We’ve never been fantastic gardeners. Partly due to the lack of knowledge and mainly due to the lack of time. Or rather, we never made it a priority. There was always something more to do and when we came home from a long day we just didn’t have the drive to spend the evening tending to the garden.
We had a beautiful cottage garden but it needed a lot of work and a lot of time. I’ve tried over the years to keep the garden thriving and often start off successfully, filled with enthusiasm but as the year moves forward that enthusiasm ebbs a little and so we don’t move any further forward in our gardening journey and more often than not the year ends with a garden a little more wild than we intended. And then, when our little bundle of joy arrived almost three years ago it all went out the window. It was hard to keep on top of the garden when I was constantly nursing and feeding and had zero energy from the sleepless nights. And last year, perhaps the first year I could have started again, the builders were due to start work on the extension so any work I did to the garden would be pointless. They had to use the front garden for entering the site and have ultimately caused a lot of damage and they were levelling the back garden while they had the diggers in so the whole of the back now needs landscaping.
And so, we are basically starting the garden from scratch with zero budget and very little knowledge.
I thought it might be quite fun to document my journey in the garden. To share my inspiration as I go and any hints and tips I find or learn along the way. Especially if you’re a complete beginner like me.
I’ll split my posts into different sections so you can follow along with what interests you the most and also because I’m going to tackle the gardens in a similar way.
I’m going to start here because this garden needs the least work. We do need to plant new hedges where the diggers had to remove it for entry onto the site and we need to sow grass seed or lay new lawn because they’ve destroyed it but otherwise, it’s simply a case of digging new beds and trying to grow some flowers. I’ve got two hydrangea bushes out here and two roses, one which I successfully transplanted from the back (so proud it survived) but otherwise it’s now a blank canvas. I know how beautiful the front can be so I’m hoping this might be the year I can start to make it a reality.
The next garden I’m going to tackle. Many of you probably don’t know that we have a veg garden at the top of our back garden. It’s only small but we can grow lots! Our first year in the cottage we transformed the vegetable garden (picture below) from a mud patch to a beautiful area with raised beds, somewhere I actually love to be. That first year we also managed to successfully grow our first veg, mainly salads, tomatoes, beetroot and carrots. This is our proudest achievement in the garden. But since then, not much has happened up here so I want to change that this year and get growing again. I have already sown my own tomato seeds and have plans to introduce a cutting garden up here too, we’ve currently got some sunflower and zinnia seeds germinating, utilising the empty space around the raised beds. I have no idea if I can achieve it all but if I can grow some veg again, I’ll be happy.
In all honesty, I don’t think this is an area we’ll be tackling this year, the cost involved to do what it needs is going to be huge and there are no shortcuts for retaining walls! We have the plans, we know how it’s going to look but its going to take some time. Which is why I’m so keen to make sure the other areas we can work on are beautiful and still give us somewhere to enjoy the summer sunshine. I’ll be sharing our current garden and all the ideas we have in another post but here is what it looked like before the build…. Sometimes I wonder what the hell we did!!
Growing fruit & veg.
In addition to sowing my own tomato seeds I have also sown some flower seeds. With no budget, I’m having to think about how I can create a beautiful garden on a budget and that doesn’t include buying plants from the garden centre so I’m trying my hand at growing my own. I have no idea what I’m doing or how successful I’ll be but fingers crossed I might be able to grow my own veg and flowers from seed this year.
It’s quite sad looking back at the pictures from a couple of years ago, when the garden was so full of life and now there’s nothing, just large dirt and concrete patches. But, I’m hopeful we can create something beautiful and more family friendly, because as beautiful as the garden was, it wasn’t practical for us.
Wish me luck!