Gardening leave, I thought that is the term used for high rollers who have been farmed out to pasture because they were past their sell by date or somebody thought that they just did not fit into their plans anymore. Well i think i have disproved that little theory over the last two years.
As you might gather from previous posts our live’s had a bit of a severe setback two years ago when my wife Kim was diagnosed with a serious illness which meant i had to more or less semi retire, it was a bit of a shock but not half as much of a shock our garden was going to get. It really started at the onsett of the good weather last year. We have always been an outdoor family and with the arrival of the glorious weather it made you want to be outside in the garden, we also started to take more than an unhealthy interest in gardeners world and the flower shows which were being shown, very dangerous, Kim was feeling better and also more confident so some of the best places for us to visit were the garden centres and also some of the show gardens that we have located near us. Kim’s sister who also loves her garden was of work so she would accompany us, it was then like stereo for new ideas and new plants, mind you i didn’t take much encouragement.
The beautiful weather last year kept up, the garden was starting to look great but there was something missing i thought, my youngest daughter gave me the inspiration much to her disgust when she was talking about her next door neighbours pond and the possibilty that there could be frogs, which she is terrified off in there and that was it i thought, i want to build a pond.
I do think my daughter Carly thought i was joking until she seen me chopping down the bush as this was where my pond was going to be. One off my best investments that i purchased was an b&q garden pic axe which worked wonders in getting out the old bush roots. As our garden is on a slope i had to make a retaining wall and then back up the earth that i had dug out until the ground was level, after that was done i could dig out the pond shape. I then put sand and some weed retaining sheeting down to hopefully protect the liner from sharp bits, fit the liner fill it with water and hey presto we have a pond. A little bit more work had to be done making a waterfall and cementing pebbles to the sides to make it look half decent. We have fitted a pump which has a fountain and also does the waterfall, we have also added a few plants and will see what happens, as of yet we haven’t seen a frog.
Other things that had to be done was a new deck as when i was testing the old planks early this year my foot went right through one of them, which was a bit fortunate considering i had eight people on there last year. The early winter storms cost me a few fence panels but that is quite normal.
This year i put down bags of fertiliser which i have never done before and the rewards have been outstanding. The wisteria and the clematis have never flowered as much, the delphiniums and the osteospermum have came back with a vengence.The only dissapointment was the peonys which only produced three blooms out of about ten plants, but i will persevere and hopefully learn a bit more about them. We are now into autmn and the dahlias have been stunning and still blooming, dead heading really seems to work. I think the next few weeks will be about cutting back the perenials and then seeing what is the best compost to put on the ground in readiness for next year. Another thing that i must do is to start taking notice of the names of the plants that i put in the garden because you can only refer to a plant as an orange, red or yellow flower so many times.
Another thing the garden has done is to provide me with a subject for my passion for photography, as there can be so much beauty to capture through the lens photographing gardens and plants. I have recently done a photography workshop with garden photographer Phillip Smith which i found to be very usefull and informative. I am now trying to get a good portfollio of pictures together to enter in this years international gardener of the year photography competition. I have made an album of the garden so far this year, which will no doubt be added to as the year goes by