by Janis on 1st April 2022 / 0 comments

Our Garden for You monthly roundup

Well, we’ve gone and done it now!

Yes, the seedling of an idea that we had over winter to launch our new garden website alongside 'Our World for You' has started to propagate.

We’ve launched this website for various reasons, the primary one being that the garden greatly needs some TLC. We also thought that as we are amateurs at this, we could give guidance to others along the way, as you follow our ups and downs, warts, and all. I know Rome wasn’t built in a day, but hopefully, all good things come to those who wait, or so I’m told.

The other reasons for the garden facelift are that we need to get fitter, you never know we may actually lose some weight. Also, it’s incredibly beneficial to your mental wellbeing. It’s so satisfying admiring your achievements and the end of a day and the progress you’ve made.

Don’t forget to take some before and after photos, you’ll soon forget how it once looked.

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What we’ve been up to this month

Will it be the garden or the website?

The last couple of months has been a bit of a juggling act. It’s between getting out in the garden to start making a degree of headway on our long list of tasks and building the whole website and its database.

We’ve also been creating posts and articles to run parallel with our gardening progress; hopefully, these will give you motivation and offer helpful tips.

The exit to one of our favourite garden centres, Brookside, in Tonbridge, Kent
Brookside Garden Centre

In addition to the home-based activities, we’ve also been out and about visiting garden centres and nurseries. It has been so long since we last headed to a garden centre. I was looking forward to exploring them and gaining new inspiration and ideas.

We have visited some old haunts like Brookside Garden Centre on our horticultural travels and discovered some exciting new nurseries too. I appreciate that as we live in Kent, the focus will be on the local outlets to us but go and seek out your nearby retailers too.

Two rows of three Lavender ‘Munstead’ plants purchased from Wood Cottage Nursery on our plant stand prior to planting
Our Lavender ‘Munstead’ purchased from Wood Cottage Nursery
Keep an eye out for the independent nurseries; they are often a lot cheaper and offer that personal touch as well. We’ve recently found Rumwood Nursery just outside Maidstone specialising in roses and a tiny roadside nursery named Wood Cottage Nursery; I know we will be returning soon.

Achievements for March

Big or small, a win is a win
It’s been a busy month in the garden already, we’ve re-organised my potting shed, which was quite a big task, and it is so much better; it puts a smile on my face stepping in. Gary has helped restructure the garden tools with handy hooks and clips, he’s also cleared the ivy from the windows, so I now even have daylight. I now understand where everything is.
The inside of the potting shed after a spring clean and you can now see the worktop.
The Potting shed after a tidy

It was such a pleasure sowing my hundreds of seeds, the hours disappear so effortlessly, and it’s so therapeutic. Talking of seeds, there are early signs that some of my seedlings are germinating, but I’m not too confident about my old tomato and chilli seeds; I think I’m going to buy some fresh seeds.

My propagating trays have now taken over the conservatory until the temperature outside warms up slightly. Then I can re-home them all into the cold frame (which Gary has fixed). I’ve splashed out on a digital thermometer that displays the high and low temperatures, so we’ve been monitoring that daily.

Rows of mini plastic pots with coloured elastic bans fitted to them to help identify the seeds sown
Seeds planted out

The lawn has had its first trim of the year, and it certainly needed it. I’ve been waiting for the weather to have had at least a few consistently dry days; otherwise, we end up with a lot of muddy patches. Although, this has opened a further can of worms, as the moss appears to be taking over.

We’ve also replaced our old picket fence with a sparkly new one; as I said, little wins boost you. And Gary has jet washed the patio, which wasn’t an easy task. Our patio is like a courtyard garden, so the ground tiles have the characteristics of herringbone bricks, as far away from shiny tiles as you could get.

Lessons learnt & mistakes made

Will, we ever learn
Believe me, you turn your back, and another one appears; our geraniums have gone feral. For us, one of the main lessons to be learnt is, don’t let tree saplings get established; dig out unwanted trees before they’re too big. Additionally, ensure you thin out shrubs and flowers prone to taking over.
The lush green cottage garden bed in front of a plain wooden fence in Our Garden
The cottage garden bed

I’ve recently been sowing various seeds for a splash of summer colour for our borders and some tomato and chilli seeds. The tomato and chilli seeds were from old seed packets out of date, but I thought, hey, let’s give them a go. Now a few weeks down the line, they are not looking too promising.

It also appears that the grass in our lawn is struggling to stave off the encroaching moss. So, I think we will have to bite the bullet, temporarily live with the brown patches, and start giving the lawn an overhaul.

A view across the lawn after the first cut of the season with two deciduous trees yet to bud
The lawn after the first cut
Last but by no means least, try and keep on top of your tasks, make a list, and start ticking them off; it’s pretty satisfying giving them a big ol’ tick. Don’t worry if you haven’t achieved everything; at least you have it written down, and you’ll get there.

Plans for the coming month

What’s on our list?
Well, with all the seeds that I’ve been sowing, I think potting on my seedlings will be high on my list, and I may even plant some more. I know I will, as my old tomato and chilli seeds have come to nothing.

We used to have a lavender bed; however, the lavenders slowly died and became too woody. Also, other plants have encroached, so we’ll re-home some, clear the bed, re-create our homage to Provence, and plant six fragrant bundles of Lavender ‘Munstead’.

One of our back-breaking tasks is to start clearing the cottage garden border. The beds that we have allocated for this are relatively large, there are some plants we want to keep, and others have taken over. So, we will re-home a few in our own garden and offer them to the neighbours or any passers-by who would like to grab a pot. The cottage garden is a large task so follow along with our progress.

We also want a herb garden that we can access from the patio. We have a few ideas. Hopefully, we can incorporate these ideas with the pots around the garden.

We are going to upcycle an old chimenea that we have, repaint it and use it as a planter; well, that’s the plan anyway.

Continue to plan the different sections of the garden and understand what we want to ultimately achieve, but not go too gung-ho at first and regret our decisions.

The garden fork and trug on the lawn in front of the Rowan tree before starting work.
Ready for April

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