I confess: I’ve been more of a flâneur than a gardener for the past many months…
But now spring has truly sprung and this weekend I threw myself into the garden, secateurs and shears in hand, ready to get going. After all, you’ve got to cut back before you can start to add, right?
So I pruned the roses and the hydrangeas, cut the semi-hardy fuchsias down to ground level, chopped off half of the winter jasmine and basically nothing was safe in the garden!
This is what the pile of cut-off looked like Saturday afternoon – it doubled in size on Sunday… Eventually I’ll fire up the old oil barrel and get rid of it all, but for now I have a mountain of twigs and branches. It’s very satisfying to have cut out so much dead, grey growth from last year; it is a very visible way of marking that now the gardening season has started in earnest.
The greenhouse is my favourite result. I know, I know; it’s bare and there are broken panes and it’s all a bit rubbish – but before I started on it the grape vines literally filled the entire space and the ground was covered in wooden pallets, broken flamingo boxes and lots of broken plastic pots. Basically I haven’t used the greenhouse since I bought my house and didn’t touch it last year.
This year, though… (Famous last words?) I’ve cleared out the rubbish, cut out 3/4 of the grape vines and might get around to replacing at least some of the broken panes. Essentially I have an almost blank canvas in there. I don’t expect to grow anything very interesting in there; some tomatoes, some chillies, some cucumbers… But with the foliage of the vines it should still get a lush, pleasant look eventually.
It may not be Kew, but it’s my little, scrappy greenhouse and I rather look forward to enjoying it over the coming seasons. I want to put a comfortable chair in there so I can sit there on those summer evenings when you want to sit in the garden but it’s a bit too chilly…
Of course I had help, both in the garden and in the greenhouse. Well, some of the time my helper was on the roof of the greenhouse, but I guess that needs inspection too, right? (The rest of the time he was basically getting in my way or trying to snatch the secateurs out of my hand…)
So there. Getting back to gardening – and blogging.