Monday 12 March 2012


We've been having some work done on the garden. For a while I've wanted to get rid of the decking as I felt that it didn't seem to work with the rest of the garden and I was hoping to increase the size of flower beds by removing it. That combined with the fact that after rain it was as slippery as an ice rink meant that the deck's days were numbered!

Here's the before (on the left) and after (on the right). It's still a bit messy but I have gained a lot more bed space. I now need to raise the soil level to the height of the wall, make some bed plans and then get planting!

I'm trying to get more organised with my gardening and have started to plan what I am growing. In the assortment of pots and growing trays on the table I have sown; April in Paris sweet pea, Euphorbia Oblongata; Mauve Larkspur and Painted Lady sweet pea.

Images from Sarah Raven

From my first gardening year I've learnt a few lessons. Firstly, only buy perennial plants as these will last, if you buy annuals you are effectively throwing money away as they will die after their first year. So it best to sow these from seed. Secondly, try to be more organised with planting and sowing; if you want to grow more from seed then you will need to allow more time for them to become hardy seedlings that you can plant in the ground. And thirdly and one of the hardest things for me to remember is to plant in swathes rather than individually. When I go to a garden centre I almost always get carried away and buy one of each plant rather than limit myself to a few and buy a couple of each.
I'm also not going to bother with plug plants via post anymore as I was rather disappointed with what I received last year - maybe I should have potted them on first before planting them straight out?

I like to think that I am learning; a few weekends ago we went round a garden centre and although I wanted to buy practically everything I managed to limit myself to only buy a few things that were for spring planting. So I bought a couple of pulmonarias (or lungworts) with lovely speckled leaves and a beautiful almond scented Montana clematis with pink flowers.

While I was out in the garden earlier today I managed to snap a few photos of Ivy, to me it looks like Ivy is thinking the following:

Photos 1, 2, 3 and 4
Photo 1 - "What on earth is that weird buzzy thing over there?"
Photo 2 - "Oh hello, Charlotte says you're a bee and that we need to make you welcome in the garden. Would you like to stay for tea?"
Photo 3 - "Hey where you going? You didn't even answer my question!"
Photo 4 - "Hmmm. Snubbed by a bee, sure hope Holly doesn't find out about this!"

I guess I'd better make sure that I include lots of bee friendly plants in my garden as well!


  1. So nice when you plan something new for your garden and it works well. It certainly looks like you have alot more room, not being a great fan of decking I think your garden will look lovely when all the plants you have bought come out.
    Have a lovely week.

  2. Your patio looks really good and I do like the raised beds. But most of all isn't your cat just gorgeous - what a lovely looking cat and she sounds like a bit of a character too xx

  3. Hello, Your garden looks lovely. I never saw the appeal of decking either, we've got some wooden railway sleeper steps and they are lethally slippy when wet! I like your choice of flowers. Take care with the euphorbia, it can give you a nasty rash if you get the sap on your skin and don't dismiss hardy annuals, they will seed around and pop up year after year! xx

  4. I'm not a great one for decking either - your garden looks heaps better now. Love your choice of flowers ... :0)

  5. I really like what you've done, it's beautiful. My downfall is that when I grow from seed and have to thin I can't do it, can't stand to pull up a growing plant.

  6. Great photos. Is the Daphne in your garden? Doesn't it smell wonderful and so strong?

    1. Yes, it is a rather blurry photo of a Daphne (for some reason my camera only wanted to focus in on the branch rather than the flower). Although it's still in its pot as I can't decide where to plant it! It smells glorious and the aroma seems to waft around the garden.

  7. your garden is looking lovely, a great improvement from your 'before' pictures. you make it look so easy but there's a lot of hard work that's gone on there. my spring flowers are only just coming into bloom (they're late sleepers!) and i just bought some cornflower seeds today, so i will be out in my little garden in a day or two, as i also need to clear a few dead leaves and check for weeds. p.s ivy is gorgeous!

  8. Your garden looks wonderful Charlotte, it is amazing the difference removing the decking. Your choice of flowers are perfect. I just love your home and garden.

  9. it's lovely...the flowers are beautiful colors and the kitty looks quite content.
    enjoy the weekend with the new improvements..I look forward to seeing what else you do as summer nears