I spent all day Saturday working on the front garden, I’d been feeling a bit down for a couple of days, just fed up of the whole situation at the moment, coupled with being tired from my return to work. Anyway after a day in the garden I felt so much better – and the front garden looked better too! I weeded my worries away!
This area in front of the house is actually quite big, at a rough estimate I’d say 10′ – 15′ deep and 30′ long – it’s L-shaped. I’ve got a few nice shrubs but it is overrun with marestail in particular. I’ve been trying to clear it and dig it over for the last few months, digging out as much marestail root as I can. I’m aiming to clear as much as I can and then put a double layer of membrane down and some mulch, anything that comes through (and it will, marestail grows through tarmac!!) will be weed-killered. I’ll plant a few more shrubs and roses, trying to make it lower maintenance. I’ve a friend who’s a gardener, she came round last week and she’s agreed to do a morning in my garden this week, I’m hoping this will be a monthly occurrence! Just a little help to help me get on top of the garden.
I’m also hoping we’ll be able to thrash out a plan as I feel I need a path down the middle of the bed, mainly for access, but it does also reduce the planting area! I’ve a handful of ‘precious’ shrubs such as the purple and the gold cotinus and the magnolia tree to work round. I love the gold cotinus in particular, it’s grown to a lovely shape and it’s one you don’t often see. Other shrubs such as the spirea are easily replaceable, so if it’s in the way of the path it’s not the end of the world.
Anyway on Saturday I dug up all the shallow rooted weeds such as buttercup, pulled up annual weeds and just pulled up marestail stems. It will grow straight back but I couldn’t see the weeds for the marestail!!! This area to the left is much heavier clay too, though it’s much easier to work after the rain we’ve had.
My friend and I had a good catch up in the back garden, she had a wander round and I had to laugh at her reaction to my hosta bed – ‘What on earth have you been feeding those with!!’ One of them in particular is like verging on thigh height! I admitted I hadn’t fed them anything, they just seem happy there!
My foxtail lillies are starting to flower, they look great next to the self-seeded foxgloves, lots of spires! This is in the Amber & Amethyst garden.
There’s also lots of foxgloves around the obelisk too, you can also just see the astrantia, I think it’s called Hadspens Blood, it’s a lovely deep ruby red colour. The starry eyingium is starting to ‘flower’ too, I only put this in last year and I can’t remember how big it will be, but the ‘stars’ look pretty impresive so far! I’m pleased with the rose too, it’s a ramber and this year I spent an afternon tying the stems down, twisting them round the obelisk as the horizontal stems flower much better. It’s certainly the best year so far with blooms all the way down.
Our weather at the moment is very mixed, cold and wet one day, warm and sunny the next, so the poor plants keep putting blooms out only for them to be bashed by wind and rain. This is a gorgeous peony which is doing it’s best!
My roses are just starting to flower – they’re quite late as I was very late pruning them. This one is down by the arch on the patio, it’s mingling nicely with the geraniums and the astrantias, I think this one is Gentle Hermione…
In the same bed is this huge geranium, I think it’s Anne Folkard, it has lovely magenta flowers, it’s just getting rather big and it seems to have spread to the bed above! I’m undecided what to do with this one as it is getting rather large, but I also know it’s the worst soil of the garden, so I’m just pleased it’s happy. I keeping planning to dig over this bed, add loads of compost and start again…maybe I’ll just spread the compost and let the worms take it down!
Overall, if you don’t look too close at the weeds, the garden is looking pretty good, there’ll be a bit more colour once the roses start to flower properly. If I can just get on top of the perennial weeds it is actually quite low maintenance, as from late spring to early autumn, the beds are so densely planted I struggle to get on them. I just need to beat those weeds!!