Well life has taken over and I’m sure some of you have noticed that blogging recently ground to a halt. I’ve been doing a touch of gardening here and there but everything has been left to its own devices for the most part. Most of my gardening has been just planting things out in the borders. I’ve been lucky that because I filled my borders chock full and I did thorough weeding last year in Autumn and again this Spring before the garden started coming back to life again (along with some generous mulching at the same time might I add), the weeds have been supressed and the garden is growing along nicely.
Today’s blog post is a general update of each area of the garden to show you all how it is looking and what was in bloom at the beginning of June and what is beginning to bloom now we’re at the very beginning of July…
You can skip to each part of the garden if you prefer by clinking the links below:
List of gardens:
The Honeysuckle Garden
I last blogged about this area of our garden in May on this blog post. Since then we have built the deck outside the patio doors:
It still needs painting and the pergola will need to be built at some point. We also need to get the jigsaw out to cut all the odd ends off at the edge because it is going to curve like all the other lines in the garden. You can see what it looks like viewed from the garden here:
The deck is a great seating and eating area (we are yet to buy a table and chairs for it) and it is also a great space for displaying plants growing in pots. Some of you may notice the giant lilies I have growing on the deck on the left hand side of the photo (above). I have been using a liquid seaweed supplement to support their growth and they seem to be doing well. Lots of buds, so lots of blooms to come:
I blogged about when I received these lilies and planted them up in their pots. You can read about that here if you’re interested.
Highlights in this area of the garden over the past month or so have included:
The Euphorbias, which were a welcome sight of acid lime green:
The Ceanothus which gave us a sneak peek of its blooming potential for next year:
My aim with this plant is to train this plant climb up the back fence that it is planted next to. It will take some time for that to happen, but with its evergreen cover and early flowers, I think it will look beautiful once it has matured. In a garden that is on the smaller end of the spectrum like ours is, training Ceanothus in this way is much better because it reduces the amount of horizontal space the plant takes up. Plus, you’ll have evergreen cover ala green wall expanse instead of the standard bland fence panel.
Moving on, the Clematis growing up one side of the archway that links The Honeysuckle Garden with The Rose Garden was smothered in large blooms:
I just love the colour of this Clematis. I have since dead headed the faded blooms back to a pair of leaves, so I expect a second flush of blooms soon.
The everlasting sweet pea seems to have shot up and put on so much growth this past month and it is looking glorious in bloom rambling over the archway. I am just letting it do its own thing:
These alliums were one of the first bulbs to emerge this year:
This area of the garden has been growing along so well. Below you can see a slideshow comparison to how it has developed and matured from June 2016 to June 2017:
The planting on the left hand border looks especially lush right now:
You can see that all the Astilbes and the grasses that I divided and planted in the border back in February 2017 have filled out so well! Ours cats love to prance around in the grass as if hidden from view… though they aren’t fooling me, heh.
The Rose Garden
In the past two weeks, the roses in The Rose Garden have truly come to life. All of them are lush and in bloom:
Here is a slideshow showing how this area of the garden has developed from June 2016 – June 2017:
You can read about what plants I gave a hearty chop back to here if you’re interested in seeing more of how that space has evolved.
The cosmos that I grew from seed are just coming into flower; I absolutely love the simplicity of their flowers contrasted with the blousy and exuberant fussiness of the roses.
I planted in these amongst the roses and in the bed amongst the other planting in a natural looking drift, to give the seemingly wild and natural ‘I just grew here’ look I am going for throughout the garden.
In this area of the garden, the lavender hedging has matured beautifully and gives an insight into how all the other lavenders should mature over the next year throughout the garden. They will edge each border and lead the eye around the garden:
Here you can see how I’ve used a mixture of evergreen creepers just underneath the lavenders to fill that awkward join between the hard landscaping of the brick pathway and the beginning of the planting. Eventually, the creepers will spread their way into a mass of lush green carpet which will not only look effective, but will also supress weeds.
Other favourites coming into bloom right now are:
The Edible Garden
Fruits that are growing along well right now and giving us a good harvest include the strawberries (see the strawberry tower, pictured above: you can read my post about that here), the blackcurrants and the raspberries:
My rhubarb doesn’t seem to be doing so well, but I’m not sure why… I’ll keep you posted on that one.
Anyway, I had surplus space in the fruit bed, so I planted some excess plants into the bed to jazz it up. These included nicotiana, dill and dwarf sunflowers; the latter being ones that I grew from seed:
Some of you may notice from the first photo, that the paths around these beds have been mulched with bark. Mr Meadow did that for me some weeks ago and I don’t think it will be necessary to build brick paths all up there now, as we are both happy with it.
In the other bed to the left, I have a mixture of courgettes, spinach, runner beans, sweet potato and purple artichokes. Things are growing along well and I harvested my first courgette of the year the other day:
Next year I will hopefully have more spare time that I won’t need to dedicate to hard landscaping, so I should be able to grow new types of fruit and veg I haven’t tried before.
In The Greenhouse
Things became crazy life wise and similarly greenhouse wise all at the same time. My focus right now has been taming the chaos in the greenhouse (ie, plant some of the plants out, and plant some more, and more, and more…) In short, it all became a bit too much to handle at some points. However, persistent as I am, I slowly resolved the situation bit by bit, and I have only a few plants left to plant out. Here is a photo of the chaos in all its glory from the past month or so:
It is looking somewhat tidier and less frantic now I’ve been steadily planting out as and when I can. I can actually use the pathway properly now anyway, heh:
I have an abundance of tomato plants in the greenhouse with some just beginning to grow fruit but are yet to ripen. I planted one grape vine inside the greenhouse and I plan to plant the other one out in The Blackberry Garden (pictured above, far right: currently a work in progress). Along with that climber, I have a passionflower that needs planting out, but there is still some prep work to be done to that area before planting can begin, so both will have to wait.
Next year should be a good year to use my greenhouse little and often without the frenzy of work this year has been!
The Herb Garden
I had originally planned to blog about The Herb Garden, but time ran away from me, so here it is to show you all how it is looking at the moment:
We have a mixture of evergreen herbs such as: sage, rosemary and thyme which give this bed some structure in the Autumn and Winter. Then there are some tender herbs such as the mint (in the pot due to its invasive nature), oregano and dill. I plan to add more herb varieties into the bed in the future, but for now, I had an abundance of space to fill and a similarly abundance of spare plants, so I added a mixture of hollyhocks (for height) and geraniums to add interest and to suppress the weeds.
I feel like this bed needs some height in the middle for some structure and interest, but that is a long term goal that is on the back burner whilst we work on other areas of the garden next the herb bed which you can read more about below.
The Water Garden
This is a new development in the garden which we have planned for some time. This area links on to The Woodland Garden (bottom) and The Blackberry Garden (right); both of which are works in progress as you can see.
This is currently how it is looking. It still needs to be dug deeper but all the hardcore in the soil makes it hard going. You can see that we uncovered an old water cover, which isn’t a huge surprise because we have a manhole cover in The Rose Garden, which is artfully hidden by a table for potted planting but still allows future access if necessary. Luckily, we decided to go with a pond liner rather than a preformed pond, so we will just simply work with this feature. The plan is to create a shelf around it for marginal planting and then we could put a water bath or bird feeder on it for the birds. In the unlikely event that someone will need access to it, this will still be possible.
Here is a shot of how that area used to look when we moved in:
As you can see, it is barely recognisable and though it is just bare ground now, it has taken hard graft just to get to that point!
We will continue to work on this area and I’ll keep you updated.
The Blackberry Garden
I built the support along the raised brick planter to help support the mixture of climbers (honeysuckle, sweet peas, thornless blackberries) in The Blackberry Garden around May time:
The gap in the middle of the trellis is for a seat, which we will put in place at some point, but it’s not a priority right now…
Since then, the geraniums have emerged and are thriving in that spot, along with the honeysuckle we inherited, which is coming into flower doing well. I will be training it along the trellis and along the pergola once it is built.
As you can see, this area is still a work in progress. We are decking the grassed area to provide an additional seating area; the trellis provides privacy and once the climbers have established themselves, it should feel very private and tranquil.
Before the deck can be built, we need to build the enclosed fire pit with left over bricks we have in the garden. The pond in The Water Garden also needs all the prep work to be finished before we begin the deck because it will slightly overlap the edge. Stay tuned and I’ll keep you updated on how that area matures over time.
The Woodland Garden
I have told you about this area of the garden before and how it has developed since last June 2016 when we moved in:
We recently had to put in a new garden gate as the old one was hanging off, so we took that opportunity to remove one of the old fence panels and to move the gate further down the garden in line with the front wall of our home. It’s made better use of the space and meant that we have additional planting space.
You may also notice that all the paving slabs have been lifted. The shed on the right hand side is just there temporarily until we dismantle it and give it away. Mr Meadow also decided to demolish the old brick store next to the brick shed, which has opened the space up further.
We will be building a decked walk way from the gate joining on to the deck in The Blackberry Garden and running along the pond edge up to our back door next to the utility room. It may sound ambitious, but if I told you all of our plans originally in the rest of the garden when we moved in back in June 2016, that may have also sounded too ambitious, but it’s slowly coming together.
Tatton Park Flower Show is coming up again soon, so we hope to pick up some planting for The Woodland Garden and for the pond in The Water Garden then. I’m really looking forward to planting up this area of the garden due to its shady aspect. It gives me lots of scope for new planting schemes! There’s lots of prep work to do first though.
Anyway, it’s been a lengthy post today. I hope you have enjoyed seeing and reading about how things have been maturing the past month or so. Let me know if you enjoy this type of longer post split into each garden area, or whether you prefer shorter posts about each area of the garden.
Until next time, happy gardening!
Written by Bethany Wright