Sunday, 5 June 2011

The force that through the green fuse...

And so, to the garden.

We inherited a square lawn, a border of decorative stones, a paved patio and a rubble strew site of a long deceased shed from the former tenants. The garden had not been touched since being laid by the developers ten years ago.

The challenge is to create a garden with height, colour and variety on a tiny, tiny budget and with absolutely no experience whatsoever. At this point I feel the need to genuflect before the great and glorious Monty Don and the newly formatted Gardener's World, which has been invaluable to a green fingered n00b such as myself. *moment of contemplation on the benevolent botanical bohemian and all who follow him*

It took us 3 months to clear one length of the garden of decorative stones. Ugly, ugly things and concealing a not insignificant amount of cat shit. Then we had to hydrate the parched, packed, clay like soil and hope to the Great Monty that whatever we plant in it will hold.

So far that border contains 4 lavender bushes, a voracious thyme, a cheeky mint, a valiant oregano, a lush Rosemary, wildflowers, anemones, begonias, sunflowers, fuschia, cornflowers, snapdragons, sweet pea, honeysuckle, clematis, phlox and 3 pumpkin plants. *wipes brow* A divan base was turned into a vegetable bed where carrots, beetroot, onions and rocket fight bravely against the onslaught of the Cat Bastards. Tomatoes and cucumber flourish in a cold farm, potatoes (two varieties) are going mental in their planters, the petit pois have the most amazingly delicate flowers and are snaking healthily up their supportive canes, radish are poking their heads above the soil and chillies reside indoors in a large trug with some very healthy sweet pepper. Tubs of geranium, anemone, lobelia, busy lizzie, cottage pinks, strawberry and creeping alpines complete the line up against the fence and under the windows. Small Roar has a tub of cornflowers and two tubs of sunflowers sending up their sweet shoots in his own garden trug.

Most of the veg has been grown from seed in a B&Q value propagator on a windowsill. Some of the plants in the border and tubs have been gifts from people who found my enthusiasm endearing. I've been given seeds, bulbs and seedlings by those who have too many of their own, creating a mental 'leftover' display in my garden.There is something incredibly liberating and nurturing about sowing, growing and propagating from scratch- too see a thriving plant bearing fruit, or a vegetable put down strong roots. When your body fails to produce a life it is also a healing process to plant, grow and sustain life in a garden. Incredibly cathartic really.

On that note, Dylan says it best.