July already, and we've had some amazingly hot days. It's been gorgeous, and I'm developing a Yorkshire tan from all this sunshine. It does mean an evening traipse around with the watering can, and the tomato plants and sunflowers are greedy 'uns when it comes to water.
The front garden's looking disheveled. It's got its bedhead on, and no one's around with a hairbrush or some straightners! This photo shows the upper level, the front being split into two levels from when previous residents flattened the sloping ground and paved it over. (In the background is the not-so-charming sight of many bags of sand and limestone I've removed after lifting bricks. I'm waiting till I've got a skipful before getting rid of 'em. Plus there's a trio of hulking plastic bins. Unsightly, but those wooden 'bin tidies' are ridiculously expensive.)
When I created these flower beds I was in such a rush to get plants - anything green! - into this barren space, so in it all went. Jumbled up and squished together. Consequently it's messy but at least the bees love all the nectar sources.
Having visited some public gardens over the summer, and having watched Mr Montague Don on 'Gardeners World' I've got more idea now of what plants I like and am beginning to understand the theory behind how to plant a successful border. I spent last night chopping up seed catalogues, cutting out pictures of plants I aspire to grow and noting their height. I'm working out what looks best at the back of a border (tall spires like foxgloves and delphiniums), what's of medium height (Achillea, alliums, lavender and Cosmos) and what's compact (Forget-Me-Not, daisies). I've got a colour scheme. Actually, more than one. The upper beds will be whites, purples (from pale lilac through to a deep imperial purple), pinks (from blush through to shocking pink), with the odd blue (such as the Himalayan poppy) and a touch of yellow, but only the softest creamy lemon. (The lupin you can see in the photo is 'Lupinus West Country Desert Sun' and is a beauty.)
On the lower level will be a 'white' bed - home to yarrow (which is self seeding like a maniac), a Cosmos like 'White Knight', some Gypsophilia maybe and I'd love an ornamental grass like 'Bunny Tails'. Finally I'd like an 'orange/yellow' bed - a home for all those vivid look-at-me blooms, such as orange or red Crocosmia, vibrant Heleniums, lots of Californian poppies and Echinacea 'Paradiso'. Plus some Chinese lanterns and a chocolate scented Cosmos 'Choca Mocha'. Oh, and of course lots of sunflowers. I want to grow those outrageously tall ones that you can get nose to nose with from the upstairs windows.
Yup, I've got big plans for a gal with a small budget. But seeds are cheap, and there're worse things to spend your cash on than prettying up your home and providing wildlife with a tasty buffet. Actually, it's turns out I've got loads more seeds than I thought away. The tartan patterned former shortbread tin that I use to store them has plenty, plus I recently ordered a fair few from a £1.00 per pack sale on Forthergills website. I may have to be brutal much later this year and into the start of next, ripping out what I've planted so far and redoing all those borders from scratch. It'd be worth it to get some proper structure in place, and to also make sure I dig in a load of organic materal, to ensure the soil's as good as I can get it.
You know, I don't understand what people who don't garden do with their time ... seriously folks, you need to get 'with it'. It's great exercise, you're creative, you can indulge in a love of colour and texture. What's not to like? Who else has got bitten by the gardening bug? Or maybe you're a frustrated would-be gardener who's got no more space than a window box?
Moved from a garden-less city flat in the South West to a Yorkshire village in 2016. I now have a garden ... of sorts.