Thursday, 7 August 2014

Toe dipping!

Knowing just where to start when you're a brand spanking new fresh-out-the-box gardener isn't easy, you know. Most gardeners I've encountered seem to know exactly what they should be doing at all times, and make it look almost easy to keep a patch of outside in tip top shape.

I guess that means I've got zero natural talent at this or massive amount to learn, and the past month has involved me drifting around my patch pulling up random weeds, dead-heading the resident roses at a point on the stem i'm guessing is right, and generally puzzling over the best thing to be doing right now. Given the goal this year is just to keep everything here ticking over and figuring what I want to do with it, and I don't think i'm doing that badly.

Earlier this month I noticed some of the stems on one of my rose bushes was practically stripped bare. A closer inspection revealed a cluster of evil wee beasties noming the plant into submission.

 Little fuckers! Needless to say their munching days soon came to an end shortly after this snap was taken! The rosebush itself doesn't seem to have suffered too much, and in the past week has rewarded my dead heading efforts last month with a second lovely wave of white roses! Maybe I do have some talent at this, after all!

Thursday, 10 July 2014

And you are??

So, after a few days of getting used to the idea of having an outdoor space, its about time I got out there and figured out what I have to work with. Even my untrained eye can see there are a few plants that may be quite decent, but I'll really have to figure out what they are before deciding which, if any, are worth keeping. 

Starting on the left hand fence. I've discovered 3 yellow rose bushes, such as the one below, which seem to be doing ok.  The other two look to be more climber types, but don't appear to have anything much to climb up (shouldn't they have trellis, wires, or something?)

This I'm guessing is a lily? Certainly a nice pop of colour, but with masses of holes in the leaves appears to be the garden insects favorite nom. I'll have to do something about those wee beasties!

At the head of the garden are two bushes, a palm (?) and behind it some other mystery bush - googling 'plants with green leaves and white edges' gives about 100 suggestions to what it could be, so might take a while to figure out this one. Below these a small bush with boat shaped leaves, will it do anything interesting later in the year?

My final nondescript shrub is this. I'm not sure if those speckled leaves are meant to be there or sign of some terrible plant disease.

So, I possibly have some potential in all the weeds. I'm still not sure where I want to go with this garden so will leave everything in situ for a few months while I work out what I want. In the meantime plants - you'd better start doing something to impress me!

Sunday, 6 July 2014

What have I let myself in for?

It seemed such a good idea at the time. "Darling how about we look for a place with a garden?" says my husband. Envisaging a beautiful blooming urban idyll, barbecues with all my friends on hot summer days and romantic dining under the stars - the idea certainly caught my attention whilst sitting in my small central London flat, and now 8 months on here I am, and here it is. The garden. My garden!

Before now the nearest I've been to gardening was a small window box perched high over the streets of West London, but now I have my very own patch of mud and soil, and I have absolutely no idea where to start with it!  

The garden itself is basically ok-ish to my untrained eye, facing south-east and in a reasonable shape,  with a few dog-eared plants in already (left by the previous owner). What these plants are I have no idea, and along with them are lots of weeds, rapidly growing bushes and what I suspect is a very large Leylandii (I think that's what they're called) hedge. Where do I start? Cut the bushes? pull up the weeds? do something about the mangy plants? My mum took one look at this picture and said "go and buy a lawnmower". That's probably a good place to start!