I do love having a garden, and I love that we moved into a house with a well-stocked, mature, gardeners garden but oh, the constant weeding gets me down at times. The previous occupant of our house was retired, and gardening was his hobby, so he created a beautiful garden that takes a lot of work to keep it looking beautiful.
It was fine while I was on furlough from work, but now I’m no longer on what was effectively ‘gardening leave’ I simply don’t have the same time I had before to devote to keeping our outdoor space under some semblance of order and control, and I do feel quite despondent that the garden is beginning to look a little less loved. Not quite neglected, but somehow it’s fast becoming a chore rather than a pleasure.
We’ve already been discussing potential changes we’d like to make to the garden in the future – we’d initially decided we’d leave it as is for a full year as it was to see how we got on through all four seasons, but as autumn approaches again it’s becoming obvious to both of us that we definitely need to be able to maintain the garden more easily while we’re both out at work. The current situation is clearly unsustainable.
The grass is no problem – mower, strimmer, done – but the flower beds need to be fuller with more intentional greenery and less bare earth on show to be able to keep minimal weeds at bay easily with our Dutch hoe. And the intentional greenery we choose needs to be able to look after itself for much of the time. The grooves between the paving slabs on the path and patio can be kept clear without too much fuss with a natty little hook tool thing, we just need to get into the swing of doing it more regularly.
But the areas laid to gravel are another matter entirely…
The gravel on the driveway, edging the front path and around the sheds at the back has been in situ for at least 20 years, and whatever barrier material it was laid onto originally has perished beyond any usefulness, but not in its entirety – the weeds grow up through it, but aren’t straightforward to pull out because the roots are under the barrier, the plant on top. We’re trying to be eco-conscious and not use any chemical weedkillers if possible, but I’m fast losing faith with that philosophy.
My husband is not keen on keeping the gravel long-term, but we don’t want it all to be paved over, either – natural drainage is important. So we need to re-think our options and see what we come up with. And in the meantime, constant weeding by hand continues to be the neverending story of my garden for now… sigh! 🙂