So since I’ve promised myself not to spend any money on the house this year, and since the weather is (sort of) improving, I’m turning my thoughts to the garden with an occasional series on how we got it to its current state, and what comes next.
I’d more or less ignored the garden at the old house for the first ten years that we’d lived there, but had lately come to love gardening so it was exciting to have more space to play with (nearly double the length)
When we viewed the house it was the middle of winter and we’d no idea what we were inheriting. It was an unexpected delight to move in, in March, to a flush of wisteria, and then a fairly anxious year-long wait to see if it, and other mature specimens including a quince and several rhododendrons had survived its year as a builders yard. I had promised myself a rest after completing the kitchen but of course, no sooner had we sat down to that family Easter lunch than I was feeling that the view from the back door needed some improvement.
We’d already asked the builders to fill in the fish pond which was positioned somewhat eccentrically (and scarily) just a couple of steps from the old back door (now the centre bay window). And to make us a new patio from the old paving which we’d salvaged from the side return. But (aside from the shrubs) the rest was an unappealing mix of rutted grass and rubble. I needed to create some breathing space for us and the plants, and committed to an hour’s digging and tilthing (is that a word) each morning of the April half term – until I’d got a roughly level area around half the length of the garden on which to sow a lawn. And that, I promised myself, really would be that for the year…