Luckily, I am not as behind with the garden as I am with the blogging! Last summer the garden quickly improved and by mid summer was almost the idyll we are striving for.
Since we have downsized from a small farm with three barns to a semi with just a garage and a tumble down garden shed we decided it was time to be building a new, bigger and better one. After all, a man has to keep his junk somewhere. Using just his brains and his brawn, John built it from scratch - but of course, he'd never have done it without his ever willing labourer - me! It is certainly a better building than the one that was there before - it is double glazed and insulated and will have electricity once he has got around to it.
Since January this year, I've been poking around outside, uncovering shooting bulbs and tidying up. The pots of bulbs I planted have been lovely and the mild winter seems to have benefited everything. When I pruned the roses I was not quite sure where to cut as most of them had retained their leaves all winter!
When it is too cold or wet to garden I like to shop online for plants and browse Pinterest for ideas and planting schemes. I have ordered everything from clematis to creeping phlox, fuchsias to lavender so, in theory, come Summer it should be looking splendid. Most things have arrived unscathed, all apart from my sweetpeas which seem to have gone astray in the post. The company in question assure me fresh ones have been sent out but they will be going in late and I am more than a little cross. Sweetpeas are a massive part of summer - fragrance in the garden, fragrance in the house - I can't do without them!
All the jobs were done by early March: the tidy up, the roses fed and pruned, seeds sown in the greenhouse and the grass given its first cut. But one big job remained - the laying of the patio!
Early in the year, with the help of a couple of lads from the village, we dug out the area to be paved. Then we set about laying the slabs. We opted for sandstone - pale grey in the dry and a dark slick grey in the rain. Luckily, as with most things, John is very skilled in this department and with me acting as chief labourer again we had it done in about two weekends. It looks a bit bland in the photos but once I have the seating in place and the pots are planted up and blooming, it will be lovely. I look forward to sitting near the house while dinner is cooking, soaking up the last of the day's sun.
We hummed and haa'd for a while about what sort of edging to use and in the end decided on railway sleepers. they should soon mellow to a lovely grey and complement the paving nicely. The sleepers were relatively easy to put in, and once the flower beds are dug out and planted up to soften it we will be all set for summer -
or that is what we thought until we realised the path needs replacing, and then there is an area beneath the trees that needs rethinking as a shady sitting nook. Then of course, there is the front which resembles a building yard rather than a garden!
Still, I always say a gardener is never happy unless there is a job to be tackled!