Monday, June 13

Plans change don't they?

Back in January I posted on several plans for garden projects so I thought I’d update on our progress or lack of it!

Halfway through 2011 and so far we have almost completed one of the projects which was to plant up a small bed at the front of the house with perennials  - the plants that I bought for the front garden bed have now been planted up - the last batch planted just yesterday morning. I say almost completed as I want to plant some spring bulbs in between the perennials to provide some early colour and I can’t really do that just yet. The gaps are where I’m also going to add a few of the aquilegias that I have grown from seed and these aren't really ready for planting out just yet. It even rained all afternoon to settle the plants in which was a long awaited bonus. For more about the rain click here.
I don’t expect that it will look much this year but maybe next. A couple of brave hardy geraniums are producing a few flowers as is a very premature Michaelmas daisy. Some of the poor plants that have been planted a while had to cope with the period of very windy weather and have been a bit battered but they seem to have survived. It's surprising how stony the ground looks - the stones seem to have come from nowhere.

Another plan was to tidy up the area by our cold frame using the paving slabs which would be replaced on our patio. A temporary solution was called for as the patio hasn’t yet been tackled so for now Martyn has created a bark chipped area. Once the area was tidied up (I know it may not look tidy yet but you should have seen how it looked to start with) and bark chippings laid we were surprised at how much room there seems to be in what is just a bit of space tucked behind our greenhouse so we now need to think of how to make best use of what is a sheltered sun trap. The ivy which is creating a fedge is coming through the fence from next door and will be trimmed back hard. The birds love the berries it produces and it also provided ideal shelter and nesting which is why it hasn’t been cut back just yet.

Another plan was to create some sort of focal point in a shady area under our crab apple tree. We were thinking of placing some sort of statue there and planting around the base with shade loving plants.

I searched and searched for a suitable statue but nothing took my fancy. Then we saw a bird bath that we liked which we thought would fit the bill (no pun intended). I know we already have a couple of bird baths but I’m sure the birds will enjoy another. Before we bought the bird bath we decided to cut back some of the bamboo and a very large fatsia and in so doing got a bit carried away so now this has become a project to replant the whole area. What was intended to have been a small project has become a major one which involves trying to cut out some of the branches of the crab apple tree! I quite like the idea of planting a small acer here as we have quite fancied having one for ages but need one that doesn’t need a very light position - any variety suggestions?

At the moment the area looks like this - but as they say with any project things often have to get worse before they get better.

As for our other intended projects - well these seem to have been scaled up too and more have been added to the list after some losses due to last year’s awful winter.

I  planted out the dark leaved dahlias bought earlier but not where I had intended to plant them - they were destined for a bed in which we have (or should I say had) a group of banana plants. As all that seems to have survived over winter is one small shoot this bed has been earmarked for a major renovation so the dahlias have been added to our perennial bed. I can always move them later if they don’t fit in.

Allotment update:
We did manage to plant a few more things on the plot too last week but as I don’t want to duplicate what Martyn has already written on his blog then you can read about that here.

RSPB - Make Nature Count
We took part in the RSPB annual nature survey and for the first time ever the birds were co-operative and didn’t go into hiding so we had a good mix of species with only one or two regulars missing. We even had a couple of new faces.
Mr and Mrs Bullfinch

The garden is also full of baby birds but the ones that the RSPB asked people to look out for seem to have grown up even though we have had baby blackbirds and robins earlier in the year we had none to count last week. The challenge was to count the sparrows - how on earth do you accurately count a flock of sparrows? In the end we had to make a guesstimate.


  1. You've made a great start with all of this year's projects. Your new bed will look lovely once everything's settled in and got established. We spent yesterday tidying the garden up again and sorting out the greenhouse, intending to go to the allotment in the afternoon but then the rain came so that's had to be put on hold. I've loads of things waiting to be planted out. My mum and dad get bullfinches in their garden, they're such colourful birds, especially the male.

  2. I think your plan is experiencing the "Domino effect"... It's funny how one thing leads to another. Looking forward to when our baby Starlings leave their nest (which is far too close to our bedroom window for my liking). They are noisy blighters, especially at four a.m. !

  3. Just glad we haven't any fruit trees in bud, Jo as bullfinches can devastate them - just as long as they don't follow us to the plot.

    That tends to happen with us Mark, our pond was going to be just a small water feature and ended up 5 feet deep! We have had one baby starling in the garden - we don't seem to get many now they can't nest under the eaves/ They using to nest in the loft and clump about wearing hobnailed boots!

  4. Oh Sue I see you have so many work to do. I am glad at the moment that everything is slowing down which include the weeds in our patch so I can relax a bit during weekends. Have you manage to transplant your sweet corn yet at your allotment? Its good that you have some rain will lessen the task of watering.

  5. We've planted one batch of sweet corn Diana. We tend to stagger it a bit so that it doesn't all come at once. The rain was most welcome although the weeds will welcome it too - never mind!

  6. wow! you've been working HARD well done! And congrats on all the baby birds, we didn't have any otherselves this year but that's ok, we have loads of birds coming for dinner, I think the nests must be in the mature garden behind us. Love Mrs Bullfinch's photo :)
    Count the birds that make up a flock - that's torture!

  7. I hope the birds coming for dinner aren't dinner Carrie!


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