Sometime ago I wrote about our garden and how we had let it get very out of hand. We’re not that keen on gardening but had managed to keep it fairly neat and then we had a dreadful summer where the weather was inclement which the weeds loved but we didn’t. It coincided with us being very busy away from home, and coupled with a certain – I confess, laziness, nature took over. The following year we felt rather overwhelmed by it all, brambles, ivy, weeds (not the flowering sort which bring bees and butterflies) and to be honest, it got worse. Last summer we spoke severely to ourselves; we had the apple tree which only gave us bitter, sour apples cut down, we cleared the raised beds of weeds, we cleared a lot of the ivy and brambles from the side wall and I guess made fair progress, although no doubt to an ordinary gardener it looked a messy wilderness.
This year we realised that we have to make the garden more manageable for lazy and indifferent reluctant gardeners like us. In the back garden there’s a narrow side bed which also has a raised bed in it which contained herbs, and a quince which this year is covered in beautiful waxy red flowers. The raised bed is going to go – mint overwhelmed everything else, The bed is going to disappear but it’s where wild bluebells have started growing so we are pleased to let them run riot in the spring. Along the back wall as far as the wooden garage is another bed which had raspberries, gooseberries and currants growing. The raspberries were becoming more and more feeble – I think they should be replanted every three years which we didn’t, so they will go but the currants and gooseberries will be properly pruned this autumn and we’ll see how they are next year.
On the other side of the garage, and on the other side of the drive leading to it, was an area the previous owners had covered with stone chippings. This was where we had four raised beds and a cold frame. While the children were at home these beds were productive, but even then they were too productive and we always had far more than we could eat, and most of our friends also grow veg so we couldn’t share it with them. Now they need maintenance, the wooden sides are rotting, so we’ve decided they have to go. In their place we’re going to try and grow a small wild flower meadow, by small I mean the footprint of four small raised beds, each about 5×8 foot. I don’t know if it will work, but that’s our plan. One bed has gone and I’m going to sow the wild flower and grass seeds tonight as it’s due to rain.
The outside side wall of the garden is inset with panels and they too have rotted, but the whole length is overwhelmed with more ivy, brambles, creeping stuff, prickly stuff, and annoying stuff. I’ve cleared all the inside of the wall and fence, ready for a fencer to come and replace the panels. Unfortunately, I didn’t realise that the ivy was holding onto the wall as it grew massively, so when I’d cut it free from gripping wall and fence, and when we had a gale in the night, part of it fell over, almost blocking the path beside our house. We got some chaps in with professional equipment who cut down part of the hedge – leaving the unfallen over bit for the birds, and now we have a big space outside our wall where we are going to grow a hawthorn hedge which should be manageable and prickly.
Our garden is never going to be a pristine delight, but maybe we will be able to manage it better, and look more presentable!