The roof went on today, they will be back in the morning to finish up.
The lower half of the garden is looking good, the upper half looks like a building site.
Look at the vegetation on those courgettes! Louise is wondering if she should have left more space between them.
I’ve also been in the new bedroom, roof timber almost complete.
When Dan posts about the garden it tends to provide a snapshot of those flowers and plants which are most photogenic on that particular day, neglecting a number of little superstars that have been giving interest in the garden for months and months. This post is about those little guys, but also about the two heroes who gave them to us.
We’re really fortunate to have two awesome garden mentors in the form of my mum and aunt who started their own plant nursery on retirement after decades of gardening, plant sales at weekends and open gardens. I didn’t get it at first, a childhood of garden centre visits will do that to you, but they’ve been very forgiving of my former lack of enthusiasm and I’m now never empty handed on my way back from a visit to Evesham. I also get the opportunity to regularly wander the paths of their garden at Harrell’s Hardy Plants and gaze at their beautiful planting wondering why my own doesn’t look half so beautiful.
I suspect the answer is in the plants they’ve championed that I wouldn’t have picked on my own. I probably would not have picked up my salvias at a garden centre. They are the sort of plant I find it hard to appreciate in miniature, in a little pot jammed into an aisle alongside a million other things, but they’re probably my favourite thing in the garden right now.
Another favourite is the glossy purple-leaved Heuchera. Like so many from Harrell’s I have no idea of its name, but I know that it has survived my inexpert care and several moves to keep on going. It’s a great, robust little plant. And when others haven’t done so well and I’ve confessed the occasional accidental planticide to the Hardy Planters the response tends to be “never mind, try again”, which is exactly the ‘shit happens’ attitude to failure that feels essential in the first few years of gardening.
So I’ll persevere, try to remember to look out for the little guys, take expert advice and maybe in another 40 years have a garden as lovely as theirs.
It’s a super hot day and Louise wanted to walk down to the garden centre. My first thought being that of practicality, is that it is far too hot to be walking that back that far with plants!
However I wanted to go for a walk, and when we got there Louise informed me she had to spend £70 to make use of her voucher..
Fortunately I got a bottle of wine out of the deal and the garden centre had free boxes which came in handy!
Here are a few of the plants we got plus others in the garden
When we first moved in, the garden looked so tidy. When we look around at the mess, Louise asks”what have we done?!” and I have to remind her, it’s for the better!
You’ll see there was once a nice long concrete path down the middle of the garden which I smashed up by hand and filled a skip with! Not pictured is the 70-80 foot length of hedges down the side of the garden which grew to a good 12 feet or so during our neglect. Our neighbour helped us remove these, they provided a chipper and took to them with a chainsaw! I put up some fence panels between the existing concrete posts, low maintenance!
We have a pear tree in the garden, which developed “pear rust” – so we decided to cut it down but left the stump there, perhaps it would be a feature. To our surprise that stump sprouted many new shoots and they look very healthy!
The lounge was our first big project, I had plans for how I wanted to mount the TV in a sunken wall on the fireplace. We did all the work ourselves, sanded down the original floor boards and varnished them. I had a go at plastering and Louise followed me round with sand paper and polyfilla.
I forgot how ghastly the bathroom was, it’s on the ground floor near the kitchen. The toilet was in it’s own ‘cupboard’ with another cupboard for washing machine and freezer.
I can’t find the finished utility and bathroom photos, and it’s not ‘showroom’ condition to take them right now.
Fortunately for us, I have a fantastic Dad (kitchen fitter/carpenter) and brother-in-law (plumber) who did a lot of the work here. Dad stayed with us for a few weeks and fitted the bathroom, utility and new kitchen! I love the kitchen!
We still have a little way to go, but it’s nice to look back and appreciate how far we’ve come.
I’m sorry about the photo of the raised bed, there was no good way to photograph it in it’s current surroundings.
In the raised bed we have courgette, butternut squash and coriander. And potted up next to an empty raised bed are some tomato plants.
Looking good Lou!