A day of updates #4 – Garden Goes Green

I can sense you’ve been longing for an update on the garden.  And you’ve come to the right place.  Right up until the point where I was diagnosed with a hernia I’ve been out in the garden every day it was dry trying to get things sorted.  Once I was diagnosed I tried to cut back a bit, but it’s not an easy habit to get out of.  Grete works in the garden like a demon, weeding, cutting, and keeping everything in good shape.  Who would have thought we’d enjoy a trip to B&Q to buy plants and planters?  Anyway, here’s an update and where we are and how things progressed.

p1060297The New Tree

We’ve bought a new tree for the garden (cherry tree).  When we had to have the huge tree cut down to allow a fence to be put in by our neighbour, we promised ourselves we buy a new tree to replace it, but something we could keep under control.  So we did, and we’ve planted it at the bottom of the garden (at the moment, next to the huge pile of wood I’m no longer allowed to carry and move).

It doesn’t look like much at the moment and we’re really hoping we planted it well enough for it to survive.  It definitely had enough sun and rain in the few days after going in.  We’re trying not to think about the choice of cherry, we already get frustrated by picking up a thousand apples every summer and cherries might just drive us nuts (no pun intended) but hopefully it’ll look nice and the birds will enjoy it.


Now that the concrete patio is pretty bare we decided to get some planters to brighten it up and throw a bunch of flowers into them.  We ended up with far too many flowers and far too much compost so we finally sorted out the two mini-borders near the house and used most of the rest of the plants on those.  There are four terracotta planters down the fence side of the patio, each of which we put five or six plants into.  The photo to the left is how it looked when it went in.  Since then the plants have put on a little bit of volume and one or two are threatening to flower.

Along the side and front of the kitchen we dug over the soil and got rid of a rose with a root the size of a small barn, and replaced it with some of the same plants.  That area suffers heavily from snails, slugs and other various vegetable eating life so we’re surprised they’re doing as well as they are.  We did lose one of the plants entirely – one day it was there, the next it was just a stem lying on the ground.  Here’s a few shots of the progress of both the planters and the borders.

Freshly Planted


In Progress


Plant MIA


As of today, we’ve got flowers and buds.


Where’s the Grass At

The grass is coming on really well.  The front has really spread and looks like it’ll cover everything, in the back garden it looks a little sparse still under the tree but it’s spreading slowly.  Looks like we’re going to have a mixture of lush green grass and old faded yellow grass, but I guess over time it evens out.  We could try some stuff to fix up the old grass, but honestly we like the garden kind of natural rather than pristine looking golf course grass.

The acer is still alive and looks like it’s doing okay, hasn’t changed in size much yet but they’re very slow growing, hopefully it’s rooted well and isn’t just slowly dying without looking like it.



After putting it off for ages, I finally got around to sanding down and treating the wooden sill at the bottom of the patio door frame.  I think it’s a sill.  Anyway, sanded it down with our little electric hand-sander thing, the stink of cat was pretty bad (see following post #5), took out all the old silicone, treated the wood and put new silicone in.  I hate, hate, hate putting silicone in, I’m so bad at it.  Anyway, photo’s to prove it!

Sill before any workCovered to keep the rain off while it driesSill after it was finishedClose shot of my terrible silicone work

I know you’re probably thinking ‘omg, so you sanded and sealed some wood, so what!’ but this is a big deal for us, so deal with it.


Before Grete had major back issues for half a week, and before I really accepted I should be resting due to a potential hernia, we cleared/dug over the back and front garden areas ready for some grass seed, and then put the seed down.

It took ages for it to show through and we’d started to assume the pigeons had eaten it all – but then a couple of days ago we spotted a thread of green!  It’s odd though, if you look down vertically onto the soil you can’t see the grass, if you look at an angle you can and if you look at it horizontally, it’s clear to see!

Back garden

Long shot!Close up near the AcerUnder the apple tree

Front garden

A bit weedy

The front doesn’t look as good because neither myself nor Grete have been in any condition to get out and keep it weeded, but hopefully the grass will pull through.  The back is looking excellent and we hope the grass will stop the soil washing down the bank in the first sustained heavy rains we get.  The other side of the apple tree is on the same kind of slope and the grass keeps it all in place.

The apple tree has gone crazy as well, I thought the pruning would keep the apples away this year but the tree appears to have decided to wreak revenge by growing twice as many apples.  The thin branches are dropping under the weight of the slowly forming apples already.  I suspect I’ll have to take action to get rid of them before they mature otherwise the branches are really going to suffer.