Home garden Our garden in April – A year’s progress

Our garden in April – A year’s progress

by Clare Mansell
Our garden in April – A year’s progress

Last April I started documenting the development of our garden. Looking back on the posts from last year has given me a great opportunity to see real evidence of how far things have come. Comparing photos twelve months on, I can see how our work is slowly paying off and plants are growing. We are currently debating getting in some outside help for a big project and so I thought it would be a good time to start keeping a record again.

The first sign of progress is in our partial shade flowerbed. The photo was taken 2 days earlier last year, but look at the difference in foliage on the tall plant in the centre! The Forsythia on the right was in flower this time last year, but this April it’s past that and is well into leaf. Spring has definitely come earlier.

Our compost bin might not be terribly attractive, but it’s a vital part of the plan and I’m hoping the plants will eventually grow up to obscure it.

Last spring we planted a privet hedge, with a beech planted six months before that. The beech one is already partially in leaf, although it’s taking a long time to transform from being a few twigs with leaves to an actual hedge…

The privet however has been much more successful. It’s known as one of the fastest growing hedges and it hasn’t let us down. We gambled and bought our plants from ebay at a fraction of the cost of other sellers and this year we have fantastic healthy leaf growth.

Over Easter Jim’s project was to cut back a dead hedge on our boundary. It’s not our land, but the farmer let us clear it anyway. The result means we are no longer fighting back encroaching brambles and we also have much better visibility when we pull out of our drive. In the autumn I will probably plant privet on our side of the fence and I’m also intending to add a New Zealand flax where we had the bonfire

Our next project is one that we’ve been building up to for many years. When we bought the house we inherited a patio which is part paving slabs, part concrete, part crazy paving and it has a lot of cracks and holes.

We’ve explored a lot of options for repairing and replacing the surface and there is no cheap way of doing it, mostly because we have very little clearance under our back door which means we have to dig out what’s there before laying anything else on top of it. We are now resigned to the fact that it is going to be expensive and also that it really needs doing.

Last summer we felled a tree that was taking sun from this area (an expensive project on its own) the patio should be a great spot to enjoy the garden and I think we are going to have to make the leap of faith to do it. Maybe by next month’s update they’ll be progress on that to share!

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