End of Month View – February 2013


Unsurprisingly nothing has really changed in the front garden since last month’s post.  It is as  drab as ever.  Though to be honest the grass that is growing amongst the expanding moss is getting longer but it never dries out enough to be cut.  I am very hopeful that the weather will start to warm up over the next couple of weeks so I can get on with all the plant moves I have planned for this area.

I started them yesterday morning by digging up three nondescript Cornus from in front of the Birch.  They had been planted there probably 2 or 3 years ago and has just sat there.  I suspect that it is just too dry for them and there is too much competition from the laurel hedge, birch and Grevillea.  Instead I have some Phlomis russelina which I want to plant in front of the birch.  I think their architectural leaves will look excellent against the birch especially in the winter when they are frosted and they will provide a nice contrast to the Grevillea.


When we had a slightly warmer spell, or should I say day, earlier in the month I did start to tidy the border by the driveway and mulch it.  I have still to finish this but I need some more mulch and I didn’t think it would be a good idea to mulch on frozen soil!  I have a small bay tree which is going into this border hopefully this weekend if I can get it out of its  pot.  This should add some height to what I see as a very flat area. The tulips, alliums and narcissus are all being to sprout so hopefully there will be some colour soon.  I am at the point where I need to see what I have planted, perennial and bulb wise, do their stuff before I can understand what else needs to be done.


Then there is bamboo corner, or the corner of doom, to deal with.  I have to finish squaring off the lawn here (this is also apparent in the photo above) then I need to  clear the bed and re-do the planting.  I want to add some shrubs to provide structure with the bamboo and help to screen next door’s wall before adding the smaller perennials.  The original intention was that the ‘lawn’ wouldn’t go as far as the path along the top of it and instead there would be a border with a stepping stone in the middle.  I am now hesitating on this and wondering if that will make cutting the grass a nuisance, also its quite  shady here so I need to come up with some low plants (I don’t want to block light to the living room) that will also be robust if they are accidentally stood on.


There is also the issue of moving the large Cistus from under the living room window. This is going towards the front of the front garden and again I think the evergreen foliage will provide a nice contrast to the Grevillea although I will need to so some cosmetic pruning first.

So there is my front garden this month which I am not very proud of but I really need to sort out as its embarrassing.  Featuring it on the End of Month posts is shaming me into sorting it out – well that’s the plan – if the EOMV suddenly stop you will know I have failed!!

If you would like to join in with this meme you are very welcome – add a link to your post in the comments box and please link to this post from your blog so readers can find other EOMV posts.  There are no rules about what you post.  Maybe you want to focus on one area through the year or given a general tour, whatever suits you is fine with me.

19 Comments Add yours

  1. Alison says:

    Hi Helen

    I think your front garden is looking really good, it has good shapes in it. Plants that can withstand being trodden on are not an easy thing. It always worries me when people are working around the house, I usually give them instructions about the size of their feet and the life expectancy of my plants! My EoMR is here: http://www.blackberrygarden.co.uk/2013/02/end-of-month-review-february-2013.html

  2. Pauline says:

    Your front garden is looking very neat and tidy especially for this time of year. Most gardens look a bit sad before all the bulbs get going but I like that you are contrasting the texture of leaves on your evergreens, that is making your garden interesting without any flowers.

  3. Helen I dooo like your multi stemmed birch, what a shame the cornus didn’t like it there as the red stems would look great with the silver and green background (or they do in my head anyway). doesn’t it feel satifying to weed and mulch, yours looks good and I know what you mean about waiting for plants to grow to see what needs doing next, you seem to have plenty to keep you occupied in other parts of this garden though.
    I think we are all at the same point now (in the northern hemisphere) clearing and waiting for warmer weather to move, divide, etc. etc.

    I have posted my EoMV, thank you for hosting and please do not stop, there is no failure only opportunity, and with the years I have spent finding out what does and doesn’t grow where I live believe me when I say I know this! Frances

  4. Mark and Gaz says:

    Hopefully we’ll get that warm-ish spell soon so you can carry on with your plans. Front garden looks neat and tidy to me even if you’re not keen on it now, but changes will follow soon the moment warmth comes in.

  5. djdfr says:

    My husband cut the grass last week.

    In a northern desolate corner, I have Japanese anemone (white flowering).

  6. Hi Helen, the weather has not been at all helpful where plant moving is concerned. Despite your irritations with it I think your front garden has good structure, the mulch will look good with the plants you have planned, and once the weather warms up I am sure you will get a new burst of energy. I knwo exactly what you mean about needing to see how the bulbs fill out before working out what to plant with them. Shade-loving geraniums with ferns might work under that window? What aspect does the wall have, does it harbour enough warmth to be able to plant something almost too tender to survive elsewhere? Something that will really get you excited? I think the problem with these awkward areas to garden is that they can easily become hard to love. Thanks for hosting, it is a great meme for forcing me to get to grips with where I am going with an area. My post is up.

  7. sophiecussen says:

    Looks good to me. 🙂

  8. With so many gardens being made over to parking lots, it is so lovely to see a front garden that is actually a garden. It’s looking good Helen. Here is my EOMV contribution. http://hurtledto60.com/2013/02/28/end-of-month-view-february-2013/

  9. Cathy says:

    I am looking forward to watching your progress here, Helen. Sometimes it’s a better to do a little at a time as it can generate new ideas as you go along. I agree with Janet about the idea of certain ferns and geraniums under the window, as I am guessing it might be quite dry and you might need something pretty tough – unless you had a a raised bed or pots that could be moved if you needed access to the window?
    My EOMV post is now up at http://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/much-the-same-eomv-february/

  10. Leilani says:

    Such lovely, fluffy green grass! If only I had that grass I would be doing okay. We are sticker-city here in Texas. BTW, if you want, I am hosting a link party all season on my blog. Would love to have you link up with us and share your knowledge. http://clydewoman.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/analyzing-your-soil/

  11. I also love your white birch, I’d love to have one in my yard.

  12. Holleygarden says:

    We are our own worst critic! I think your area looks good. Your grass is so green, and your ferns are so lush. Sounds like you just need to do some tweaking. I have posted my EOMV here:

  13. Shirley says:

    Hey Helen, I’ve finally got here to join you with my frosty EOMV for February and my missed wet January view thrown in too 🙂

    I’m looking forward to seeing your front garden change throughout the year. I especially like to see the plant combinations in other people’s borders. You get great ideas. Always envious of that silver birch from memory I think your boys gave it to you too which makes it all the more special.

    Wishing you a great weekend 😀

  14. I still have lots to do to clean up the winter debris before my beds look as neat as yours. They are looking so nice. My liriopes need a good pruning. Thank you for hosting. http://www.thesagebutterfly.blogspot.com/2013/03/my-garden-notebook-march-2013.html

  15. Wish my front garden would look as good as yours does. It has been left to do it’s own thing for the past couple of years – I tend to just plant some of my impulse buys until I decide what to do with them.
    Reading your blog has given me a reminder that it needs doing!
    I wasn’t aware of this blog when I posted my blog yestereday but must try to join in next month.
    Thank you.

  16. I can certainly appreciate your feeling of anticipation. My garden is Zone 8 and the temperature has just raised enough to get things going. I spent the day pruning and moving plants. Next step is to start seeds in pots indoors…spring is coming; it is on its way..

  17. Lyn says:

    Oh dear, I’ve missed doing a EOMV again – this time because my parents had a car accident and I had to go and stay with them. (They’re recovering nicely now). But I still read yours every month and hope I’ll get a post up the next time. I’m looking forward to seeing your progress with your front garden, as I feel I know your back yard quite well now, but this is new territory!

  18. Helen even if you are not happy with it, the front is lovely in its structure. I have areas that are a shame to me, but inspiration and perspiration only come in spurts so I can only deal with them when I have a little of both to spare.

    here is my link and as you will see there is nothing in bloom….not a darn thing outside except snow.


Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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