Hello and happy summer everyone. I’m still enjoying lovely, sunny days in Suffolk and have a beach-filled holiday booked in September to keep me going too! I LOVE gardens in the summer, when everything is in bloom and you can sit & relax in the evening! Unfortunately my own garden still isn’t at it’s peak, it’s more about enjoying harvesting my own food, that’s where having a best friend who has thrived with her green fingers is key!
Last year I did a post about Lizzie and her garden, how she was starting to take a keen interest in gardening and started a few projects here ‘n there. I thought it would be great to do another post, catching up with what progress has been made and show off some of her achievements in the garden!
Here’s a prime example! Her newly laid raised beds with the beginnings of tomato and pepper plants in a year ago, to now a fully functioning fruit ‘n veg area. Her tomato plants are coming on leaps and bounds, and she’s nailed the ‘pinching out’ and keeping them upright and sturdy, rather than bushy and messy.
She’s also upgraded her seating area. Before it was quite simple and just had the small table and chairs tucked around the corner. Since then, she’s turned it into a beautiful, peaceful area of the garden with a selection of great potted plants to compliment.
The Hydrangea is fairly new apparently, so hasn’t bloomed this year yet. I love the mixture of colours from the blooms and the foliage. I’m definitely going to be pinching some ideas here for my own garden. Things like the massive button barrel in the corner are so quaint too – typical Ben and Lizzie style. Probably from a car-boot too (they love finding a steal in car-boots and antique shops – they’re your people to go to!)
Lizzie was showing me her Acer which she’s potted up and added bark to the base. It looks great! She gave it a trim earlier in the year and it’s flourished ever since. That reminds me, I need to give my one a good cut.
Not everything’s gone to plan though. I think it’s always good to show the negative with the positive, to learn and grow (grow- geddit?) from. Her poor Hosta was getting munched on quite dramatically. She solved this problem by propping up off ground level, so it’s harder for bugs and slugs to get to. I LOVE that she’s used tree stumps to do so. Much better than bricks or other crap laying around the garden. Different height stumps works well for each pot too.
This is all on Lizzie’s main decking area where the comfy sofas, twinkly fairy-lights and chiminea are all based. Such a lovely area to enjoy music, fire and a bottle of wine (from experience).
I love the array of different sizes, colours and shaped pots Lizzie has used for these plants here. The succulents in the large tub (in the bottom picture) were all dying apparently. They realised the stones they used for drainage weren’t doing the job, so they’ve now drilled holes in the bottom and everything’s doing much better.
Last year when we visited, Lizzie was growing strawberries hanging off the fence. Since then she’s moved them to lower ground and different containers. She’s actually using part of my guttering I gave them – genius! She’s had a lot more success too. In the year she’s learnt a few tricks of the trade when it comes to strawberries including, the new shoots that form, bury back in the soil and then once the roots have settled, unpick and you have another plant! (I hope I’ve explained that right. She showed me, but putting into words is a little different haha). Also the use of her weed deterring mesh buried underneath the stones and pebbles! She showed me a pot with and one without, and actually the difference is quite incredible. Another useful idea I’ll be adding to my list to steal.
She’s also got her Agapanthus separated and now has three beautiful flowers in her little border. And she’s learning to train her clematis up the trellis, which hopefully will climb and weave the top of the fence – that’s her aim.
A new addition is her potatoes! Variety – Charlotte, just in time for Christmas harvesting. I’ve asked Lizzie to keep an eye on these and let me know how easy it is to grow.
Talking of new additions… the fabulous summer house is here! Another to add to the list of chilled places to hang in their garden. The cushions and throws are perfect in the winter when you don’t necessarily want to sit out on the decking.
I’m sure Lizzie and Ben have loads more ideas for the garden, and I know Lizzie is planning on attempting some new fruit ‘n veggies next year too. I’m such a proud friend with everything they have done this year. I’ll definitely be taking away tips from her gardening experience and putting them to good use in my own.
I love seeing the progression – what progress have you made in the last year with your garden, big or small?