We’re so close to catching up. You have no idea how excited I am to have caught up on the first 18 months of my gardening adventure. Soon I’ll be able to talk about things as I do them rather than recap on what’s been done.
So as we entered June 2017 there was only a small amount left to do in order to get the garden ready for our first garden party. This was to be our first celebration with family for our marriage and it was happening on the 8th June. We didn’t have long to finish up and be ready.
First things first…finish the BBQ area.
The final area was dug out and the weed control membrane layed ready to be covered with blue slate chippings. The living wall was also in need of planting – that, as you might recall, was Simon’s job.
Even looking at the photo now it’s hard to remember it looking like this. The second batch of sunflower’s were planted out having grown to a decent height in their pots. The Rudbeckia was planted and wild flower seeds were beginning to show throw.
This was actually one of the nicest beds from a soil point of view. Having invested in a rotavator I had been able to break up the massive lumps of heavy clay soil and mix in some compost and top soil, the result was a lovely crumbly soil. The plants seems to be loving it so I couldn’t complain. (Why didn’t I buy that bloody rotavator a year ago?)
The path may not have the straightest of edges, but this wasn’t about perfection. Nature isn’t perfect and I’m not that much of a control freak that I cared if the path was a bit wobbly in places. I’m not one for straight lines particularly, I prefer things to be a bit more natural. Each to their own though.
I was happy with it and the main thing was we now had a path that ran the full length of the garden.
Simon got busy planting his living wall with the likes of Ponytail grass, Silver Fountain, Oregano, House Leeks and more. Whilst I used some bedding plants to fill in the bed on the other side.
Alongside the new sunflowers, our perennial sunflowers were also coming back to life and filling the space at the top end.
I moved a few other plants around from the garden to help fill in the space.
My dream of a sunflower bed had become a reality. The first one’s were already opening, Helianthus annuus ‘Prado Red’ – a dwarf sunflower of around 100-150cm. A beautiful deep red colour, and the rest were still growing, no buds showing at this point. At least there would be something for when we held the party.
By the time we had our July BBQ perhaps we’d have more, but I was grateful for these beautiful flowers now.
With the path and sunflower bed sorted, it was on to the pond area. It needed final planting and tidying.
It also needed some fish.
We had made the decision to leave the smaller pond to it’s own devices. It had some plants in it, mainly a miniature rush and some water mint (which smells amazing when you disturb it), it also had some duck weed floating about, but not too much to cause concern. I also quite like a bit of duckweed on a pond. We wanted this one to be a place for wildlife, if it should turn up at any point.
The larger of the two ponds we decided to get a few fish for, just 3 to start and see how they got on.
The only thing missing was plants in the pond. The outside was planted well, but the pond itself looked dull and lifeless, plus if we were going to get fish they’d need something to hide under.
So we took ourselves off to the nearest aquatic centre and we found a selection of stunning plants and ready made pots for the pond. And we bought them all.
Our bare looking pond was transformed. Chuffed does not do my feelings justice. I was beside myself with excitement. I never thought the day would come I was be so completely in love with gardening that I was excited by pond plants. But here it was.
Dad’s waterlily took centre stage in the pond, his water feature slates stood proud beside it, a memory of mum and dad.
Pebbles and cobbles added (mainly to stop the cat from digging up and pooing in the soil!) and it was complete.
I sat on a swing seat. I looked at the garden. And I cried. For a moment I wished my mum and dad could have been here to see what we’ve achieved. To see that their time teaching a few bits and pieces in their garden hadn’t gone to waste. Until this point I hadn’t really realised how symbolic this garden was – it was my tribute to my parents. I just hadn’t known that it was until that moment.
So, that was it. Phase Two of the garden was complete and we were ready for our first guests to come and see it and spend time in it.
Phase Three was in the planning, but first we had a couple of BBQ’s to do and we needed some time to just enjoy the garden and appreciate what we had achieved so far.
Summer had arrived and it was time to light the coals.