Friday, 4 March 2011

Where Do I Start?

Although I can turn my hand to a lot of things -writing bits and pieces, baking  and mending things with only instructions from the Internet to guide me - gardening isn't up there.  I'm not entirely incompetent.  If you were to present me with a wet tissue impregnated with mustard and cress seeds I'm sure I could bring the crop to fruition.  And, in my study, I have a cactus which has doubled in size since I bought it.  But my odd shaped, north facing, untidy garden presents me with a problem.

If it had been in immaculate order , when we moved into our house four and a half years ago,  I'm sure I could have tended it and  managed to maintain its neatness, even adding a few plants of my own.  But the house had been previously occupied by a family with four children, including three football mad sons who'd left the lawn that's prone to getting waterlogged in a bit of a state.  Although someone has  probably had an interest  in the past what they've done has resulted in overplanting  and features such as a very dodgily built rockeries and walls.

Now Mr Lovelygrey created two deep beds and they were quite productive but what I'd like is a place to spend time that's pleasant visually too with landscaping, proper planting and maybe some bits of 'art' too.  I'm not afraid of a bit of hard graft but the truth is I don't know where to start.  Most of the gardening books that I've looked at seem to assume that you start with a blank canvas and don't really tell you what to do if you've inherited a bit of a mess, albeit with a few plants that you'd like to keep.  I realise that just painting the fences could improve things but try finding a long enough dry spell free to complete the job.  But then what? Do I tackle the project piecemeal or bite the bullet and dig the whole lot up and start again?

And it's not only the back of the house that's a state, there's this wild plot at the side which adjoins the road. The whole project seems just too daunting for words. But what I'm going to do in the next couple of weeks is a bit of research to see if I can come up with a plan that will help me produce a beautiful plot that's easy to maintain to boot. And if that fails, I can always issue lunch invites to keen gardening chums and swap food for their helpful advice!


  1. I would blitz that bit at the side, clear it, dig it over, put a membrane on it and some chippings. If you plant anything next to the pavement there's a chance it could be stolen before it has chance to take root.

    The fence at the back needs a paint job as soon as it is dry enough. The lawn doesn't look too bad, just needs the edges tidying and the borders digging out. Depends how much you want to spend on it really. Gardening books from the library for ideas maybe?

  2. Thanks for this - I've also had a note about a helpful book called the Gardening Revival Expert by R Hessayon. Off to the library website to see if I can reserve it. x

  3. Back again. I've borrowed it! (DG Hessayon not R Hessayon though)