Helen's Garden Renovation Project

Monday 29 October 2007

Excuses for lack of progress

Filed under: Progress — Helen @ 2:06 pm

The trouble with gardening blogs is that if you don’t write any entries for a while, people complain. In summer it was my ex-manager, and you might think that there is no need to take any notice of ex-managers, but you never know; I might want a reference. Now it’s one of my aunties. So I think it’s about time I wrote about my excuses for not doing enough garden renovation.

Excuse Number 1 is that I have been involved in another renovation project. This involves the areas of grass and shrubs in among the development of six houses where I live. The good thing about this renovation project is that someone else is doing it, and not me (actually Alborough Garden Design, but don’t click on the website link if you are using Internet Explorer and Microsoft Vista, or Internet Explorer will shut down and you will have to start it up again. Firefox works). The bad thing is that I have the job of working with the landscapers to produce a planting plan that is low maintenance, won’t go over budget, and will be reasonably acceptable to everyone. I am taking the strategy of trying to get the neighbours to criticise the plan before it is implemented, rather than afterwards. None of this is as easy as it might sound.

Here is the evidence for Excuse Number 1.

Renovation of Moorhaven Land

Excuse Number 2 is that I have been doing Garden Renovation that is not in the Plan. This is poor project management and inevitably leads to slippage. But take a look at my side border, which now has climbers and things in it.

Planted side border

The climbers are, going away from you, trachlospermum jasminiodes, jasminum officinale, jasminum nudiflorum (winter flowering jasmine), lonicera x tellmaniana (honeysuckle) and hydrangea petiolaris (climbing hydrangea). I have also planted some blue crocuses, Queen of the Night tulips, and some bright purple tulips. I planted tulips years ago in the front garden, but they only lasted one or two years before they were never seen again. This time I have planted the tulips very deep. We shall see.

Excuse Number 3 is that I didn’t want to disturb the frogs.

Tiny frog

However, I had to clear out the pond a bit because tomorrow the forecast is for very cold weather, and today isn’t too bad. This is what the pond looked like before I pulled out about 500 kg of pond weed. I am really looking forward to getting the new pond built because it will be well away from any deciduous trees, unlike the existing one, which is right under a silver birch.

State of the pond

Excuse Number 4 is that I have had unbelievable demand for my services as a maths tutor. With the amount of work I feel I am doing, I should now be able to afford a greenhouse with gold-plated windows and bags of diamond-encrusted compost, but I just haven’t had time to get on with the preparation.

So today I have done a little bit of weeding, and some leaf gathering, and a bit of tidying up, and all I can do is to keep doing a little more, until eventually the garden goes to sleep for the winter and I can catch it unawares.

Before I sign off, just have another look at the annual border. It’s all long since dead now – except that wonderful alyssum that just does not know when to stop. And I for one am not telling it.

Alyssum in October