by little red pen
From my office, I look out onto our back garden in all its wild, raggy glory. I have plans.
We don’t have a chook house, but we want one. Not sure where to put it, but probably down the back somewhere. The Rabbit has just discovered eggs, and it would be lovely to have our own supply. Plus, is there any better garden soundtrack than hens clucking?
The glasshouse needs a good tidy up and then we can start raising seeds and growing tomatoes, basil and coriander. We’ll try cucumber too — it’s hard to get a prolific crop down here, but a few for treats would be happy.
The vege patch
This is the biggest section of the garden, and we’ve planted beans, peas, garlic, potatoes and yams so far. We need to dig in winter’s green crop, then plant zucchini, carrots, more beans and peas, and whatever other yummy things we can think of.
The salad patch
This is a smaller patch near the back door. We started on this early this season, so we’ve got lettuces, sorrel, beetroot, fennel, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, spring onion and herbs on the way. I love having a little patch near the kitchen that I can scavenge in for dinner options.
The rose garden
We moved all the roses into one patch this year, and we’ve planted some daisies in with them too. I’d like more daisies to fill in the gaps, or maybe we could put in some azaleas?
We have a few borders around the place: one running under the rose garden, one along the side of the house, and a pair leading up the path to the front door. We have tiny sweetpea seedlings coming up along the front door path; they were flowering profusely when we moved in last year, so maybe we’re a bit behind. The seeds are from last year’s crop and I am very anxious to see whether they will work.
I’ve been weeding and planting bulbs and flowers in the borders, but they require quite a lot of maintenance. I have about a million little things in the rose garden border, and I have no idea whether I’ve created a shambles or a thing of beauty. Not that those are mutually exclusive. I’m slowly figuring out which baby leaves are weeds and which are pretties, although some continue to mystify me. My general rule is to let things grow until they’re big enough to decide whether I like them or not; this has led to a few disasters, but I am learning.
There’s a section at the front that defies categorisation. It seems to have a bit of everything in it, and I want to shift most of it out and plant a magnolia, a cherry, perhaps some rhododendrons. The bank is also looking dicey, and we’ll have to work out retaining options at some stage.
Damp, ferny bit
There’s an L-shaped bed outside the kitchen window with grasses and ferns and green/cream things in it. The plan is to shift the grasses onto the bank, plant tree ferns and more ground ferns, and waterblast the bricks in front so they’re less hazardous. There’s a big concrete retaining wall behind this bed, with clematis growing down it. I have a long-term plan to plaster the wall and paint a mural on it, despite my complete lack of plastering and painting ability.
We’ve got a couple of lawns near the house that are fairly easy to keep tidy and one steep, scraggy bank that drives me nuts. I think we’re working towards native grasses at one end of the bank and fruit trees and berries at the other, but the mowing and weed-eating is still a big chore. I’m considering sheep.