A Year of Growing

This time last year I was just starting this blog – so much has changed and I cannot believe it’s been a whole year!

I started this blog to keep a visual record of the happenings in the garden from when I moved in (as it was such a wreck, mainly concrete wreck), and I’ve loved noticing the transformation my garden has gone through since. I’ve had a chance to see it through every season and add & play around with different elements. I feel I’ve come a long way with my gardening knowledge, but obviously still have lots more to learn! And if it has helped anyone with gardening ideas or tips along the way then even better! It’s great seeing a few of my friends getting green fingered and being able to suggest things and discuss and swap thoughts.

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I really dislike posting pictures of the back of the garden because, well, it just isn’t pretty. However, I’m thrilled that progress has happened in the concrete department (finally!) and half the tree has gone. Some pigeons have decided to nest over the summer, so once they fly their coop we can take the rest of it down. The fence has been taken down and a new one popped up and I’ve also got a load of wooden decking ready to go in at the back and a list of climbing Clematis ready to purchase for around it. So I’ve come full circle and here’s what I’m doing differently this year from last…

As I probably mentioned last year, I LOVE this time of year so much. I’m resisting putting the heating on, as I know a lot of friends have caved already, but am wrapping up in jumpers and scarves and thinking about Halloween and Bonfire night. Soon it’ll be time to throw on a woolly hat and drink hot chocolate near the fire. Not that I have a fireplace… I’ll have to stick with a bonfire.

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Last year I was ripping out my Dahlias, salvaging the corms for this year, and Petunias. It was heart breaking to take out annuals that were still flowering, but this year I was a little more ruthless and tore out my annuals that I’d tried new this summer that were coming to the end. Last year the garden was super bare and I was getting a little impatient for the bulbs to shoot in spring. This year I replaced the entire border with Violas and Pansies and am SO excited to see some winter colour.

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They were cheap packs from Homebase, £3.95 for 24 and I bought 3 packs which meant plenty to fill up the whole border. I’m so happy that within the space of 2 weeks they are already starting to grow and flower. Hopefully they’ll provide an explosion of colour throughout the miserable months of winter.

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I’m about to spend a few days in the garden ripping out the dwarf beans and cucumbers that have finished producing crop and am very close to trying garlic in the ground. I use so much of it in the kitchen, so it would definitely be put to good use. If anyone can provide any garlic growing tips, then please share in the comments below!

The potted plants; Raspberries, Alstroemeria, Tree Lillies, Lavender and Gerberas are all growing well. I tried horticultural fleecing for the first time last year to keep the frost out and the plants alive, and will be preparing some more for this year too. It works so well – just wrap around the base of each pot to protect the roots and move the less established ones indoors during the worst of it. My Heucheras were so small last year in their little pots, and now they’re in the ground thriving, so clearly the fleecing works.

With help, I’ve dug out concrete and started building up a big shrub display in the centre. My Acer is taking centre stage, and surrounded by gems such as Heuchera, Hosta, Hydrangea, Dicentra and Euphorbia. There’s tons more to explore with the area and I’m toying with the idea of stones/pebbles covering the whole square area, inbetween all of the tree trunk stepping stones. I need to do a bit more research with what shrubs would benefit from this type of display, and which would detest it.

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After a whole year of trials and testing I’ve got some more exciting ideas for next year in my garden and think it’ll be even more effective than this year, but my impatience still exists when it comes to springtime approaching (not that I don’t like Autumn and Winter ‘cos I love it), I just really want to get stuck in with sewing new seeds and making my garden bigger and better.

As a celebration for my one year blogaversary (yeah, I’m lame enough to write that) I’ve posted some of my favourite photos from my gardening experiences this year below, including trips to some amazing gardens and some of the new plants I’ve experimented with…

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I hope you have enjoyed the last year in my garden, ‘cos I definitely have. Let me know your thoughts and drop any comments below, I’d love to hear from you 🙂

xo

 

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