Tuesday

How does your garden grow?


I have never really taken all that much interest in gardening. I suffer from hayfever, and spend most of the summer months hiding in the house pretending that the hot weather is just a horrible dream. I grew up in a fairly modest garden, lawn, patio, earning pocket money hacking down the enormous laurel bush at various intervals, and drawing on the walls with chalks. Gardening just wasn't a thing we did as a family in my house. Strangely both sets of my grandparents were voracious gardeners and when clearing one house before my granny went to live in a care home I found album upon album filled with images of her precious flowers, but not in our house.

When we moved into this house we were told by people don't do anything with the garden for at least a year. Given the work we wanted to do in the rest of the house I was happy to take this advice and (general tidying aside) we have spent a year watching the garden do its thing. The previous owners planted it to have waves of things growing, just when we thought a bed was going to be empty for the next season a pop of colour would appear, or something we were convinced was a weed would burst into an amazing showing of flowers.

We have tried our hands at house plants and it has been an unfailing disaster. Everything dies. Even spider plants, small children can keep spider plants alive, I remember doing it at school, but in our house? No, they commit suicide.

I researched, I tried to make sure I wasn't watering too much or too little, we ought cheap plants, we bought expensive ones, nothing survived. Then an idea struck me, perhaps it wasn't the plants that we the problem, maybe it was our watering can. There is a vague memory in my mind that I used it for cleaning our deck with some nasty chemicals and it struck me that possibly this wasn't the best ingredients to build an amazing selection of house plants. So I swapped our watering can for an empty milk bottle with holes punched in the lid and tried again.

I sowed some seeds, popped a lid thing on them and waited.

And we only bloody did it! we have seedlings. Everyday there would be coo's of "look how much its grown" and "is that a shoot or a bit of stick?", till now we have a positive bed of seedlings that have been (slightly inexpertly) re potted.

I am so excited to try more. There are grand plan afoot for gooseberry bushes and lavender beds. If you've recently moved and are thinking about taking your first steps into the garden I would certainly listen to the advice of others, leave it a year, watch your garden, see what you like, and then make your changes.

And of course remember don't use your watering can to clean the decking. Ever.


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