I apologise if this becomes one long gardening ramble but I’m feeling a bit despondent about my courtyard project. Despite the research and bucketloads of effort it’s not really coming together as I’d hoped. I had a vision and let’s say it’s currently far from it. Sometimes Pinterest really does set us up for a fall doesn’t it?!

As usual May has been a busy month. We’ve built a bar! We’re not quite ready to start serving the pina coladas just yet and this brings me on to the first disappointment.
When painting the new fence I completely chickened out of going for a trendy grey shade and instead went for a safe dark brown. With an off-white rendered wall, oak patio doors and a load of dark wood stained outdoor furniture I felt throwing another colour into the mix wouldn’t work. The ‘bar’ (which is basically a glorified shelving unit with a tiled top) is bringing much needed storage to the garden as well as place to sip a G&T. Constructed of wood it’s accidentally been painted in one of the many dark brown wood stains we have hanging about. Ideally it would have been finished with a thin layer to allow the grain to show. However due to a bit of a mix up in supplies it’s now covered in a very thick, dense layer of stain. I really, really don’t like it. Sad face. Don’t get me wrong there’s nothing wrong with a traditional brown wood I just would have preferred the new living area to look less like a bar of chocolate.
After using my very limited photoshop skills to render the wood in several shades I’ve decided I need to go for a mid grey tone. After dithering over the shelves at my local Wilko I came home with a few tins of their Slate Grey Garden Colour and aim to rid myself of the brown over the next few weeks. Will keep you posted.

In my mind I wanted to use the newly created beds to plant an abundance of perennials; alliums, delphiniums, verbena and scabiosa which could all be picked from the cutting garden. What I should have done is drawn a proper planting plan rather than hit the garden centre all gung-ho packing my trolley with beautiful specimens. In a limited space I can’t help feeling it’s going to end up feeling a bit overcrowded. Never mind though, my vases are going to be bursting and it’s certainly a very pretty if chaotic patch I’ve got myself.

On a more positive note I’ve planted out a few of my tubs, hung my hanging basket and James has started on the foundations for the patio. The race is on to get this place ship-shape before the longest day so we have somewhere to enjoy over the summer. Though at this rate I might still be painting fences well into the winter.

June Jobs

  • Plant out your hanging baskets and tubs now the risk of frost has passed. It’s a good idea to give your containers a weekly feed so they get all the nutrients they need.
  • Thin out hardy annuals such as poppies, stocks, lupins and cornflowers to prevent them overtaking beds.
  • Stake perennials if they begin to look like they need a little help.
  • Lift and store bulbs for next year. I have to add I’ve never done this before but am considering doing this as the leaves are looking really tatty now.
  • If like me you’ve planted sweet peas they should begin to flower by the end of the month (though everything in my garden is around three weeks late this year). They flourish when the flowers are picked so be sure to fill your home with the frothy blooms.
  • Deadhead roses to encourage more blooms. I’ve read to snap off just below the head which apparently makes new flowers appear quicker. I’ll be testing this out this month.
  • For those of you who like a bit of vegetable growing I’m tickled pink to announce Lolly will be sharing her veggie patch makeover very soon so stay tuned.

    How is your garden growing? Any fence painting disasters you’d like to share?