Bees, Seeds and Garden Deeds

After a couple of days work the garden is finally under control ready for the summer. We’re having a garden party for our 10th wedding anniversary later in the year so it would be good to get the garden looking nice for that, but what with everything else, fitting in the work to get it up to scratch may be a little difficult. I’m sure it’ll be looking lovely by the summer though.

Everything has now been tidied up after the winter and there is life everywhere. The grass has been cut a few times and is beginning to look a bit better, although the mole has a different opinion on how it should look and aims to thwart my attempts at a lawn everytime I turn my back. Mowing the ‘lawn’ re-cutting all of the edges and weeding the borders has certainly tidied things up though and it’s actually quite pleasant to sit in the garden and enjoy it now, especially with the bees buzzing and the skylarks singing high in the skies above.

Our Garden

Our Garden

We’ve had pretty good weather for a few days now, so it’s easy to forget that it is still quite early in the year, so although a few places look a little bare at the moment it’ll soon be bursting with colour and no doubt some bits will start looking overgrown and out of control before too long. We might need a few new plants here and there but hopefully not too many as most things seem to have survived the winter well.

We’ve cut the pampas grass right back to the ground in an attempt to get it under control but I fear it’ll require more than that. We did lose a broom a while back so I’ve dug the remains of that out and for now have divided some chives and put them in its place. Chives always do well here, the flowers are nice, the bees like them and we use it in cooking so there’s no harm having some more.

I’d still like some height in the garden especially along the borders that separate the main lawn area and the flower garden, but getting anything to grow any taller than a couple of feet in height here is always a challenge. We also don’t want to spend too much  money on more mature plants. I did plant some small shrubs last year to hopefully achieve this though. A Hydrangea, a Lilac and a Forsythia. All are still alive and doing well, but they are still all very small so it’ll be a few years before they fill out these borders and create any sort of divide.

We’ve sown our vegetable seeds today. Beans, Courgettes, Pumpkins, Chilli’s, Spinach and lettuce so far this year. We decided to give the raised beds out the back a rest and have instead but the spinach in containers in the garden. Meanwhile we had lots of wild seed packs from the Grow Wild initiative. We got these for the Scouts and had some ourselves, so have sown these in the raised bed this year. I wonder how they’ll do as we’ve never had much success with wildflower seeds.They are supposed to contain, Corn Marigolds, Ox-eye Daisies, Poppies, Common Knapweed, Red Campion, Meadow Buttercup, Meadowsweet and Ribwort Plaintain, so should be perfect for our bees.

The Grow Wild packs also came with little houses to encourage bees to nest in them. Obviously not honey bees, but solitary bees should like them. Morgan made up a few of these and we have dotted them around the garden.

Elsewhere the garden seems to be going through a blue and purple phase. The purple shoots of Hosta’s are emerging, the purple periwinkles out the front are doing their best to cover the hideous wall, most of the Aquilegias that are coming our seem to be a deep purple colour, we have some purpley-black tulips on their way, blue forget-me-nots all over the place and purple grape hyacinths here and there. The Heuchera and Ajuga leaves are purple too.

As always, there is still plenty to do. A few areas still need tidying up, I’d still like to dig out the entire border at the front of the house, but can’t afford to buy plants for it yet so that might have to wait. I also don’t have anywhere to put the rubbish I dig out of it. I’d quite like to move the water feature a little just to give a bit more room for the yellow-flag irises behind it, and of course there is still a new shed to buy and build and a driveway to lay. I’m thinking of buying some garden lighting as well as we’ll need something for the party and it’ll be nice to light the garden a little in the evenings anyway.

So much to do!!! But for now it’s nice to enjoy it too.

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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