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Spring clearing in the garden


Yesterday the sun shone, not much breeze, so it was the perfect weather to begin my ‘low maintenance’ plan for the back garden.

I have decided to use chipped bark, or is it bark chippings, on the flower borders to, firstly, deter the weeds and secondly let me see just what trees/shrubs/ perennials I wish to keep.

First job was to define the edges of the borders from the lawn, an annual job I quite enjoy doing with the half moon edging tool but these days my shortness of breath after exertion curtails how much I am able to do in one session!

Ah, the frustration of it, but I tell myself it could be an awful lot worse, so I am happy to plod on at a snail’s pace.

So, here is the first border I have cleared of Celandine, wild Garlic, a large clump of non-flowering Narcissus and an unknown form of pink flowered Geranium as it grows so tall and straggly.

The garden fencing was fitted a couple of weeks ago, so all three sides of the garden are edged with it now, and it really has enhanced the whole look of the garden boundaries.

I am very happy to see the divisions of Sedum and Primroses have taken well as it’s not something I have done very often. Cost cutting too!

I have decided to forego seed sowing and concentrate on taking cuttings – these pots are all holding cuttings from my garden plants – Rosemary, Lacecap Hydrangea, Penstemon, Fuchsia, Sedum, Erysimum – enough to keep me busy.

Sunny again, if a bit breezy, but I shall carry on regardless to the next border.

Enjoy the weekend, whatever you may do.

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I think your plans have worked out well, Shirley, and it's a sensible idea to be realistic about what we can achieve in a season. It all looks very neat and your cuttings are a triumph! I've sat on my hands this year and not ordered any more seeds than I have stashed away already. I know I am guilty of 'greedy eyes' and then get overwhelmed and frustrated at plants and seedling dying because I have been overoptimistic about my capabilties! You seem to be achieving the balance! And the fencing is a smart addition, too.

19 Mar, 2022


Anget, being realistic is precisely the term! When I think how, not so many years ago, I maintained our garden, my Mums plus OH and I had an allotment, phew, makes me tired just thinking about it!

I shall miss the home-grown Sweet Peas and Cosmos, both of those were always started off from seed, but they can always be bought as small plants and grown on.

19 Mar, 2022


I don't have the stamina anymore, either. I enjoy it when keeping up doesn't make me feel overwhelmed so this year I am 'taking a view' about what is achievable. I have sown a few sweet peas saved from last year's batch of plants but that's all at the moment.
Your garden always seems very attractive.

19 Mar, 2022


Well done Shirley, and I agree with both you and Ange. I’m taking plenty of cuttings too, and trying hard not to grow too much from seed. Kind Goyers have sent me some so I certainly don’t need to buy any, but I am buying a few plugs - they make life easier!

19 Mar, 2022


I wish my garden looked as tidy as yours.

19 Mar, 2022


I think your changes to your gardening routines will really help you Shirley.
Good luck with each of your cuttings which all look so lovely.

19 Mar, 2022


Anget, I went to bed last night wondering how much I could achieve today in the garden. Pleased to say I finished one side of the middle border, pulled up lots of Forget-me-nots, cursed when I touched fallen Holly leaves and am still finding Celandines. The latter must have come in with a bag of compost . . . :o(

Sheila, it still means we have the enjoyment of gardening, just in a slightly different way!

Siris, it doesn't always look this neat, honestly. Mind you, I do like it to look that way!

Thanks Chris, I hope it will make it easier to manage. Thank goodness it's not a huge garden.

19 Mar, 2022


Well done Shirley, you're doing a grand job, the new fencing looks a treat, makes the shrubs and flowers in the borders stand out more..
I'm useless at edging, with a half moon, plus a line it still ends up skewhiff and would look as though the gardener had hit the bottle, I do like to see a nice edge on a lawn but accepted defeat many years back, having concrete and brick edging has saved me a lot of hassle...
Dividing plants has saved me a fortune over the years but unlike you I don't get very good results from cuttings in pots, never have done, mine stand a better chance of survival if I just shove them in the earth and forget about them, I hope yours do well for you...
Wild garlic is driving me mental Shirley, its a nightmare, I honestly don't know where it came from but its appeared in my big bed , every year I think I've successfully eradicated the darn stuff only to have it bounce back with a vengeance....

19 Mar, 2022


Nicely done Shirley T, and when I read this

"Ah, the frustration of it, but I tell myself it could be an awful lot worse, so I am happy to plod on at a snail’s pace."

I think we are in much the same boat, regarding both location & lack of puff. Low maintenance is the way ahead, with odd spot of pruning and weed pulling when spotted

Doing what is achievable instead of wishing for what isn't or was gives a very different perspective, and enjoyment in itself I find, and perennial plants help a lot with this

Gone are the days of allotments and barrowing muck around, I'm now happy enough just bending over without tumbling head first into the border

20 Mar, 2022


G'g you've just described me as well, I'm finding the garden so much easier since adding more shrubs and planting perennials, apart from the initial planting I only tend them when its time for deadheading and the cut back in early spring, no heavy digging to do and only a few annuals to fill the gaps in summer,its not the tumbling over that gets me, its the fact I can't get back up again.....LOL...

20 Mar, 2022


I hope you don't overdo it Shirley as I always tell myself to just do a couple of hours! Which then stretches into another! But saying that, having poly myalgia does make me stop in the end!
You have made the borders really nice and is going to look lovely in the summer!
I hope all your cuttings succeed! I decided to sow more this year, but think I got carried away! I will then have the problem of where they are all going!

20 Mar, 2022


Sue - I honestly believe that the Wild Garlic came via a bag of compost from a supermarket. The compost was awful, stringy and full of lumps. What with trying to clear the Garlic and Grape Hyacinths I'm fighting a losing battle . . . :o(

Grandad, thanks for your comment, good to know we're on the same 'wavelength' so to speak! My front garden has easy to care for shrubs in gravel, just a little pruning here and there, so I'm hoping to achieve the same minimum work in the back. An ongoing task ...

Rose, a couple of hours for me is out of the question! Well, perhaps with an hour's rest in between, ha, ha. I realised today that I do have some seeds to sow, Spanish Flag is one of the packets I have, but that's about all.

20 Mar, 2022


You've done an excellent job Shirley_tulip. I wish I could find an energy to do the same.

20 Mar, 2022


For me it is arthritis in the knees rather than lack of puff, but the effect is about the same---lots of stops and starts and near tumbles! Over the last few years my borders have been over-run with celandines, actually one of my favourite flowers, but the borders are definitely the wrong place. It is almost impossible to weed them all out, I find, and they always leave dozens of little nodules behind which make new plants next year.
I agree that shrubs and perennials are the way forward but I also have a lot of roses, mostly climbers, which I am finding more and more difficult to prune and care for, but I can't bear to part with them, so I struggle on.
I also have far too many plants in pots because I thought that would be easier than digging the garden but it is actually harder, what with heaving compost about and the constant watering in summer.
After reading these posts, however, I realise there are many of us in the same boat and I'm resolved to edge the borders tomorrow!

21 Mar, 2022


Shirley, I do hope your Spanish Flag do better than my attempt last year, I sowed & tried them to go with my runners, having seen them at West Dean gardens being used to attract pollinators to the beans

Those that made it to the ouside were finished off by the snails as an aperitif before they started my runners

21 Mar, 2022


Thanks Klahanie,I hope your energy returns soon!

Penny, once a gardener, always a gardener, methinks! Today I saw a huge Bee on a Celandine flower and felt guilty knowing I will be digging them out soon.

Grandad, I had great success with the seeds for a couple of years but the last sowing were nowhere near as good. West Dean Gardens, another place to visit later in the year.

21 Mar, 2022


I consider myself fortunate in that having a balcony I don't need to do edging or mowing or digging! Yet it still takes several hours to try & keep it all need & tidy.

Perhaps one of the the things you with gardens don't have to put up with is pigeons - they have really made an awful mess of the balcony this winter! Their dropping when it rains makes the balcony dangerously slippery as well as downright disgusting! We've never had so many of them on this building during the 20 years we've been here as there are now.

Last year I had to constantly battle against them trying to built nests on the balcony & this year they've started again! I also have a battle on with my wife who doesn't like me shooing them away! I just can't win! 😥

21 Mar, 2022


Ha, the Wood Pigeons think our garden and fence is for their courting activities! They walk all over the chipped bark area, covering the stepping stones with it, think the water bowl on the grass is for their use only and leave such a mess - detest them with a passion!

I wonder if you bought a few toy windmills it would keep your Pigeons away?

23 Mar, 2022


Shirley, the worst problem is not the pigeons trying to nest on the balcony but the ones that spend hours on the balcony railing about 4 or 5 floors above us.

23 Mar, 2022


Yuk!! :o(

24 Mar, 2022

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