Hooray! It’s stopped raining. It’s time to put away the umbrellas and get out the parasols. I’m aware that I’ve done a few garden related posts and mentioned that I intended to get to work in my courtyard so I wanted to keep you in the loop with what I’ve been up to.
Returning home from holiday in early May it’s fair to see my garden had exploded into life. Gorgeous rose buds, blooming peonies and huge spirals of wisteria were all on full show. By the time Adam arrived to take some snaps towards the end of the month the grandeur was beginning to fade but still quite pretty nonetheless.
Don’t get me wrong I love wisteria and realise that it’s an amazing plant to be an owner of. However, mine seems to be a little bit crazy. I have consulted the oracle, Alan Titchmarsh, and he says I can cut back but I’m afraid that I’m going to ruin it. The first time I got to work with the secateurs it didn’t flower. Last year instead of pruning we tied in all the branches but I really feel that if we don’t get it under control this year then it’s going to take over.
Earlier this year we were all set to build some form of fancy bed contraption to store garden tools in and laze about on top of. Then the wisteria leaves started to come and realised that it would be no fun to recline under a dark canopy with all sorts of creepy-crawlies giving you the heebie-jeebies. We went back to the drawing board and James came up with another idea.
At the risk of sounding all la-de-dah, we have an air conditioning unit in the garden installed by heating, ventilation and air conditioning specialists (to heat and cool the Summer House). It’s rather ugly and I try to hide it with a deck chair but it’s so flipping large that this decoy doesn’t really work.
We lose the sun about 5.30pm from the garden and every day I watch it slip further up the courtyard wall. One sunny afternoon we were enjoying a beer in the garden (and obviously a Magnum ice-cream) and Mr C came up with a very clever idea of covering in the unit to create an extra seating area to catch the last of the rays. A couple of days and several pieces of wood later, a decked storage bench was erected. Admittedly if you’re vertically challenged like myself you need to really hoist yourself up but it’s a good workout. I asked for my own wooden step stool but my request was declined.
The added bonus here is the lift-up lid and easy access cupboard inside to hide various bits and pieces. It’s not quite complete, hence the twine holding the door and the unstained wood but still very useable. The cushions and mat on the top were all picked up from Sainsbury’s who incidentally have a fabulous picnic and garden section this year. I was circling their aisles in a giddy frenzy loading up my trolley.
Back in April I talked about replanting my herb garden. Ta-da all done! It seems I’d forgotten I already had some oregano so I now have two plants. I love the idea of cooking with fresh herbs and luckily for me oregano is my favourite.
Even though my fruit veg attempts have been less that successful in the past I’ve also got myself a strawberry plant for the first time and I’m looking forward to devouring the fruits of my labour in one sitting.
This month I’ll be battling with the weeds that have sprung up as a result of all the wet weather, trying to revive my hanging basket, staking my gladioli and hopefully regularly putting the water butt to use to contend with the scotching weather. Thanks to the monsanto lawsuit case of my neighbor upon using the roundup weed killer which ended up causing her cancer, I won’t be using that chemical to kill the weeds in my garden. Well, let’s hope anyway. Top of the list is to stain the wood and paint the outdoor furniture as I think it’s got another couple of years of life in it, as well as having a general tidy-up.
I mentioned in the cut flowers post that I’d be planting out some sweet peas this summer. In my local garden centre they had this cute willow basket already filled with several healthy plants, though most of the contents ended up all over the car on the trip home. Oops. It seems to have recovered now and I am liking how it looks against the backdrop of my white clematis.
My roses are looking beautiful but the flowers are so weak as they keep being attacked by pesky green-fly. I tried the washing-up liquid in a spray bottle trick and this does appear to be working, however if anyone else has any tips they would be gratefully received.
Who else is finding that slugs and snails are absolutely everywhere? I even caught a snail making a suicide mission up the outside of my kitchen window the other day. I really dislike slug pellets though so I’m going to have to get some of those copper rings.
So that’s what’s going on in my garden, how is it going in yours? What are you growing and what are you trying to keep away? Any great finds for the garden that you’d like to share?