Sunday, 10 May 2015

Taming the front border

2014 colour
As you know from recent posts, I've been busy spending time on the back garden, concentrating on getting that area in order. I've taken a deliberate decision to put my resources into this area as I found by mid-summer last year i was stretch between all the different area of the garden, which left things not looking quite as good in any of the areas, and a certain frustration from me on my own expectations on the standard of the garden. So, this year, while the back garden looks well, the rest of the areas are needing some attention. To this end, a few days ago, I spent half a day on the front flower border, which has been (and looks like it !) neglected since an autumn clean up. This border is for summer flowering effect, and has looked very well since it was created 3-4 years ago. While it remains a flower border, I am gradually introducing shrubs, which will provide some colour and structure, with less of the maintenance required.  

The first steps in the taming this wild looking affair, was to get out the secateurs and get cracking on the white Anemone that still has last years flower stalks. Next, and the more obvious work required, was to tend to the myriad of native plants that colonised the bed. Particularly troublesome is the scutch grass, which has run among some of the perennials. 

All hands (or teeth) helping to weed
Of course we have plenty of dandelion, Taraxacum officinale, which has an honoury place as a valuable food plant in our garden, providing plenty of leaves to feed our tortoises. However, as I was in cleaning and tidying mode, I pulled up a lot of the these, knowing they will re-sprout from where the root snapped, providing another crop of fresh foliage for us to enjoy. 

After a couple of hours grafting I have to say, the bed really took shape and you could see vestiges of the bed returning it to its former glory.

Even with all the weeding done, there is plenty more to do. The back of the bed wasn't as thorough weeded as the front, so I'll have to make time for this again over coming weeks. Spreading some spent compost from some containers, gave a nice finishing effect. Now, there are a number if gaps in the bed. luckily, I have a number of plants, including lupins and delphiniums, in containers, that are ready to parachute in. These were plants I lifted last autumn from the bed and popped into containers to overwinter away from slugs and snails. I do have other plants such as Hemerocallis and of course my Dahlia's are growing nicely too, which I might, or might not include at a later date. 

In the meantime, I certainly hope your getting opportunities to get your hands into the soil and enjoy.

Happy gardening.