We have two gardens, front and back. The front garden is what I lovingly call a wildflower meadow but really is both wild and domestic. At the moment it is covered in bluebells. Beautiful. There are also three fruit trees: pear, apple and plum.
The back garden is much larger. The photo below shows my view from the kitchen sink. The building to the right is our garage. This is Richard's hideaway when I am in a bad mood. To the right would be a lawn with climbing frame, bordered by redcurrant and blueberry bushes
I spent a great deal of time in the garden this Spring, partly because I have more time but mostly because I feel inspired by Leanne over at Today's Stuff and CJ over at Above the River. I am not a natural gardener and up to this year, a trip to the garden centre and a flurry of activity lasting a day and a half was followed by a long summer of neglect. I like flowers and I have tried to establish mostly perennial flowering plants because I am lazy. I never really thought about our soil or the wind and sun exposure in various parts of the garden. It is no wonder then that most of my choice plants failed to thrive! There were a few robust ones that continue to hang on.
This year, I decided to renew my efforts a bit less haphazardly. I prodded the soil to see what it looks and feels like under the weeds. I observed the sun as it moved over the garden. I paid attention to the wind. There are some very exposed sides in this garden of mine. Then I dusted my Royal Horticultural Society plant guide and methodically worked my way through it, sticking pieces of paper between relevant pages (not trusting my memory). My selection would require a garden the size of Kew Gardens but I narrowed the selection down by checking the list in the back of the book to see what would thrive where.
Then I tackled my two flower beds. Last year I did absolutely nothing and all was overgrown by a very vigorous buttercup variety that spread at the speed of light and probably replaced all my existing plants. I noticed that it was already emerging fast and spreading some more back in March and I declared a full on war on the plant. It is quite pretty but I really wanted a bit of variety this year. I spent a day pulling all the emerging buttercups up and I continue do to so once a week. It is persistent but I am, too. With space to breathe, some of the old perennials have been making an appearance. I also did a good amount of digging and working in compost from Richards pile, wondering where our compost went before I took an interest in the garden.
Thus prepared I ventured out to visit our little local garden centre, hidden away down a wee lane behind supermarket. It is a funny place, half of the shop premise is full of dog paraphernalia: baskets, toys, food and whatever else a dog might need for comfortable survival. The other half and all the outside is dedicated to plants. The shop is staffed by two guys who are both knowledgeable and helpful. They have a plant stock that is suitable for the West of Scotland climate, which is useful. The selection is good but not so overwhelming that choice becomes impossible. We chatted about my garden and some of my plans were shelved, others made. I was told by the fatherly shop keeper, who called me hen (as shop keepers often do in these parts of the world) that some of my plant choices were not suitable for our climate and I was given alternative suggestions. I came home with a small selection of flowering plants, which I gradually planted over the past few weeks. Some will only be flowering next year but that's ok.
I also sewed a selection of annual flower seeds in various trays and pots, and I planted a bag full of ranunculus claws. I have no idea what these might be called but they do look like claws. To my amazement, everything germinated, leaving me with dozens of seedlings. I spent a few weeks thinning them out and yesterday I transplanted a selection into little peat pots. This is so so exiting! I moved the ranunculus babies outside and most of the 15 little plants are now in the borders around the garden. Some don't look too good but others seem ok.
The snails and slugs probably think they are in paradise with all those fresh and tender plants around. I have no mercy.
I am really delighted with my progress and I am even more delighted that I haven't given up yet. I spent the evening pottering around the garden last night and enjoyed it. It is an all new sensation and I hope it lasts until at least the summer holidays.
In the meantime, thank you so much for visiting and leaving lovely comments. I am happy about every single one and try to respond in the comment section, assuming that you will see my replies. I hope you do! Have a lovely day tomorrow. Cx