagator’s Six on Saturday meme by listing the jobs to be done.

  1. Replanting the lawn

IMG_5225The snow has done me a favour this week by covering up the unsightly mess I created the week before when I finally tackled the bare patch of lawn under the trampoline. But with the temperature rising I am going to have to decide what to do about this.

IMG_5171See that brown patch at the top of the picture – that used to be our lawn. I was planning to reseed it, but it is so dire that I am now considering having the lawn returfed (sshh, don’t tell Mr Carrot). Either way, first I am going to have to get rid of the creeping buttercup which has taken over beneath the fence and had covered this part of the lawn. Once the lawn is reestablished, I can redefine the flower beds and create a new shady border under the fence.

2. Planting up our front garden allotment

IMG_5275This winter we had these four metre square raised beds built in our front garden, replacing some overgrown shrubs. I have had fun planning what to put in them – there will be a cut flower bed with the Gertrude Jekyll rose that can be seen in the top right hand corner of the furthest bed, sweet peas, ladybird poppies and cornflower; I am also going to try a Three Sisters bed, planting sweetcorn first, then adding beans to grow up the corn and squash – the three vegetables complement one another in terms of what they put into and take out of the soil. In the bed nearest to the front door I have already planted some Solent Wight garlic and will add some radishes, carrots and potatoes (if there is room). The fourth bed will be for leafy greens and around the edges I will plant nasturtiums and calendula.

3. Creating a play area

IMG_5256This corner of our garden is rather odd. There is a raised bed with nothing in it except a large bay tree, which means that nothing else can grow here. Last summer I put some old Ikea children’s plastic furniture up here in the hope the Little Weeds would use it as a den, but it didn’t seem to appeal much to them. This summer I am planning to hang a hammock from the pergola and maybe grow some wildflowers underneath. Any other suggestions are welcome.

To the left is a collapsed compost bin. I have another slatted wooden bin which needs to be put together and then I can turn the compost and hopefully find some good mulch at the bottom of the heap.

4. Tidying up the terraceIMG_5249Here is a wider view of the terrace at the end of our garden. At the moment it is a bit of a dumping ground, but this year I have visions of tidying it up and adding some rattan garden furniture, a fire-bowl and pots of Mediterranean flowers.

5. Prune the rose arch

IMG_5250I have already pruned the roses in our front garden but playing out in the snow reminded me that this rambling pink rose over the archway also needs some attention.

6. Create a welcome

IMG_5273The snow has put an end to the delicious scent from this daphne near our front gate, reminding me that it is time to tackle the overgrown flower bed behind it and create a “welcome” for visitors. I have visions of a pastel bed with a pale pink “Cuisse de Nymphe” rose and David Austin’s new pale lemon “Vanessa Bell” rose. I first saw the latter with my mum at last year’s Chelsea Flower Show and have asked her to buy it for my birthday next week. It will also remind me of the garden at Charleston farmhouse – Vanessa Bell’s country retreat – where I volunteer. Around these I want to plant lots of blue irises and pink dianthus, another Charleston favourite.

To find out what is happening in other people’s gardens on this third day of March, pop over to The Propagator’s blog and check out the comments.

24 Comments Add yours

  1. n20gardener says:

    I like those raised beds in the front garden, What a good way to deal with the slope. Can’t wait to see them as they develop. I’m planting nasturtiums in an old sink and hoping they will run riot everywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always love nasturtiums to begin with then by mid autumn I have had enough and pull them all out!


      1. cavershamjj says:

        Yes! Damn sprawly mess by then.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. cavershamjj says:

    Nice to see you again. I’m thinking of recommending trampolines as an effective weed control. Nothing grows under ours. I can’t wait to get rid of it. Large as it is it takes up a good chunk of garden. A shady corner, but still, a corner of virgin space for new planting. Taps feet impatiently.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks – I think it will be a few years before we can get rid of ours. Need to find a new spot for it!


  3. John Kingdon says:

    Raised beds in the front garden. What a marvellous idea. I’m avoiding making lists of jobs to be done at the mo. Way too depressing. My spring strategy is to stick a cane in the ground somewhere then start from that and work around the garden in a clockwise direction, just tackling whatever I come across when I come across it. Of course, I have strategically placed cans of beer around the garden before I start.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like a plan… one beer at a time 🍺


  4. Paddy says:

    Sometimes the snow can be useful to cover up a mass of things that need doing!
    Those raised beds look incredibly sturdy, so hopefully whatever you plant in them will do well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Those raises beds are a good Idea!
    How about a fairy garden for the children? I’ve always wanted one myself! Or your hammock idea is a good one. Sandpit? One school I worked in had a ‘treasure area’ where children could make/take things too. I loved that idea too. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fairy garden and treasure area are great ideas, thanks. Not sure if you can see it in one of the photos but we already have a sandpit which is built into the middle of the terrace and was here when we moved in (very popular with local cats!)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Jim Stephens says:

    Those beds reminded me, I must plant some Lollo Rosso lettuce in the garden this year as well as on allotment, very ornamental. What’s the significance of carrots and calendulas, do the marigolds deter carrot root fly?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To be honest I liked the alliteration plus the idea of growing veg and flowers together. Marigolds are good companion plants for beans to keep off aphids, while I think the garlic should deter carrot fly.


  7. tonytomeo says:

    There is that word again, “allotment”. Someone explained that he had one in a place that was comparable to our community gardens. (People who live in the dark redwood forests rent small, fenced parcels in town to grow vegetables and such. There is plenty of sunshine and water, but no deer.) Is the front garden allotment just like the garden in the front yard?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Here in the UK an allotment is a patch of land hired from the council to grow mainly fruit and veg – I am just using it as a shorthand for a place to grow these in my front garden 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. tonytomeo says:

        But a front garden is part of the same property as the home; yes?
        It is interesting how space is utilized there. The neighborhood where I went to high school used to be suburban, with good sized gardens, single story homes of ranch architecture, and low suburban fences. The area is being subdivided into smaller parcels with very high homes and very high fences. The smaller gardens art too shaded to grow much. The home I lived in still there (although developers REALLY want the parcel it is on), but the fences on all sides are ridiculous. There are at least twice as many people living there than there were in 1985, but I do not know who any of them are. I only hear from them when they want to complain to me about something about the old house that does not fit into the new gentrified urban lifestyle.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes our front garden is part of our property so not really an allotment at all. (I have my name down for a council allotment but the waiting list is at least two years.) We live in a very old county town where space is at a premium, so housing is fairly high density, although we are lucky to have a decent sized urban garden.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Like your raised beds! They lokmace

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks – can’t wait to fill them!


  9. Ali says:

    ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ is gorgeous, isn’t she? And Vanessa Bell seems very appropriate! I love your raised beds – what a great use of space in a front garden!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks and yes I love ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ – such pretty flowers and a wonderful fragrance!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. fredgardener says:

    All people love your raised beds and they are right! What a good idea ! I planted a climbing rose last autumn and I want to grow it horizontally. A new challenge to me. Next pictures this summer ( I hope…)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Lora Hughes says:

    I’ve been vacillating over what to put on my arch trellis now that we’ve moved & you’ve sold me on a climbing rose. Your garden looks great, even in the snow!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks – much work to be done. Now for some warmer weather to get going with it. Hope you enjoy making your new garden your own.


  12. byrnejudy says:

    Very good idea to create a welcome at the entrance to your garden

    Liked by 1 person

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