Helen's Garden Renovation Project

Sunday 26 May 2013

More like a garden and less like a building site

Filed under: Progress — Helen @ 3:13 pm

I am continuing to plant between the stepping stones. This morning I decided that I might as well install one of the remaining square stepping stones myself, as it can’t be seen from the house and won’t look bad if it’s not perfectly aligned. As usual, I covered it with seed trays to stop myself stepping on it while the mortar sets. Also as usual, I took a long time doing the job, but I’m moderately happy with the end result. I think that, with practice, maybe I am getting slightly better at it.

Stepping stones and planting in far left corner

Stepping stones and planting in far left corner

This is what the whole area of stepping stones and plants looks like so far:

Stepping stones and planting - wider area

Stepping stones and planting – wider area

And I think it looks pretty much as I imagined it. The main problem at the moment is that the cats are digging a lot of holes in the area, so I am having to leave bits of crazy paving all around to help to prevent them doing it. The cat scarers probably have some effect, but they don’t completely work. As the plants expand, this will stop being a problem.


Friday 10 May 2013

The toad and the azalea

Filed under: Progress — Helen @ 2:29 pm

I missed my annual planting of an ericaceous plant on the anniversary of Dave’s death because the prolonged cold weather meant I wasn’t ready to plant anything. So today, on the third anniversary of Dave’s funeral, I planted a red dwarf azalea and put a stone toad next to it.

The toad, the azalea and me

The toad, the azalea and me

I know it is very difficult to see the azalea because it is so tiny, but it is very young and it is meant to be a dwarf.

It has been very windy today and yesterday, and the scent of the apple blossom wafted around as I dug the hole for the azalea. The lilacs are out, and so are other people’s wisterias, and yet the camellias have not finished flowering yet, and even the magnolias have not quite yet shot their bolt. This is the prettiest early May that I remember for a long time.


Sunday 5 May 2013

Belated spring planting

Filed under: Progress — Helen @ 11:24 am

It is no longer freezing cold every day. I had thought that when the weather warmed up, we would then get loads of rain and still wouldn’t be able to do any gardening, but I was too pessimistic. This weekend and last weekend we have had a lot of dry weather, and I have been getting on with filling the areas around the stepping stones with plants.

Planting between apple trees

Planting between apple trees

The plant midway between the apple trees is an Acca sellowiana, or pineapple guava. I grew it from seed. I also have an Acca in the front garden, but I bought that one as a plant. So far, neither has flowered. To the left of the Acca is a peony, which has been sitting in a pot for several years. I have also planted five winter-flowering heathers to give a bit of interest outside summer. I decided not to think too much about how to allocate my low-growing perennials to the gaps between the stepping stones. I am just going to plant things somewhere, and see what does best where, and move the plants about later if necessary. I am using thyme, Vinca minor, Saxifraga x urbium (London Pride), Phlox subulata and Geranium sanguinem to start with, although I haven’t planted all of these yet.

Tomorrow is going to be the hottest day of the year so far (23C), and I plan to plant some more things in the morning, so I will have to make sure they are very well watered. After that, I will have dramatically fewer pots to water, which will free up lots of time for huge amounts of weeding in between my newly planted plants. Sigh.