The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul. – Alfred Austin
While I’d usually be giving my monthly garden update detailing what’s been growing in the past month and what I’ve been doing on the weekends in the garden, this month is different.
Having only moved into a new property three weeks ago I can say with quite some certainty that I haven’t done anything in this garden – yet!
It’s very exciting to think I’ve got a blank canvas to work with. It really is blank as well. Just some fencing and what some might call a lawn (with moss growing in it).
This garden is facing south and west which is ideal for growing plants.
The area is surrounded by tree’s (from other properties), one of which is a mature weeping willow that sits fairly close (although not next) to our boundary, so that may well block some of the sunlight out (at certain times of the day/year) and I might also encounter root problems in the garden. Last season’s leaves have dropped a significant pile into the garden but I’m turning that into a positive and hope I’ll be able to add any leaf drop to a compost pile later this year.
And it’s a beautiful tree, which must be at least 10 years old. I’ve already spotted squirrels jumping about in its branches so the more wildlife the better as far as I’m concerned.
The size of the garden is much bigger than I am used to. I haven’t been able to measure it properly yet but I’m itching to do this so I can get it drawn onto paper. Because you know what happens when you have paper? You can make a plan! I can already envisage a shed, a greenhouse and some raised beds. But I don’t know what size any of those things should be.
I do know that I learnt a lot from my last garden which I bring with me to this one:
- I learnt that raised beds need access all the way around them unless you make them a width you can reach the other side.
- That tomato plants can grow exceptionally well outside in a sunny spot
- Tree roots can be the bain of a gardeners existence.
- Fruit trees and nut hedges take time to establish. So be patient with them, you get rewarded greatly
- That courgette plants need a sunny position and can’t compete very well with squash plants.
- A garden is never finished. Even when you think you’ve got everything completed, nature will show you this just isn’t going to be the case. And besides, as you learn from the garden you want to put into practice so areas in the garden are constantly changing.
- Every garden needs a spot to just sit and think. You enjoy the garden even more by having a seating area. It has to be just the right spot though, with the maximum sun but surrounded by greenery!
- Don’t plant any hedging if you’re not prepared to put in the pruning effort it takes to shape it.
- The more planning you put in the better but no planning often works out just as well!
- One composter is not enough. Even in a small garden.
There were some things I never managed to achieve in my last garden which I hope I can do so in this one. One was to grow lettuce and the other was to encourage hedgehogs (amongst an array of other wildlife!).
While the weather (and getting settled in the house) prevent full weekend time spent in the garden next month I do have the following jobs I’d like to achieve:
Garden Tasks for February
- Get rid of the rubbish
- Measure the garden
- Plot the garden on paper and begin first plans
- Order a shed
- Install and insulate the shed
- Buy a bag of bulbs and start planting them everywhere!
- Continue to measure light levels and plot the sun around the garden
February is all about planning and seeing what the garden does. It’s often best to leave a new garden for up to a year to see what grows and where it grows. Watching and waiting is all part of being a gardener! I look forward to getting stuck in though.
Who’s the weekend gardener and why?
I named this section of my blog the ‘weekend gardener’ because that is me. I tend to only get into the garden at weekends. I wanted to be able to show readers that gardening doesn’t have to be a full-time enterprise (but oh how I wish it was for me!). With careful planning and a bit of digging, growing vegetables and fruit can be a low effort affair with maximum productivity achieved.