So its been many weeks, no months, since I wrote a ‘My garden this weekend’ post. I won’t bore you yet again with my emotional struggles with the garden and my lack of enthusiasm. Suffice to say that this weekend I had to really push myself to get on with some of the tasks that are needed. The patio is full of purchases from the summer that need planting out or I will be struggling over the winter to protect the plants. However, of course it’s not that simple. I bought the plants for a particular project – the Big Border revamp – but I haven’t made as much progress as I had hoped.
I think I may have mentioned before that I want to replant the Big Border to benefit from the soil which drains very well. My plan is to use it for the various bulbs that I have a weakness for. I think last weekend I reported that I had started to relocate some of the peonies to Hugh’s Border and I have added a couple of Miscanthus to the Big Border which weren’t happy behind the shed.
Bits of it are coming together but the main part of the project is to formalise the lower edge of the Big Border. The path has for some years been edged with Malvern stone found in the garden or logs from tree pruning. I have always gardened on a shoestring and never had funds for major landscaping so the garden has developed through hard work and making do with what was to hand. When the Big Border went in around 4 years ago I wasn’t sure about the path and waited to see where the natural path appeared. It’s all been a little Heath Robinson. Originally the path was finished with woodchips but over the years this has disintegrated and the stone edging isn’t strong enough to clearly define the border from the path. I need it to look smart and tidy.
The trouble is that I have concluded that I need structure and tidiness in my life or I become stressed. With less time, energy or enthusiasm for the garden this year it has become untidy and this in turn has made it harder for me to re-engage as I just don’t know where to start. I feel that if I can get some good structure or bones in place then the messiness won’t be so bad – just like edging the lawn makes a huge difference to a garden without you doing much else. Thankfully funds are a little more plentiful these days and my long-suffering eldest has ‘volunteered’ to help me with putting in some thick wood edging. Then, probably in the Spring, we will put some wood edging on the other side of the path but probably something thinner. I will then cover the path probably with wood chip – the cat doesn’t approve of gravel!
I have moved all the plants along the path edge and the Malvern stone so my eldest can get on with the improvements. We now have a large pile of Malvern stone to find something to do with. A suggestion has been made that I could use them to create a home for my hardy succulents, alpines and tiny bulbs. I am resisting using the word ‘rockery’ as I really dislike rockeries but there is a small gem of an idea mumbling away at the back of my mind.
In my bid to take control of the garden again I have seized the day and removed a couple of large shrubs that I haven’t liked for years. One went from the border above, as did a large persicaria and some common ferns which swamped the area and used up all the moisture. The photo doesn’t quite show you how much space there is here but I am quietly excited as it’s quite a big space and will, after some feeding and soil improvement, provide a home for the remaining peonies that need rehoming.
Hopefully with all our efforts this Autumn the garden will be more manageable next year so I don’t feel I need to spend as much time working in it and I can do some of the other things I want to do without feeling guilty or maybe even just sit and enjoy the garden.