Leaps and Bounds Part 1

On the second bank holiday weekend, our aching bodies boycotted house-painting for some recuperative work in the garden.

We finally reclaimed a good part of the “lawn” in the back garden. We split down into firewood the stacks of wooden pallets,  and restacked the pieces in front of the horse chestnut, where one of our borders will be. In front of this pile along the fence we moved our collection of plants in pots, which had swelled in size as we brought home most of the plants that had been living at my MIL’s for the past two years.

The building hardware stacked in this part of the garden, mostly pipes of various colour and size, was also moved over by the fence. We raked up more than half a dozen barrows full of sawdust from the ground here, strimmed and then mowed the grass that we found underneath and then sowed new grass seed across the rather extensive bare patches. There are still piles of rubble, brick and stone standing on the other half of what will once again be lawn, creeping in on the right of the picture above, and the drainpipes that we removed for painting are still laid out on the path, but now if you stand in the right place with your back to these looking across to the fence and down to the fruit and vegetable patch, you can almost believe that it was a tidy garden… well, if you squint, perhaps.

After this rather satisfying transformation, we went back to the bottom of the garden where we finished digging over the middle vegetable bed by hand, swapped some of the spare rosa rubrifolia that was heeled in here and had come into leaf for some of the plants in the mixed hedge that had not yet burst bud. We re-heeled in some of the excess beech hedging for a little longer, just in case we need to swap any of the beech plants at the front.

Our next task was to rotavate this bed, and dig over and rotavate the final bed which had been beneath plastic for the past month or so.

The eagle-eyed among you may also notice (comparing the last two images) that we also swapped out the rather heavy-duty posts, that we had initially driven in ready to support wires for training the apple espaliers, for some somewhat skinnier (and less over-engineered) posts.

Into the newly churned clay marbles of the middle bed, we planted out the runner beans from the greenhouse at the feet of the support frame that we erected a few weeks ago, a row of dwarf french beans, and some of the sweet peas at the base of a small teepee of bamboo.

Hosepipes and sprinklers were deployed every day in the absence of rain.

I transplanted some lettuce and beetroot plants by the dwarf french beans, and sowed mini-rows of rocket, salad leaves and radishes. The remainder of this bed was earmarked for the squash and sweetcorn.

This weekend has seen even more progress and changes to the garden, but I suspect that this post is already long enough for most, so I shall continue in a further post. It was very gratifying to make such headway though, and I have become rather fond of standing on one leg half way down the garden with my eyes fiercely clenched admiring the verdant lawns and mature borders. Quite a viewpoint…

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12 thoughts on “Leaps and Bounds Part 1

  1. Yep, it’s certainly beginning to look like a garden now! We finally had some rain this last weekend – steady, heavy, soil-wetting rain that lasted several hours. Most welcome.

  2. Taking shape! Must be lovely to be able to see some green again, even if you do have to contort yourself and employ that most vital of garedning skills, imagination, to turn it into verdant lawn. How wonderful to have your plants back under your care. I’m really impressed with your kitchen garden area, looking smart and ready to go. Am also excited that you have planted out your beans – I have been holding off, but now that several old hands up at the allotments have put theirs in, and you have, I shall start making serious bean plans…

    • Yes, it really lifts the spirits to look out upon grass instead of piles of rubbish, even if it is rather threadbare in quite a few places. It’s lovely to have our plants back, we lost a handful but the majority have done well, and I can’t wait to find them a real home at last.
      It’s good to have the kitchen garden prepared and in action. Perhaps over-optimistic, we are rather testing the fates with all our veg this year – not only the beans, but also the squash and cabbages are out now, which you will see in all their glory when I put the next lot of pictures up. And we’re planning to put the sweetcorn in tonight – it’s ready to go and hardened off. And with the sunshine and showers at the minute, it’s perfect growing weather…
      Emergency blankets on standby…

  3. Not too long Sara as it’s actually quite gripping listening to your plans and progress and it will be lovely to look back on these posts when the garden is mature.

    You and King of the Hill took rest from housepainting and dug, shifted, sowed, planted and watered. Some recuperation!
    Laura x

    • Ah thank you for your support. I’m definitely looking forward to looking backward on these pictures 🙂

      Yes, no rest for the wicked… but such a relief not to be painting again.

      Sara x

    • I’m sure you do more in a day’s work than we managed in a long weekend, Mike! Funnily enough, my back is much happier after hours of digging than after an hour with a paintbrush.
      It’s great to be making some progress… though still a ways to go!

    • Ah, the greenhouse has been bursting at the seams and we keep running out of pots/seed trays/compost so there was quite an incentive to get the plot ready to move the crops out! I’m having the same issue with my optimistic over-sowings of ornamentals now, so fingers crossed that will propel us to find a border or two around the edge of the garden soon too :-).

  4. It’s looking great and I’m rather jealous of the ‘we’ you refer to (in this garden, it’s ‘me’ as my husband has no interest at all, expect for a minor ant killing obsession). Can’t wait to see your vegetable patch in full swing, it’s going to look magnificent. Bethx

    • Thanks Beth!
      Sorry that your husband doesn’t share your passion for the garden. I’m very lucky that mine does – the edible garden at least. The “flowery bit” he’s leaving mostly to me, as long as there’s enough lawn, and I make room for the plants that he likes (some roses, the sambucus nigra, acers, hebes and fuchsias have been requested so far.) This suits me very well! I feel better equipped in the vegetable patch this year, so fingers crossed! Look forward to following your progress too… x

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