Home garden Our garden in June (not how it was supposed to look)

Our garden in June (not how it was supposed to look)

by Clare Mansell
Our garden in June (not how it was supposed to look)

Last year I did a series of updates on our garden over the summer months, though they might not have been the best ratings winner, they did force me to take photos and became a useful record of how things we planted have grown. This year I’ve been slacking a bit and it’s largely down to a setback in our long awaited patio overhaul. For the last four years we’ve been living with a broken, uneven and unsightly patio and a few months ago we decide to throw all our savings at getting it sorted in time for our tenth wedding anniversary.

I will spare you the details, but things didn’t turn out as we’d hoped. We have had to switch contractors and have spent several weeks living with a building site outside the kitchen door. Hopefully by the time I write next month’s update it’ll be fixed, but it does mean that nearly everything else in the garden is also on hold waiting for the patio to be finished.

It might not look too bad, but to give you an idea we are waiting to…

* sow grass seed and/or returf areas of the lawn
* replumb the water butt
* relocate the raised vegetable bed
* replant the window boxes
* move all the pots back on to the finished patio

So yes, it’s a mess. BUT what is the point in sharing the after, if I don’t share the before and celebrate a few small milestones of our growing journey…

First of all our raised bed which is right next to the aforementioned patio. This bed was built from the remains of what we think was a bomb shelter four years ago.  We unsuccessfully tried to grow vegetables in it before I decided I wanted to create a jungley green bed next to the patio. Twelve months ago we planted several small plants in it…

What I wanted to achieve was a wall of green which hid the fence and was immediately visible from the hall (which has sightline to this bed) when you enter the house. This is what a year of growing has done , with the small caveat that a load of our pots are currently being stored around the plants while the patio is in disrepair, so it’s messier than it should be…

I’m so glad I have a record of it last year, I’m particularly astonished at how much the willow has grown!

As I mentioned we failed growing vegetables in this bed, which was down to rabbits eating everything they could get their paws on, so over the last couple of years we’ve tried various methods of growing edible crops higher up and a few months ago we bought a vegtrug. This like everything else is not currently where it should be, but despite having to reside under a rose bush we are having great success with our varied crops of lettuce, chive, pumpkins, peppers and courgettes and Theo is finding the whole thing very exciting!

Next to the vegtrug we have runner beans growing too..

Elsewhere in the garden we have a blueberry bush just coming into fruit and a wonderful minarette apple tree which is starting to produce a promising batch of apples. This tree has been one of the best things we have added to the garden. It was a gift from my sister for my birthday last year and has been a pleasure throughout the year, with blossom, then leaves and now fruit…

Mianrette fruit trees are much smaller than conventional ones and this one is still shorter than our garden fence but laden with fruit. We are hoping to plant either a plum or pear next to it later in the summer.

That’s all for this rather messy and incomplete month, but in July I hope to be able to show you a more complete garden with a patio (fingers crossed) a maple tree we plan to plant for the 150th birthday of Canada and some potted bamboo…

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