Winter Garden

One of the areas of homeownership I am still trying to tackle is gardening. I don’t have much of an issue getting out in the garden during Spring and Summer, and even a bit during the Autumn months, but I have yet to do much of anything during the Winter.

The soil in our garden is heavily clay based, meaning that it gets dry and very solid when it’s hot and becomes thick and claggy when it’s wet. Basically, it’s a nightmare to work with pretty much all year round! Despite this, I have still managed to do a bit of gardening here and there over the last three years.

This morning I had a little walk around the back garden while I drank my coffee. The cats supervised me carefully from the catio as I crouched down and rummaged through the raised flowerbed Alex and I built in the back by the fence. The hollyhock stalks are well over ten feet tall now and have a reed-like sound when you tap them. I’ll have to remember to cut them back soon to make way for new growth.

The bushes of lavender haven’t changed much, but they, too, will need a trim at some point. I think I was actually meant to cut them back at the start of Autumn? I’m not too sure, but I tend to be quite lazy with things like that so I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the best practice for maintaining lavender bushes.

While I made my way around the garden I also noticed that the plastic tubs filled with tulip and hyacinth bulbs that I’ve had for two years now has begun to grow yet again. I’m excited to see which flowers come up first! The hyacinth doesn’t last for more than a day or two, but the tulips are always my favourite garden surprise. Usually when I see they have begun to bloom I’ll snip off any that are ready and bring them inside so I can enjoy.

Compared to our front garden, the back of our house looks pretty tidy! This year we’ve really got to finally dig our heels in and get our hands dirty with the front garden. Since we moved in I’ve had this plan to pull up all of the mismatched ‘crazy’ pavers and huge mounds of crocosmia to make way for something way more low maintenance like stones or mulch. We would have done it last year, and we actually started on lifting up the pavers, but we quickly realised we’d bitten off way more than we could chew when we found out some of the pavers had been cemented together. We used a chisel to break some of them up but ultimately we gave up and said we’d try again later.

Doing up the front garden is going to take a lot of work. It’ll probably require more than just the two of us to actually get it done so I’m hoping that we’ll be able to ask friends and family to lend a hand! Maybe we could even turn it into a little outdoor barbecue afterwards. Either way, all of that probably won’t begin for another month or two, but it’s fun to daydream about how it could look when it’s all finished!

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