When we moved into our house four years ago, we were really excited to make it our home. While the house is still a work in progress (more on that later), the garden is pretty much finished, bar a tree, some shady plants and a lick of paint. This is what it looked like before:
This is how it looks now:
We put bark down in a bid to reduce mud in the house (Poppy likes to weave through the plants!), reduce weeding and slug attacks. We’re also working on improving the grass, as it’s patchy and has its fair share of weeds. We also need to buy a tree, probably a hawthorne, for the border above, as the birds like having somewhere to rest. The seeds sown at the back of the garden haven’t really worked, so we’re going to plant some ferns and shade loving plants there, and maybe some more grass. Poppy jumps up at the cats walking along it, so it’s probably for the best. The back of the house needs a lick of paint, as the white walls blind you whenever you go outside and we’re in desperate need of new table and chairs. But the other night, we sat out on new deckchairs and it was bliss! I can’t wait to see how the plants grow and develop.
The beds beside the patio are also finished, though we’ve filled one with pebbles to put pots on, which still need sprucing. The other looks like this:
I’d like to say a huge thank you to What You Sow for sending me some new gardening gloves! My other pair were worn through in the fingers so were useless but these new ones are awesome and were excellent at protecting my hands from all the digging!
All we have to do now is keep everything alive. Fingers crossed! What do you think? Not bad huh?!
For those of you who know me personally, or follow me on social media, you will know that the garden has been an annoying issue since we moved in three years ago. When we moved in, the garden was overgrown and contained a delapidated old shed & a fence near collapse. Well, not any more it doesn’t! We spent most of last year clearing the weeds out. This was a massive task. Mainly because if you weren’t out weeding every weekend, they grew back, thanks to the Great British summer weather we enjoyed. The weather also took control of the fence & brought it down. So we knew we’d have some work to do this year. We cleared the old shed, took the remaining fence down & set about getting a man in to sort it all out. And boy did he ever!
We now have a complete fence between us and next door. The wall at the back of the house is now solid & you can no longer see through it. The Silve Birch has been trimmed so it won’t grow into the wall or the shed. We now have a shed that doesn’t leak, doesn’t have massive holes in and is no longer the Spider & Snail Convention Centre for the South East. We still have a lot of work ahead of us, including a million tip runs to get rid of the left over stones & rubbish. We need to cut borders in & build some raised beds. And the weeds are coming back! Rude! So we’re hoping for some dry, warmer weather to get out there in our wellies & make it happen. I cannot wait!
We’ve lived in our house just shy of three years – blimey time goes fast. We spent a lot of time & money working on the inside. From insulation & damp proofing to painting & wallpapering. We also had to buy a lot of new furniture & thanks to our taste of one-off pieces, we didn’t have much money left to finish the inside (which we still haven’t!) let alone get to work on the garden. So, sadly, the garden has been somewhat neglected for quite some time. Look at how sad it is 🙁
For those who follow me on Twitter will have read about the constant battle I have with the neighbourhood cats who have confused our little patch of dirt with their litter trays. I get a lot of advice about how to takle this but our aim is to get a dog – yeah, that’ll show em! Sadly it won’t be a pug, unless we win the lottery, in which case we’ll get enough pugs to form an army. But because pugs about £1000 & are rarely up for adoption, we won’t be getting one just yet. Anyway, before we can head down to Dogs Trust or Blue Cross, we need to get the garden sorted.
In order to get the garden sorted, we need:
A new fence – the length of one side of the garden.
A new shed – our current one in the picture is being held together with cobswebs & snail trails. (Not kidding).
A wall repaired – you can see through it in places *sigh*
New borders dug in – the grass has no boundries & needs to be put in its place.
Raised beds – so that I can grow lots of veg.
Plants. Lots & lots of plants.
So. Just a small job then. Combine the amount of work with the cost & the shocking weather we’ve had this summer and you’ll understand why it’s looking a little sad.
We’ve done sooooo much though. All the borders have been cleared, and continue to be cleared of weeds. My OH has removed the collapsed fence & dug up a number of plants & shrubs that were beyond saving. We’ve spent hours clearing it & hurt muscles we didn’t even know we had. I long for the day when gardening doesn’t include aches & pains for a week and that it will just be pottering around, harvesting veg & cutting back plants. I can’t wait for gardening to be a lovely past time, rather than a massive chore. I know it’ll come, but there’s still so much to do. This weekend, while digging up a root ball, I actually wished Ground Force was still around! So if anyone wants to contribute to the Crafty Chai garden fund, just let me know! x
A little while ago I wrote a blog post about the plants I’d put in the pots in my garden. I wasn’t entirely convinced it would work, especially the salad. But, after all the rain and the little glimpses of sun, my salad has grown so much it has to be eaten!
I think the salad plants really like the rain. I would’ve picked some yesterday but it was raining! I am so pleased that this worked as we eat a lot of salad at Crafty Chai towers. So hopefully this pot will keep us going quite a bit throughout the ‘summer’! I have no idea what the salad plants are but they are quite tasty and each of the different plants have their own distinct flavour. My neighbour gave me quite a good tip to help protect them slugs & snails. Smear vaseline around the top of the pots. It’s really worked well, though I always forget I’ve done this & get covered every time I touch the pots!
Sadly, the cherry tomato plants aren’t coping with the rain quite as well. The toms in the picture above aren’t from the garden. I’ve got lots of flowers on the plants, which is good, but they look a bit bedraggled from all the rain. They, like the rest of the nation, need some sunshine! I’ve got my fingers crossed that it’ll come soon. Home grown tomatoes are lush.