Spring In My Garden
Things have been quiet on the blog this past week, I am all ok, it was half term and we were just out and about enjoying the pretty decent weather. I wanted to take a moment however, to share one of my favourite things with you, my garden.
One of my favourite ways to relieve stress is to go in to my garden; fresh air, birds singing, catching some sun, seeing things budding and growing, and getting a good workout from digging and planting is an all round refresher.
I’m lucky that we were able to buy a house with a decent garden, and it was a bit of a blank canvas 11 years ago. Since then we have had some successes and some failures (one being that the soil is quite clay based so a veg patch doesn’t really work, what finally grows then gets eaten by snails and woodlouse overnight) and now we are in the middle of landscaping because the old sleepers had rotten and were removed last year and our path is not really adequate.
We have a very limited budget and so progress is slow but after completing the fencing and new decking last year, this is hopefully the year we achieve what we have planned next.
My Pinterest is full of ideas for our path and secret garden feel for the back garden as well as some kerb appeal updates for the front.
Things I love:
I have planted over the years an array of bulbs and it’s a bit potluck which ones will appear and then a bit of a guessing game of “what was this?” because my haphazard approach to gardening means I buy what is on offer and stick it in what tub is empty, which isn’t something I probably recommend, but I like the surprises.
One thing I always look forward to is the May blossom on our Hawthorne trees, especially when the sun is setting and it illuminates like a white cloud.
I bought a metal garden stand last year to give me somewhere to display my little pots and garden bits and I love it, it’s somewhere that throughout the seasons I can make different displays.
The longer days not only mean we aren’t robotically functioning Monday to Friday in darkness but that the mornings bring bird song, a pretty sunrise even if it’s frosty, and my SAD symptoms are a lot less.
Having time in the evenings after the school run to be in the garden is also a gift, and the sunny days mean our solar lights are charging.
Grape hyacinths just seem to pop up all of a sudden and they’re popping out early this year; especially gorgeous in the evening sunshine our front garden gets.
I grew up around gardeners. My Grandad had a beautiful garden of flowers and vegetables and I used to spend a lot of my time at weekends sat in the garden with him. His passion was passed down from his Dad and on to my Mum, and I like that without realising those early years impressed on me a gratitude for nature and a passion for what a garden could be. I have limited time, and past efforts that went to waste did put me off trying some things again, but I like to weed and sow, and let nature have a corner of my world.
Last year I used my bullet journal to plot down ideas for what plants I wanted to grow and jobs for each month:
It was quite successful. We got a load of spring bulbs cheap in the garden centre summer sale that I can see emerging now and had a lovely display of sweet peas which I’m happy to find this week have self seeded and the seedlings are growing nicely in our little greenhouse.
I definitely think having my ideas down to brainstorm and organise myself was a good idea, I will try again this year to do something similar but perhaps supported in more detail by the following.
I’ve bought two books that are helpful monthly guides: The Wild Remedy by Emma Mitchell and a Garden Planner & Journal.
The Wild Remedy is a beaut of a book that lists monthly what delights are emerging around us in any natural setting (hedgerows, woodland, gardens etc) and encourages the reader to get outdoors, observe these beauties, and gather small finds to make a collection you photograph to keep handy as a reminder of the beauty in nature. You can view a lot of these collections on Instagram using the #TheWildRemedy. Emma Mitchell discusses how this connection to nature helps heal us and of her own journey with mental well-being. I will write a separate review for this book but suffice to say it’s wonderful.
The garden planner is ideal for focused spreads each week for things like planting, propagating, blooms, weather etc. It’s very cute and as I love journalling I think it’ll be perfect for keeping myself accountable and organised.
My Steps for the month ahead:
- I want to get a mini propagator set to sow my tomato seeds and see if we can get a decent crop this year. I believe Aldi has a specialbuy garden collection later this week that has a propagator set in so hopefully my local store has them. In the past we grew them in growbags and either the tomatoes split or they didn’t ripen so it is easy to get disheartened but I am hoping to make a real effort to get it right this year.
- I also want to grow echinacea plants because I love the big flowers they produce and the bees were all over them at Hardwick Hall gardens so I am going to buy some seeds and give them a try. I also want to get hollyhocks and black-eyed Susan plants to grow from seed.
- Preparing the planters and hanging baskets ready for bedding plants for the summer.
- I need to replant my raspberry canes because the big oak barrel they have lived in for many years has succumbed to the elements and rotted. I don’t want to use plastic but I think the size I need and the budget I have that will be my only option as a replacement.
- Keep feeding the birds. We have regular jays, blackbirds, sparrows, robins, blue tits, great tits, long-tailed tits, starlings, chaffinch and goldfinch (as well as squirrels) that use the feeders this year. We also found a few springs ago that if we put Samson’s dog hair from his brush out in a basket/feeder/container, the birds will come and take it for their nest building, which is quite adorable.
That’s it for my spring plans, I’m hoping this beautiful weather lasts and I can start putting plans in to action.