Now that we have both a front garden and a back garden, two greehouses and a conservatory, I seriously need to up my game on the gardening front.
The sunny South-facing front garden is going to be fine as it is, pretty much – there is a flat rectangle of grass surrounded on all four sides by a slim flower border, with three sides currently housing roses and spring bulbs, oh, and a big fuchsia by the gate. The fourth side, the shorter border by the drive, was previously used for annual bedding plants so is surrently an empty line of earth – but I’m really not a bedding plant kind of girl. So I’m going to plant a few herb bushes to give it all a bit of an informal update, and will add a couple of stepping-stone paving slabs to give proper access on to the grass, rather then just stepping across the border.
The back garden is lower, but terraced not sloped, and is again a patch of grass with plant borders around three sides. Being North facing it’s more shaded, and the ground is more damp than at the front, so I need to think that through before I start adding anything to the mix. There are a few shrubs, and some brown died-back ferns which will hopefully rejuvenate this year, and of course more spring bulbs. But again I’m probably not ever going to be the kind of gardener who happily propogates new plants each year, so I do need to have a plan in place for this summer so I can create an easy-to-keep garden that pretty much does its own thing year after year.
I know from seeing the garden when we first viewed the property last August that the previous occupant had lots of large plant pots dotted around the garden, so I may choose to take that route too. And we’re debating whether or not to keep the two old plum trees, both seriously past their best wood-wise but perhaps not quite terminal as they are still clearly producing abundant fruit – we may keep them once they are pruned to a more manageable size, or they may indeed go altogether over the next few months.
And when it comes to using the greenhouses, I’ve got no idea what to do as I’ve never had one before, never mind two! Gardening by Google is the name of the game for me at the moment, looking things up and reading up on plants and getting my head around it all is proving to be quite a steep learning curve for me. I used to have a garden in the rented house I brought my kids up in, but apart from my herb pots on the doorstep it was mainly all about essential maintenance of what was already there, keeping the grass cut, pruning the roses and weeding the minimal flower beds along the front fence.
But this feels very different somehow – we now live in a house we own where we plan to stay for the longterm, and I want to grow into being a proper gardener who potters about outside for the sheer pleasure of being in nature. And the man who lived here before us obviously enjoyed his formal high-maintenance garden and clearly spent a lot of time keeping it looking perfect. So it feels a bit of a cheek for me to be saying – nope, that level of high-end horticulture is absolutely not for me, I have to admit I’m probably aiming more for a Jane Austen style ‘prettyish little wilderness’ in my ideal garden.
Hmmm… oh well, only time will tell… watch this space! 🙂