Having the cottage garden style involves a lot of gardening. Don’t imagine it doesn’t. This year it seems more than ever. I can often feel overwhelmed trying to keep on top of the jumble.
Perennials can turn from glorious to spent in a matter of days. So I am having some ideas about how to reduce the work.
Brick paving in back garden
When we paved the back garden I chose old stock bricks, the soft yellow bricks used for walls. They’re not ideal for paving but I love them because they look so warm and inviting. They are porous, so with shade and rain they get slimey and black.
Here is it looking great after I’ve power washed it.
Using my new T Racer Surface Cleaner (a round thing) on the Karcher power washer has made the job so much easier and so much less work. I wish I’d thought of it before.
I quite like to have some nettles but the more I pull them the more there are. I’m thinking of leaving them for the butterflies. If they start to spread even more then I will have to start pulling them out again.
Here is the back corner, a big high tangle of honeysuckle, jasmine, clematis, pyracantha, and some casual planting at ground level.
Two years ago I hacked it right back which let in more light and gave me more planting space but of course it’s all grown back. I’m thinking now that I’ll just leave the corner to go wild. For wildlife it’s great – just not sure how wild it could get. Hmmmm
Let my neighbour have the blooms
I’ve noticed that whatever I plant on my west-facing side of the fence immediately pops through to my neighbour’s east-facing side to get the morning sun. I wondered where my honeysuckle, alpina clematis and Virginia creeper had gone. Next door, that’s where. I’ve got the stem and they’ve got a lovely display. Coaxing shoots back to my side hasn’t worked – you just can’t beat what nature wants to do so I think I’ll just leave them to it.
I’ve decided that the wisteria on the front of the house has had its day – keeping it cut back is a twice yearly expensive job and it only flowers for about ten days. It soaks us with rain by the front door, covers our windows and is heading up into our gutters and roof tiles. Tree guys are coming to take it down to shoulder height in August. I think I’ll be glad when the growth has gone. It may start up again. We shall see.
Summer bedding plants. So tempting aren’t they, but I’ve never had much success with them. Maybe not enough sun for enough of the day or maybe I don’t get round to putting them in early enough. Seriously thinking of not bothering next year. Pelargoniums just sit there; seeds of annuals never come up (I might as well sprinkle 5p pieces all round the garden). I think I’ll just be grateful for the Welsh poppies that come up everywhere without me doing anything.
This is a new idea. I dropped pots of late summer flowering perennials into this big blue pot so we can enjoy the splash of colour until the flowers fade. Then I will lift out the pots and plant them in the borders.
Having a garden is of course all about the task/hobby of gardening. It’s an ongoing hopefully enjoyable process not an end product. It’s a never ending changing scene not a display like a shop window. That’s the joy of it BUT I really hope I have a bit less work to do in the garden next year. We shall see……