adventures in gardening

Tag: gardening

Diary of a Gardener

Today the sun was shining and I took my jacket off!

I was gardening in a lovely large garden in Edinburgh today.  I have been working in the space for 8 months and I am looking forward to seeing in another summer and the changes that have taken place.

I am working closely with another garden designer and together we have planted a lot of new plants and there are big plans still to be put in place.

Today, however I was doing some maintenance and tidying.  I cut back the dead stems from a few Hydrangeas then I tackled the Viburnum tinus, which has taken over the flower beds, swamping anything that happens to get in its way.  It has finished flowering and the berries are starting to appear, which are a  stunning shade of blue, but it really needs to get done and allow the plants and trees to get some spring sun.

I am not one of these people who can merrily hack things back.  I find it distressing and let’s be honest damn ugly. So, always make sure to cut to just above a leaf node to prevent seeing nasty dead stems.

I always stand back from the plant as I am pruning to make sure I haven’t taken too much off one side or the other and the overall shape is good.  I suppose it’s a bit like a hairdresser making sure they haven’t given you a squint fringe.

I decided to give up when I had filled all my garden waste bags and trugs and couldn’t get anything else in the car.  I will continue the pruning next time I am there.

 

 

 

Blooming heck!

I dug yet more of the our back garden’s grass away earlier this year and have created a new large flower bed that is directly in front of our patio doors, so we can enjoy the full effect from the comfort of our dining chairs.

The original bed always seemed too shallow for anything to really make an impact, so it has definitely allowed me to do that this year.

I grew a lot of the plants that I put in to the bed from seed, which is always exciting and gives you a wee glow when you look at something that you have nurtured literally from seed.  The bed isn’t perfect and there are some plants that I will be moving come the spring to new positions to improve the height and structure of the planting.

I am ok with the bed being a work in progress as that’s what gardening is to me.

Things really do grow

It stills blows my mind that a tiny seed no bigger than a grain of rice can grow and flourish into a tall and colourful plant. With good compost, light, warmth and water, the little things can grow fast and big!

Earlier this year I cut back more of our back lawn (much to the delight of Mr Brown) to enlarge our flower bed.  With garden centres closed and plant stock being low even on-line, I took the opportunity to grow some plants from seed.

So from humble beginnings the new bed has flourished and is full of colour, with even more to appear in the coming weeks.

 

Take it slowly

During my first year of intensive seed sowing and using a heated propagator I have learned a great deal, including that I need to be more patient.

In the excitement of seed sowing, (yes I do find it exciting) I put three types of seed into one large tray.  I know, an amateur mistake that I should not have made.  You probably know exactly what is going to happen next…yep, once they had germinated they were all mixed up and pretty much looked identical.  In my defense, I had run out of seed trays, but again due to the sheer excitement and lack of patience, refused to wait for two more to come free.

I have planted them out into the garden this week, trying my very best to keep similar seedlings together to create clumps.

Looking forward to them growing more to see if I actually managed to clump the same ones together or if they are just one big mashup.

 

Making a garden your own

Garden design is the process and art of designing a space that not only looks pleasing to the eye, but is practical.

The first thing you need to think about, what ever the size of garden you have, (be it a small back yard or half an acre) you have the same question to answer. How do I want to use my garden?

Considering your garden as an extension to your home is a great way of thinking about it.  It shouldn’t be a dumping ground, like that cupboard everyone has in their home, where the ironing board sits alongside photo albums, old books and general clutter.  Use the space well and don’t neglect it, as a garden can bring so much joy and solace to the soul.

Once you have thought about what you want to use your space for, that’s when you can plan it successfully.  If you enjoy just sitting, either alone or with friends then make sure you have space to do so.  If you like nothing more that pottering and tinkering make sure you have plenty space and plants to do that, either making a larger flower or vegetable bed or using pots and planters.

If you are one of those people who love plants and want to encourage wildlife into your space then really think about the plants you use.  Use the motto “The right plant in the right place” and you won’t go wrong. Happy plants are healthier, grow better and bigger with more and larger flowers, they are also less likely to be affected by pests and diseases as they are stronger and more resilient.

Knowing the type of soil you have isn’t a deal breaker, but you do have to think about how shaded or sunny your garden is, if your garden is sheltered or likely to be exposed to strong winds on a daily basis.  Read up about the plants you like first to see if they will be happy in your garden.  Another good way is looking at gardens near to your home, what plants are thriving there or even in the wild.

Don’t get stressed about the perfect design, gardens evolve and you can move things about if they don’t work.  The most important thing is, you enjoy it.

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