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.
- Replanting the lawn
The 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.
See 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
This 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
This 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 terraceHere 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
I 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
The 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.