So, to the garden for positive thinking! I won't give you any overall views because we have a lot of areas of crap so I'll zone in on a few of my small projects.
After nearly six years we feel we have the back broken in the garden in terms of planting and digging beds. A lot of the trees and bushes are still small but they are established and will look amazing in two years' time. Hopefully at that stage, they'll also help to reduce the gales that blow through our property.
Inside the house, we have to be careful about moving ferocious creatures because Sadie and Holly go mad if you interfere with their setup. This often makes simple tasks very difficult.
Outside the house is no different, we have to watch out for toys and make sure they stay where they were put.
I keep any freebie plants that show up in the garden at the back door. We discovered the big holly at the back of the photo when Holly was born and there's another miniscule one that you can barely see. There's also thyme and rosemary here. The other pots are things I'm not sure will come on and ones that I'm not sure where to plant yet. I bet you didn't know that green plastic dolphins like sit in with the mint.
This old tractor tyre came with the house! It's our herb wheel outide the kitchen. It's very handy because the vegetable patch is quite far away when you're only looking for a few chives. Here we have chives, parsley, lemon balm, sage, thyme, watercress.....and a dinosaur of course.
I'm all for little areas within a property. Ours aren't that distinct yet, but as things grow they'll become more defined. Here is one bed with almost-boulders at the back and large stones in front. We have the tiniest hawthorn plants behind the fence (I got 30 near-dead ones in Aldi and they've all come on. Great value for €2) and in front you can see the soldiers of Summer, the gladioli. The beech tree is obvious in the photo but there is also euonymous, sage (we have lots of sage), rose and fuschia. At the very start of Spring a line of crocus dressed the front of the bed. The fence is only stopping the dog and children running through at the moment, it will come out in the future when this all comes together.
I'll ignore the veggie patch and lawn for the moment because we are still planting veg. and my plan for the lawn has only just begun. We have a
little orchard of four trees above the veggie patch and a lot of fruit bushes.
On one of the beds in the veggie patch we have some cuttings from last year (more freebies but from Martin taking them, not from self-seeding). There's dogwood, goosberry and blackcurrant and they're all doing well so we'll be able to plant those out or pot them for a while once Autumn arrives. This is a regular pitstop for toys who seem to prefer sitting in with the plants than risking getting soaked in the tunnel. As you can see today was a cape day in our house, Barney and the two plastic dinosaurs -that Sadie and Holly know the real names of- are sporting purple wrapping paper and stickytape capes.
These are the broadbeans in the polytunnel. (Let me see if I can get this part right:) Martin's mother's cousin's husband, Peter, gathered the beans from his own plants and sent a packet of them to Martin from the UK. They're flying. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of insects flying in there. My dad recently gave me four courgette plants and a cucumber plant and also a recipe for a garlic and water mixture that I'll be able to spray everything in here with. I'll definitely have to do it soon. I'll put the cucumber plant and two courgette plants in the tunnel. The courgettes take up a lot of room so I'll harden the other two off and plant them out.
Sadie and Holly like to check on everything in the polytunnel. I presume they're copying what they've seen Martin doing. They lift the leaves of some plants and ruffle others. Today, Holly shrieked with delight when she found a red strawberry. She's been begging to eat the green ones for a while and knows the ones outside are nowhere near ready so I reckon she's had her eye on the very spot she checked today.
There was fierce excitement as we hosed down the giant strawberry.
And then the washing-machine-crystaliser and her sister took a break from their labours.