The front garden was glowing in the dusk…

I’ve used most of the cobbles I bought several months ago now to border the four slabs I’ve added to the front garden. It taken most of the afternoon and a couple of trips to purchase extra plants! Heucheras and Lily of the valley and little bulbs with blue flowers I forgot to note the name of are planted on top of my tulips beside my festucas. I love being creative and my youngest helped with the pebbles to get the path finished before it got dark.

In progress…
The gravel would have been too fine and would attract cats so the pebbles are a cat deterrent.

I may also return to a garden centre where I saw some extremely delicate heucheras which were blueish with a red veined leaf which will contrast nicely with my apricot and plain chocolate purchases today. I also contrasted this with white cyclamen.

Grit was purchased…
Planted! but not finished…

The existing flower bed with the tree stump was covered in snails. I am hoping by mulching it with horticultural grit and compost it will become less attractive to the slimy creatures but I suspect I may need to clear them a lot. I might start collecting egg shells to dry out and scatter. The garden could do with fewer snails if we can. They eat a lot of my favourites – they may be the culprits of munching my missing Japanese anemones… And there is still some things growing round the stump which need eradicating. Another day tomorrow…

I’ve chopped back the golden rod and valerian in this bed but I feel it may be an ongoing battle…

Changing the front garden!

I started off digging a trench for tulips in the front garden and I dug a ten centimetre trench. It defines the area to the left which must remain garden and we had intended to make into driveway if we had the funds… (I need a job!)

Bulbs in their packets.

The grass was largely moss and plants I don’t want. Not grass at all. So I covered an area with weed barrier and used the bags of peagravel we got from my friend. It had a lot of compost mixed in so I’ve used that on the area of weed barrier and I planted some of my festuca glauca plants down the edge.

Tulip trench!
Ladybird investigates the weeding…

I’ve used four concrete slabs for walking, laid over some sharp sand and I will bring round some compost to fill some of the areas. But there’s lots of blooming golden rod and valerian which needs digging up. Those are my weeds if I’m honest, as well as the spiky bush at the gate which keeps regrowing. I’ve chopped it three or four times this year and I have to try and eradicate it before it gets too big again.

Tulip Bulbs!

Still ducking in and out between rain showers, the front garden is a work in progress but I think it will look good after we’ve had a couple of rains. I will try and find some other plants that will look good between the festuca. I saw some amazing heucheras yesterday. I sense a purchase…

Not finished but the garden is always in progress I’m learning!

Rearranging stuff!

I may have overdone it today! I moved things around and set up a border for the flowerbed in the front. I also cut down some spiky bits and stabbed myself in the process; maybe I need to invest in armour?

In progress…

But it’s not possible to add to the garden waste for collection as it’s full, full, full! And I am trying to avoid further digging cos as I said last time, it wipes me out, fatigue like I have any number of autoimmune conditions all at the same time.

This rose bush needed cutting.

But I moved the little slabs to the front and almost made a circular ring round the bed I have ignored for a while. It needs compost I think and I will use some of the bags I bought on the last trip to the garden shop, which I haven’t visited in a while. I’m not sure whether we checked the ph there but the weeds are rampant…

Trolley was one of my best bargains this year!

I feel a bit more positive after achieving the circle and cutting back the rose which had regrown and I thought I had killed when I dug over that bed. I’ve added a few bulbs (it felt like a lot!) that I hope are not found by squirrels.

Washing off the pea gravel was taking too much water. It will go under the slabs. Hubby got a very heavy crow bar and an even heavier tamper which l had to pick up from the Post Office.
From a distance it looks almost circular?

Baking bits!

We have a few too many brambles, and I left the biggest bunch too long! Soggy mouldy blackberries don’t make super crumbles… we made two sponges today and that wasn’t using too many berries so I’ve gone out to pick some more and with my Apple catcher pulled off some largish apples from the tree. The sponge mixture was a bit soft because I decided mid mix to double the quantities and went a little off recipe… And we are getting a chorus of sorts from the apples, and I get the feeling we may lose a few more smashing onto the Perspex of the greenhouse.

I love the little buds on verbena boniariensis.

Lots of sweet little flowers around and about in the garden at the moment and I had thought all the best things were past. I discovered a penstemon or two coming through. I’m not sure whether that is perennial or not. Will watch out for it next year!

Penstemon planted in the spring.
Oxalis? Peeking through in one of the raised beds…
Apple and bramble sponges. They do look a bit flat…

Weeding again!

Rome wasn’t built in five years, and wandering round our shambles I felt despair and anger! But I’ve given myself a talking to. And started in on the mares tail. Front garden full of lots of seed heads from alliums and other beauties we have enjoyed this year but the mares tail, bindweed valerian and other pests also threatened to do away with the things I have planted. Nothing a bit of elbow grease and perpetual vigilance won’t do away with.

Must give you some flowers…
Look at that mares tail!

I’ve read on forums that some of these thugs need to be beaten over a long period and I have left them alone because I’ve been working and down in the dumps. I’m not blaming anything in particular but my screen time has been through the roof. And the weeds are overpowering every area I have worked hard to clear.

Clearing an area where we have the littlest shed, I asked a question. My other half has been planning to build two more sheds, but I think we are still better to use the area I’ve planted herbs. I can replant a herb garden and we can move the quite diddy greenhouse onto the cleared slab? Hubby has agreed to rethink. Well I think we both are, as this garden is still a work in progress and doesn’t have a particular area which gives me joy. Working on it! Calla lilies are shooting up in some boxes atm. Yay! More flowers to come…

Hope it’s not a weed!
Phormium is getting strangled. Think it’s vine weevil…

Much needed Rain!

The hottest days have cooled down again. Today is fresh and I feel quite good about the weeds! Shock horror!

Actually I lied! But I have discovered another horror! And we identified this new terror after it had chewed it’s way through lots of buddleiha… and I spotted the leaves first, then the huge beetle which was identified as a cockchafer beetle or a May bug. They will eat trees, bushes and flowers! The larvae grow underground and eat roots then the bugs emerge round about now. Eek! Not what I wanted to hear. I honestly don’t want the adult eating my garden but I am not going to go out and exterminate them… catch 22!

Chewed leaves..
Vine Weevil AKA cockchafer beetle AKA May bug native to Europe.

I went back to work this morning to a very different college/exam setup. I was wiping everything multiple times. Think I will take gloves tomorrow! Afternoon to relax methinks.

Clematis atop the apple tree.

So my penance…

For cutting off the electricity my penance was weeding. Smallest helped but got to use my hedge gadget! I am not sure I will learn how to use that this year? But we/I pulled up lots of mares tail and pulled out dead valerian. That also appeals to miss helper? Hard to miss and not the prettiest when it is dying.

Valerian getting culled.
My nemesis

And the mares tail is everywhere… this may be the worst mistake of our house purchase. To not know the weeeds… Five years in and we haven’t really made a visible mark on the garden but my intention to be working and the reality are different. I am lucky to be working, don’t get me wrong, but zero hours don’t contractually make you well off. I will do as much as I can over the next month and see whether I can ‘magic’ something into my life that I had to put on hold, due to Covid restrictions like everyone in the world.

Thursday is our garden collection day and the grass cuttings are rather pungent. But adding a load of other weeds today made the front garden a little tidier. Little one didn’t get up to the top of the hedge but thoroughly enjoyed using my new hedge gadget and my new tipper cart. I have to do a little more digging and soil shifting to lay out the slabs I want, and we have to order a tonne of sand and some lime cement to lay the slabs properly. I am not a big strong builder and neither are the rest of the family, so we may be a while getting the slabs laid. Oh well…

The hedge is a bit taller than my youngest…