The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

New to all this


I have been a ‘lurker’ on GOY for some time but it is only now that I feel as though I may be able to have a go at writing a blog. I’m not really into technological wizardry but having read so many interesting blogs of other members and seen photos of your gardens I thought the time has finally come to join in and tell you something about my garden.

I live on the outskirts of Brussels and moved into my current home in July 2006. The house was in dire need of some renovations and the garden, well…!

However whilst I had always had an interest, I hadn’t had much hands on experience of real gardening but I knew that something had to be done. So when my BH declared that no, there wasn’t much I could do to help in the house (plumbing and wiring at that stage), for better or worse I set to.

Phase 1.
Remember how hot it was in July 2006? Temperatures were well into the high 20s low 30s. Well, I dug and dug and dug during that summer. The whole garden was full of mare’s tail and dock. I became obsessed with mare’s tail root! My husband would return from work to find me thigh deep in the earth swearing at a root that refused to budge! In many respects though it’s a good job the weather was so good because we didn’t have a working kitchen so the Barbie was put to good use often in the dark!

By October I had managed to clear one of the main borders and after lifting and replacing all the rocks that were already there, the rockery area. It was by no means perfect but I could see the beginnings of a garden.

In a bid for some work in the fresh air BH dug out an old tree root from the side of the house but we decided that when the time came it might be nice to plant a new tree in roughly the same place.

It was unbelievably difficult to find herbaceous perennials at that time of year. Apparently, I would have to wait for the spring! But I was impatient, and as we were returning to the UK to collect some fitted bedroom furniture from MFI I managed to fax of list of plants to a garden centre in the UK that we could collect at the same time. So in mid-November we had a day trip across the channel and arrived home close to midnight with a white van full to the brim with flat pack bedroom furniture and plants.

Now came the fun part! Planting everything.

Doesn’t look much does it?!

To be continued.

More blog posts by digginfit

Next post: New to all this. Phase 2



Looks like you have really worked hard Digginfit, what a transformation you made in a short time. "doesn't look much does it" I bet it looks fantastic now, and looking forward to see the " to be continued ". Great first blog by the way.

1 Feb, 2011


Liked your blog. You have beaten me to it as I have dithered whilst reading everyone elses. Reminds me of the year of 1976 when we moved to our present house. I was so keen to start on this lovely large garden, or so it seemed to me, after having a little postage stamp of one in town, that I ignored the fact that the ground was like concrete. Remember that long hot summer? Unfortunately I slipped a disc trying to remove some concrete that was the remains of the old air-raid shelter previous owners had used to make a rock garden of sorts. You did well to get yours under control.
Our garden has gone through many changes since and with the help of regular visits to a chiropractor, I keep on gardening, walking, painting etc. I only have half the garden I started with, as my BH has filled it with shed workshop, studio, and garage but it is enough for me. Will watch your progress with interest.

1 Feb, 2011


An impatient gardener? Much like myself, but after saying that, clearing that border took some work and patience well done you! Its not easy waiting around for plants to become established, and give you the promise of an amazing show, is it? Yes I can fully understand your comment.. "doesn't look much" but I can assure you all your hard work will pay off in no time, you won't recognise it, can we see pics in a few weeks! oh and a belated welcome to you digginfit, and good luck with the house renovations too!

1 Feb, 2011


It will soon mature you won't think no much is it then lol, you ve worked hard and well done it s a credit to you, and welcome from me too.

1 Feb, 2011


I have to say I am really impressed with all your hard work. I bet you enjoyed your trip to the garden centre in the UK. I am always amazed how plants spread out so quickly and then you will be able to show us the results.
Welcome to GOY.

1 Feb, 2011


Oh I disagree, it looks a treat, you have worked really hard and transformed that area, sounds as though you are very busy inside as well.
Welcome to Goy,well done with your first blog,will look forward to seeing more of your garden......

1 Feb, 2011


Yes, welcome to Goy and enjoyment for in your garden (and cats!)

1 Feb, 2011


I think it looks a lovely garden and you have done so well. The work it took to just clear and reveal your rock garden looked very hare well done. The planting is looking fab keep going. Have you anywhere you could grow some seeds on and then I could send you some. I love it when you can see a transformation of a garden, please keep us up to date with your progress its great.

1 Feb, 2011


transformation is definitely the right word ~ what a lovely looking garden you now have taking place ~ before our very eyes!
i shall look forward to seeing more, welcome to GoY, im sure you will enjoy blogging nearly as much as the gardening!

1 Feb, 2011


Welcome to GOY and congratulations on the work so far, hope to see some photos of this summer, hope you enjoy the spring. Just out of interest are there good garden centres around Brussels and if so are they similar to uk ones?

1 Feb, 2011


Thank you to everyone for the warm welcome to GOY and for your nice comments. I fear I may have confused the issue a little though. You see, this blog is a sort of back issue about the making of my garden - started in 2006. The house renovations are more or less complete (if a house can ever be completely finished!). The garden has slowly evolved (still is) and this is the tale, told in bits, as to how it got to be what it is today. Sorry for any confusion.

1 Feb, 2011


A fantastic effort! I started out in life as an 'impatient gardener' and my Dad despaired of me as, after giving me a little patch of my own to look after, I then spent every day digging everything up to see what it was doing! Obviously after my meddling it did nothing! I have more patience now. :o) Well done on your efforts and I look forward to seeing Phase 2.

2 Feb, 2011


dont worry ~ im far too easily confused ~ i shall enjoy your blog garden growing ~ whether its fully up to date or not!!!

2 Feb, 2011


No confusion on my part. Hard work is hard work!!

2 Feb, 2011


Wow...You have certainly turned that garden around....Its brilliant to see the difference....Im pleased that the enthusiasm of all the good folks on here have managed to bring you out of the "lurking" cupboard, and into the open......Post pics and be proud.....and more than anything, enjoy......

2 Feb, 2011


Nice to hear from you at last :o)
You've done a lot of work there. I remember summer 2006 - very hot even here in Wales. It was my first summer in this house too.
Your garden is coming along nicely.

2 Feb, 2011



I have just bought some seeds, however at the moment I use the kitchen table and windowsills. Nevertheless, most of the Penstemon seeds have germinated and the Larkspur are just starting to appear. I would love to have a proper greehouse but there is nowhere really appropriate to site one at this stage. I have just bought a small patio greenhouse and a coldframe so I'll see how I go on with those. Many thanks for your offer though.


Yes, I have now discovered a couple of quite good garden centers fairly close by and another very good one near Antwerp. They a pretty much on a par with those in the UK although they do tend to supply most of the herbacious plants in the spring. It's quite difficult to find a decent selection in the autumn. There is also a very good nursery which sells bare root trees and shrubs - although I have had two failures of things bought from him. I also have a very good local supplier of compost - both loose and in bags. He also sells gravel, pots etc but not so much in the way of plants apart from summer bedding. All in all I'm pretty well set up here for supplies. I wish I could get mail order plants though - there are so many that I would love to have but just cannot get.

2 Feb, 2011


aha how good did u feel when u cleared it then stood back and looked? thats wots it about complete satisfaction from ur work and watching everythin cum togetha slowley good luck!

3 Feb, 2011


Well done on taming the garden and on writing your first blog! Marvellous to have found such lovely rocks in the garden (though I'm sure it wasn't lovely heaving them to their new site). Keep up the good work, and looking forward to the next instalment.

7 Feb, 2011

Add a comment

Recent posts by digginfit

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    22 Oct, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    3 Apr, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    10 Sep, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    4 Jul, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    28 Jul, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    1 Mar, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    4 Oct, 2008