This last month was weeks full of getting it done; the weather has finally warmed up (dare I say almost too warm for this time of year) plants don’t know what to do with all the sunshine and warmth.
The vegetables are all going strong except for the cucumber and melons as it was too hot before they could put down enough roots to cope with the heat. The melons are just holding on but I don’t think they will make it. (I have spare waiting in the wings)
I planted more purple podded peas and the second round of succession sowing of the root vegetables and leafy seedlings. I also put in some red cabbage seedlings; everything looked very cute and small but we are going to have vegetables coming out of our ears soon but I guess that is the point.
The stones arrived for the back patio area – we are trying to capture as much sun as possible so we are creating a second seating area for the afternoon when building creates a shade over backdoor patio. First, I started trying out different arrangements; just to see how I felt about it before we dug up the clay and set them on sand permanently.
We bought plugs of ground cover from Victoriana nursery so after we laid all the stones we could plant out the space.
I finally found the time and weather to lay the ground cover – spaced 36 plants per square metre as suggested. I miscounted (as I am making this up as I go along) so I ran out half way. The other half is on back order and will not arrive until June so will remain unfinished until then.I also laid the stepping-stones over a layer of packed sand – made sure they were level but it was hard to make the stone equal with the hard clay – so they are sunken slightly.
You can see in the back of this picture I have already carved out a hole for the back patio; this was very difficult due to the compressed clay and rubble. It was extremely hot in the backyard last week and I had trouble finding time out of the sun to work on it. The irony is the back patio idea was so that we could have more chances to sit and enjoy the sun but it seems the garden is too hot; will have to invest in an umbrella.
After excavating the clay (seen on the side here) I laid stones and then packed sand on top of that. Making sure it was level was a real pain as I didn’t have a long enough piece of wood. In the end, the heat got to me (the stones weigh 12 kg each) and I gave in to have an ice cream and a sit down instead (Mr Urbanfarmer finished it when he returned from America).
I planted some
blue pinkberries along the wall, although I don’t know how well they will do as they are not in full sun all day so might not bother to bloom. The mulch on the ground below them is my old Christmas wreath as blueberries like acidic soil and pine creates an acidic environment. I will put some fuchsia, hellebore and terrestrial orchids in the rest of the raised soil as that is always in shade due to the shed. (The first picture in this post was taken almost exactly a month ago so you can see how much the vegetables have grown in that time)
Other small things that I completed;
I attached my husband attached some planters to the wall so I could get rid of some of the pots. I planted them up with hellebores so we can see the nodding flowers in early spring next year and some roses that were worse for wear due to aphid attack.
I planted another peony next to my red one; this one is white and fragrant, flowering later than the red. I also bought a new red clematis however, I haven’t decided where to put it quite yet. (excuse the rubbish, we are running out of room for it)
This last area I have not a clue what to do with yet; (suggestions are highly welcome) I have gladioli coming up and actually four (I think) of the five shrivelled dahlia that I planted late are shooting. I have planted two groundcherries (Cape gooseberry/Physalis) in the front as I like the fruit and they are annual (without frost cover). The baby’s tears will grow in to cover the area. It is very hard to know what to put as it is shade by the fence for most of the year but then full sun for the middle half of the summer so shade plants would become burnt and full sun plants would be unhappy.
So that is the state of it so far, I wanted to post when it was all finished but I guess a garden as a growing thing is never finished so better to show progress in all seasons. I think now it is just a matter of waiting for the rest of the ground cover and shuffling pots around until I like them that way. The pebble type stones will go into the front garden and the baby’s tears will be added to the back over the fuchsia in back patio area. Then we will add lights and all kinds of extras but that is a while away.
All kinds of relatives (great, grand and parents) are arriving in June and July so I am aiming to finish it ‘all’ before then or at least have some semblance of order by that time. We are having a large garden party to warm the garden but I don’t think it will actually be finished. One can only hope, I guess.
(This is my 50th post – thanks to all of you that read consistently or not; especially the strangers who are not obliged but still come back)