After what seems like an age peering out of the window at the garden, waiting for winter to end, it would appear that spring is most definitely around the corner. The days are becoming longer, and elusive sun appears to be making a slightly more regular appearance.
My new garden has no real shape, and I have spent the winter trying to work out what on earth to do with it. I’ve come up with the loose plan of a seating area at the bottom to catch the last of the summer rays, and elsewhere in the garden, great big blousy borders: chock a block with flowers and shrubs to attract insects and birds.
That’s the plan. In my head. The reality at the present moment is very different to this romantic notion. The present layout of the garden is a patch of lawn, an odd assortment of plants I put in last year, and the bane of my gardening life at the moment: the dreaded RIGHT HAND SIDE.
Let me elaborate. The left hand of the garden gets the lion’s share of the sun, being west facing. There’s a passable border, and a half decent patch of lawn – in short, stuff to work on. In contrast, the right hand is made up of patchy lawn interspersed with weeds, and great big bare patches where the chickens have been in situ – and quite frankly have trashed the joint. Together with dips and hollows and being completely uneven, I’ve spent a good many moments despairing what on earth I was going to do with it.
Then with the arrival of the sunshine at the weekend, it came to me. Like a flash of inspiration. No amount of filing, raking and trying to level the ground would ever make it look half decent. So I decided to flatten it and start again. Out came the rotavator, and like a woman on a mission I turned over the patchy grass and bare patches. A quick rake over, and I can already see the potential my hard work has unlocked. I still need to get all the twitchy bits out, and work on levelling out the patch, but now it’s much clearer how the garden might take shape.
A visit to the garden centre later, and I now have a selection of shrubs and climbers to begin designing my garden. I’m starting at the fences and working my way in. The layout will evolve naturally, with shrubs, perennials and lots of cottage garden seeds: and the bits that don’t end up as borders, I’ll turn into lawn.
Rather than being a daunting task, the garden has suddenly turned into a place of endless possibilities. And I have to say I’m way more positive about it now. To begin from a completely blank canvas, and stamp my mark on it completely, is really quite exciting. I’m intending to do this as thriftily as possible, and do hope to share the journey with you.