I ate way too much yesterday (all butter cookies and a large bar of milk choccie) which isn't good for the waistline. So today, thankfully, the weather was good and I could get outside and work some calories off. Last year when I moved into my house I made an initial tentative start on the back garden, but it was daunting. I didn't know what I was doing or where to begin, and soon retreated leaving the garden virtually un-worked on. I concentrated instead on covering the terrace with containers, and then had a good go at the front garden which felt more manageable.
However every time I looked out of the kitchen or conservatory windows and was faced with membrane covered with gravel and pebbles, I felt dis-spirited. So dreary and un-cared for. So empty of greenery and wildlife.
This year something's changed and I feel able to tackle it. Maybe it's from having seen a vast improvement in the front garden after all my efforts there. I've given up trying to draw elaborate plans on bits of paper, and instead just dived in. Creating flower beds where I think they ought to be, and not worrying if my idea of a garden doesn't match someone else's idea of a stylish outdoor space.
The photo above shows the view from the paved area (terrace, patio, call it what you will). There're a couple of stone steps down to a short brick path, and on the left is a very modest sized area that was fully covered with membrane and topped with gravel. To the right is a similarly sized area topped with membrane covered with pebbles.
The gravel's gotta go, but I'm gradually creating paths between flower beds using the pebbles. They're a pleasing colour, and you get that nice crunchy sound underfoot. I've dug up endless bits of broken paving slabs, but also unearthed three large, heavy paving slabs that I didn't even try and move. So you can see them in the photo and they ain't shifting. Whether they were laid by a previous resident as a patio, or whether they're a cover for a water pipe that apparently runs under these gardens I don't know. But as I say, they are a non-moveable fixture.
I've re-used bricks taken up from the front garden to edge beds, and - yes, I know - my lines are as straight as a dog's hind leg! I've planted some borage, though it's a bit of trial and error as to whether they'll be happy in that position. It might be too shady for them and the soil too wet. We'll see how they fare. (I've popped several borage plants in the front garden, and I think they'll be better suited in that position. However, if things don't thrive I can sow more seeds next year and try again. Thankfully seeds are cheap and you get masses in a packet.)
These breeze blocks will look much better when I do my DIY version of pebble-dash on them, but in the meantime they'll make a home for these leggy sunflowers which were desperate to escape their pots. I've tied some bamboo sticks into a simple frame to help support the sunflowers, and planted nasturtiums round their base. With a bit of luck the nasturtiums will entwine around the sunflower stems to added height and colour. At least that's the theory.
All in all a good day's work, and maybe a few calories worked off in the process. A long walk tomorrow and a yoga class will help burn off some more. This week I need to move courgette and tomato plants into large tubs and Grow Bags, plus plant out broad beans seedlings that're shooting up after sunny days on the conservatory windowsill.
I also need to google how to care for an Aloe Vera houseplant, as my plant's looking very sorry for itself and far from healthy. Reckon I've over watered it which I bet is a common complaint. Anyone else have luck keeping Aloe Vera plants? If so, what's the secret?
Moved from a garden-less city flat in the South West to a Yorkshire village in 2016. I now have a garden ... of sorts.