I think we’ve all got a spot in our garden that niggles at us. This week I’ve been tackling the one that’s been niggling at me for about 5 years now!
We don’t have a garden at the front of our house, but there is a small raised bed which we look out onto from the lounge. This bed was home to a very stubborn ivy which was always engulfing the gatepost, and the soil was constantly escaping through the stones onto the drive.
I wanted to try and rejuvenate the whole thing without buying lots of new plants – always nice to set yourself a challenge, eh?! I decided to go for mainly Spring flowering plants, to give us something lovely to look out on early in the year. The plan is to add bedding plants to give it a boost in other seasons.
The first job was to clear out all the plants and tackle the dreaded ivy. Now I don’t have anything against ivy, but this one was damaging the mortar in the wall and taking up valuable space, so it had to go. I’ve been cutting it back ever since we moved in, but this time I gritted my teeth and dug it out completely. It was quite a workout and I had to get stuck in with the saw at one point, but it was sooo satisfying when it was out!
Next job was to clean the mossy stones and try to stop so much soil escaping. This was another elbow grease kind of job and I had to improvise a bit with tools; I now need a new a vegetable brush!
I used a roll of plastic lawn edging tucked in behind the stones to hold back the soil. It’s not perfect, but I didn’t want to cement the stones back in and I think it’s going to be a big improvement on the way it was before.
Finally I got to the fun bit; planting. In went a camellia from the back garden which has been crowded out by another shrub and needed a new home. Then a couple of heathers which have been languishing in pots for a while, some lovely hellebores which I recently bought, and the variegated shrubs that were there before (any idea what their name is?). You can’t see it in the picture but there’s also a hosta hiding under the earth in the middle, this had grown too big for it’s container so will have room to spread now. Finally I re-planted the Spring bulbs which were originally there, hopefully they will bulk out over the next couple of years.
It’s definitely still a work in progress and it was very tempting to go and buy lots of new plants to make it look great straight away, but I’m really pleased I’ve managed to use plants that we already had instead. It feels like I’ve tackled it properly this time, cleaning it up thoroughly and thinking about what plants will work well together at a particular time of year. Hopefully it’ll be looking great next Spring – and my over-indulgence on the seed order this year will give me some bedding to perk it up in the Summer!
Joining in with Annie’s ‘How Does Your Garden Grow’ series at Mammasaurus