How Does My Garden Grow And Grow

My Garden 2016

My Changing World

It's September 2015 and my beloved husband has just died. The world has gone to "Hell In A Handbasket".

But with help, from friends and family, Christmas comes and goes and a new love enters my life. Yes I know it's quick, but he was one of our dearest friends when we were young, and it is good.

I want to get my neglected garden back to what it once was many years ago, and my dear man Eamonn is more than ready to help me.

The quote below is so very true to me,

This is the story of how we are making it happen.

The glory of Gardening:

Hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature.

To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.

— Alfred Austin

The front Garden Before

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Overgrown And Full Of Broken Things

The front garden was once lawn and flowers. Then we had one of the most destructive dogs on the planet. The only surviving plant, a Myrobalan Plum, self set from a stone.

I did tidy up once more, but over the years, and with total lack of interest from hubby, and then ill health, it deteriorated to an overgrown dump for rubbish. Lovely!

And After

Important Note to Self, Remember To Set the Date Correctly On The Camera.

Sorry but I always forget and many of these photo's may be years apart in date, but I assure you not in time. Ooops

My Beautiful Myrobalan, Yellow Plum Tree

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Too Big
Check
 
Spiny
Check
 
Throws up suckers
Check
 
Edible Fruit
Check
 
Too Pretty To Destroy
Definately
Makes great wine and jam

Fuchsias hardy or not, are much loved by Bumble Bees and flower for months

Plants we kept

Other than the plum,

Garry Elliptica, James roof

A wonderful evergreen shrub with tiny flowers that hang down like catkins in the late winter and early spring. It will grow just about anywhere, and fast! Good job you can cut it back hard. Pruning just after flowering stops you losing next years tassels. I have had this one for years and have never seen so much as a nibbled leaf on it.

Hardy Fuchsia

Cannot remember the variety, but it is happy in the shade, the house faces North, and it flowers most of the year. The bees love it.

Buddleia Davidii

Came up from seed. This needs no explanation as they are often weeds, but so easy to look after, just cut back hard in the autumn.

Laying The Gravel

Job 1:- Clear the Rubbish.

All the rubbish, unwanted plants and as many weed roots and suckers as you can.

Job 2:- Level the Ground.

Do not dig deep all over, you will make it soft. Just scrape and rake it flat.

Job 3:- Put down a Water Permeable Membrane.

This is IMPORTANT ! It stops weeds, allows water to drain away, and stops your gravel mixing with the soil. There are many types and sizes, and as many prices. What you must do is allow a good overlap between the sheets.

Job 4:- Lay That Gravel

Choose your gravel carefully, if you need to walk on it small, or pea, gravel gets stuck in the soles of your shoes, and cats often go poo in it. For large areas buy in bulk. We did. A cubic meter bag covers about 20 square meters to 5 cm depth. (But I do not rate my maths very highly) We found having the bags put on the ground we wanted to cover and scooping and throwing with plastic buckets the easiest method. It is hard work and you get dirty, so look for volunteers to help.

Our Gravel

We chose this river gravel from the upper Nene Valley Pits as they are only a few miles from where we live. We decided it was more appropriate than say, Slate from Wales, or Scottish Black Sea cobbles


Edging The Garden

We chose to just place the gravel around the edge of the garden and plants, this is so we can add bulbs at a later date.

But against the paths we used some long branches we had available. No one wants to be constantly sweeping stones back into place. You can get special mowing edges to use around lawns.


My House. The one with all the trees

The Back Garden

Ah, Sigh, it used to be full of vegetables and herbs but was later filled with shrubs and flowers.

Then it went the same way as the front garden, only more so. The rubbish could not be seen under the growth, ivy, brambles and shrubs covered everything, including the flat roof.

It was so bad even the thistles and bindweed struggled to survive.

Back garden and flat roof

That is a bay tree the other side of the flat roofed annex
That is a bay tree the other side of the flat roofed annex
Nextdoors has the grass!
Nextdoors has the grass!

Buddlieja Alternifolia

A beautiful deciduous shrub, arching branches carrying clusters of lilac/purple flowers along it's branches. The smell good and attract bees and other insects. It needs to be kept in hand or it will overtake every thing. This is another plant that will happily spread suckers around if you let it. It flowers on the growth from the previous year, so we are looking forward to many flowers after hard pruning it after it flowered. It has many new shoots.

We Left Enough To See Them Flower

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The Closest is my old Apple Tree, GrenadierThe Blue is Buddleia Alternifolia, the White Spirea Arguta, Bridal Wreath
The Closest is my old Apple Tree, Grenadier
The Closest is my old Apple Tree, Grenadier
The Blue is Buddleia Alternifolia, the White Spirea Arguta, Bridal Wreath
The Blue is Buddleia Alternifolia, the White Spirea Arguta, Bridal Wreath | Source

The Really Hard Work Begins

First the shrubs had to be cut back hard.

Literally we started at the out side edges and worked in.

You need good thick boots, gloves, tops and trousers to tackle this sort of overgrowth. Not to mention some kind of eye protection.

The shrubs were cut back really hard, the brambles and ivy hacked to the ground and dragged away. We were lucky enough to be able to have bonfires, very big bonfires.

When the digging began, as many weed roots as possible were pulled out and burnt.

This does not mean they did not keep coming up, blackberries go a Looong way down. But constant hoeing keeps them down.

I even managed to grow some vegetables this year. Yum

One of our many Bonfires. Twisted Fire Starter

I really thought we may have killed the Grape Vine, but no. It clambers up the apple tree once more

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Ode To The Spring

Oh! What a dull and dismal scene

No sunshine lately has there been,

The grey clouds hanging overhead,

Just lots and lots of rain have shed.

But look around you and you may,

See signs that spring is on it's way.

The snowdrops now are shining white

and the daffodils have found the light.

The Robins sing their cheery song,

To help the winter days along.

The humble crocus soon we'll see

Like a magic carpet they will be.

So let us all be of good cheer

For sunshine days will soon be here


Arthur George Rigby Wheeler (Our Dad)

Some Of Our Home Grown Vegetables and Flowers

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Potatoes I grew from one of those "Gone green,Started chitting, should be binned" leftoversWild flowers from seed, so easy Wild Mallow appeared on its ownVariegated ThymeOsteospermumAsparagus PeasThe set podSunflower another self seed
Potatoes I grew from one of those "Gone green,Started chitting, should be binned" leftovers
Potatoes I grew from one of those "Gone green,Started chitting, should be binned" leftovers
Wild flowers from seed, so easy
Wild flowers from seed, so easy
Wild Mallow appeared on its own
Wild Mallow appeared on its own
Variegated Thyme
Variegated Thyme
Osteospermum
Osteospermum
Asparagus Peas
Asparagus Peas
The set pod
The set pod
Sunflower another self seed
Sunflower another self seed

Loads more work to be done in this part of the garden, but at the moment it's all hands on deck for the side piece

What Do You Think?

If we have a bit of ground, even a window box, we are savers of the planet

See results without voting

Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?

— Douglas Adams

The Side Of The House

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Ready for battle LOLWar woundsThe first day and a bit of light shows through
Ready for battle LOL
Ready for battle LOL
War wounds
War wounds
The first day and a bit of light shows through
The first day and a bit of light shows through

We have Reached This Stage

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I got my view of the park back!
I got my view of the park back!
I got my view of the park back!
Digging out stumps is a job not to be underestimated!
Digging out stumps is a job not to be underestimated!
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Trees Taller Than The House

Six conifers taller than the house and 2 totally overgrown shrubs ruled over nettles and ivy. But my intrepid adventurer Eamonn bit the bullet and hacked them down!

This was no easy task, hiring professionals was an option we could not afford. Eamonn does not do well with heights, all offers of help and a larger chain saw never came to fruition. But we did it together, with help from a strong rope.

Unfortunately I could not take photos of us landing on our bums (more than once) when the branches came down, but by tying ropes and cutting and pulling in the proper direction, we missed the house and fences.

Courage is being scared to death... and saddling up anyway

— John Wayne

Building Woodhenge!

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Playing Neolithic man...
Playing Neolithic man...
Playing Neolithic man...

Dealing With The Slope

A slight slope was on the garden, and what better way to level the soil, than to hold it back with tree branches.

After all we had plenty to go round.

We buried them down a few feet or they would just fall over.

Eventually they will rot but hopefully the plants we are adding around will take the strain by then.

Just 2 of the six bags of sharp sand we shifted
Just 2 of the six bags of sharp sand we shifted

Laying Concrete Slabs

After leveling the ground we put down rubble for a firm base.

We were lucky enough that our neighbour had just demolished some old barn walls.

The bricks were perfect for the task. The pigs were highly amused by Eamonn wheel barrowing them across their paddock!

Then we laid a good cover of sharp sand over the top.

Carter, Site Inspector

Laying Slabs

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A few basic tools are required for this task, a good spirit level, a trowel, piece of strong plank and some thing like a sledge hammer. Oh and knee pads are a REALLY good idea.

Eamonn sprinkled a little dry cement under each slab, made sure it was level with the others. Then placed a board over it and GENTLY tapped it flat with the hammer.

These slabs break quite easily, but we only had a couple of accidents!

He put a slight slope on the area to let the rain run off in the required direction, a must do thing.

Laying paving slabs

Testing The Sunning Area

We have yet to sort something out for the drain cover
We have yet to sort something out for the drain cover

Poor Eamonn

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Both the workers tired out!
Both the workers tired out!
Both the workers tired out!

November In The Garden

Well it's November, the year has flown away.

We have memories of hard work, bruises and bumps, but also of laughter, smiles and sunny days.

I also have garlic bulbs growing ready for next year and still some flowers around.

The photo's are below.

November

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My View Of The Park

Next Year

I may well write another page, telling month by month what goes on. If anyone is interested.

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3 comments

amali kumari 4 weeks ago

sooo beautiful


dingyskipper profile image

dingyskipper 4 weeks ago from Northamptonshire Author

It will get better hopefully, Thank you.


Sarahbeeston 4 weeks ago

Looks lovely

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