Pond – day 2

We popped to the local garden centre, marking us officially as ‘getting on a bit’, and bought some plants for the pond.  As it turns out, I think we bought marginals which are too big – I suspect the soil is going to wash away and they’ll die.  However, this kind of thing is a learning process, so we’ll see how it goes.

Here’s how it looks with a few pebbles and the new plants.

Close-up of pondPond with plants

Hopefully overnight the soil will settle and we’ll get to see how it looks without the water being a murky brown (moments before it goes murky green and fills with algae).

We also bought some ‘succulents’ for the house, in homage to our parents and grandparents who always seemed to have cacti around the house.

Like a rose Little bubbles Slightly purple Small hedge Like a fern

They look quite nice on the window sill, next to the orchid.

Lined up

A Day of Updates II #2 – The Garden is Glorious

The garden’s really coming along, the little planters we bought for the patio really brighten the place up.  We had a couple of BBQ’s last week during the nice weather and it was really pleasant sitting out there surrounded by the flowers.  The grass in the front has come through pretty much all over the soil, but at the back it’s very very patchy and I think we’ll need to do some extra sowing.  I suspect the birds ate a lot of the seed.

The big apple tree has a thousand apples on it, more than ever before which is odd considering we pruned it really close before the spring.  Grete is frantically picking up the small ones that drop (probably about 10-20 a day, seriously) and keep the thick down before they all fully grow and drop.  It’s a huge job getting them off the ground when they’re big and slightly rotten.  The small apple tree seems a little sick, the leaves went brown and pretty dry although it looks like it’s recovering and starting forming apples.  Hopefully it’s nothing serious.  The cherry tree we bought has done – nothing.  Not a zot.  No change at all.  Not sure if it’s dead or alive.  The Acer is healthy enough and looks happy surrounded by the lush grass.

The little plants in the big borders look lonely, but we really only stuck them there since we had a load of spares.  The shrubs are growing and hopefully next year it’ll look a bit more even and full.  The plants in the front are slowly spreading as we hoped they would and it should look spectacular when they all flower next year.

I’ll post some photo’s in another update when I get time to sort them out.

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.


Grete removed all the dead / overgrown / weird / scary plants out of the little strip of soil in front of the window in the front garden last week.  It sort of looked a lot tidier and then it suddenly looked a lot like it was empty so we popped into B&Q today and got some plants (not many).  We got a few more bags of ground covering bark for the back garden borders as well to keep the weeds down.  We bought short plants which will hopefully spread and cover the soil surface and flower during spring and early summer, assuming they survive long enough.

Here’s how it looked after being emptied –


And here’s how it looks now with the few plants in it –