Sunday, 17 August 2014

Garden project.

I got the lawn mower out yesterday, finally, after days of rain and shine and being busy driving up and down the motorway with my husband collecting cars for his garage.  Straight after walking the dogs and still wearing my comfy wellington boots I got out the mower, filled it with petrol and started.
I had my mobile phone in my pocket so I took a few snaps.  I have been looking around my garden for months, watching the flowers bloom and then fade, the rain come and the winds sweep through my tall wispy bouquets of cottage garden colour and flatten them. 

After having the chickens, and missing them terribly after foxy loxy and badger took them, most of my fragile plants are gone, the girls took great pleasure in up rooting them and scratching around in the worms and bugs that lay underneath.  I replaced the plants with hardy shrubs, those that don't need much tending and can survive the inclement summers of the UK as well as the wrath of the chickens.  I found I liked the shrubs.  As much as I love a good potter around in the garden I can't give it the time it needs to maintain that cared for look that all the gardens around me have, mainly because they have a dedicated paid gardener and my garden has me!
Thyme from my step fathers garden.  If only I had some time to plant it where I need it to go, around the back door where Defi jumps on Iz and between them they crush my lavender to release the scent into the air around the damaged stems.

My old veggie beds, two of which I planted up with cottage garden favourites and they were beautiful.  Butterflies and bees, dragon flies and beetles all flocked to these beds which delighted our Gordy.    

I planted some wild Sweet Peas in with the Clematis against the south facing wall of my studio, I love to watch the bumble bees and the butterflies from the window as I torch my glassy blooms.  I have got very good at catching the butterflies that come into the studio, I love to feel them light and soft in my hand before releasing them out of the door and watching them fly into the sky.  The bumble bees I chastise and point the way, their big stripy bodies hum towards the heavens.  When I was a little girl and terrified of bees my Grandmother used to tell me to talk to them and that they would listen and leave.  She was right.  They do.

My old chicken coop that sits under the big window of the studio I decided to use as my vegetable bed this year, already fenced off it stopped Defi from helping me dig up the not quite ready veg.  The hedge is in need of a cut but my son, who was supposed to be doing it hurt his back a few weeks ago and so the hedge never got done and now he is better its a case of catch up and the hedge is not a priority for the men folk, but then the same men folk don't cut the grass and have to fight off the reaching brambles and nettles.  The vegetable beds became over grown too quickly, I just haven't had the time to tend the garden this year, so I have made the decision to abandon the vegetables and my son has said he will help me to take down the fencing and leave the grass to grow back.

I am lucky to have an enormous garden, but I don't have the enormous amounts of time to put into it, so I have a plan for next year.  The old chicken coop is going.  We don't have a front and back garden as the garden wraps around the house the front (no photos) I started a wildlife garden this summer and the seeds I have been collecting from the wild flowers in the old veg beds will be scattered there. Gordy has enjoyed the long grass and the bees and flies that visit the wild patch and I enjoy watching him watching them and trying to catch the odd fly.  Its exercise for him both mentally and physically and it makes me smile watching my little cat with problems (for those that don't know Gordy is brain damaged) be a cat in his own awkward way.  So that is staying, its easy to keep as it really keeps itself just needing chopping down at the end of the summer.

The veg beds are going.  I am not growing as much veg for the foreseeable future, maybe some spuds in the bags but that's it.  The old veg beds I am planning to turn into raised beds, adding some shrubs or something, although the third one will remain with strawberries and rhubarb.

I would love more roses, the big old English garden ones with heady scent and although we can no longer have chickens due to the midnight raids from our neighbouring foxes and badgers and I miss the movement the chickens brought to the garden so I will be looking out for some big waving shrubs, the kind with large clusters of flowers that attract butterflies, like the Buddleia.

Well, that's my plan, or at least the start of a plan.  I feel that summer is over here, the days although still warm are not the hot and sticky days were getting, which I loved but did mean that Iz Defi and I spent a lot of time at the river, time that I could, or should, have put into the garden maybe?....


  1. Your garden is lovely a Buddliea will look great in it and the bees and butterflies will love it.
    I also talk to the Bees and Bumble bees that get stuck in our house they usual follow the directions out. :)

    1. Thank you Vic. I have a huge Buddleia, big purple one, on the corner of the house at the front and I get some gorgeous butterflies, the white one on the gate from the other side of the house to the rear of the garden is only new in this year so we had a few white clusters but not many butterflies.

  2. Looks gorgeous Laney! Do you want some Californian poppy seeds? I have yellow and orange. Hydrangeas are my recommendation, very pretty, flower longtime and great big blooms to bring in for decoration :) x

    1. Yes please Kat :) I had some big Poppies this year and I loved them so lots more for Gordy's wild garden would be brilliant :)

  3. nice, love the descriptions and look forward to updates - will try to save some seeds from our sweet peas - the scent from them is fab, Glad to hear Gordy is enjoying some cat time in the garden

  4. I enjoyed your post-gardens do take allot of work-and I don't have the back for a large space any more-my little fenced in veggie garden worked out really well for me this year.
    we enjoy our wildlife too-always busy busy-hugs

  5. What a great plan friend! And your garden is amazing! I love the idea of having a wildlife garden! Keep us posted on all of this....I love what I see already!!! Nicole xoxo


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