Standing at the side of the house overlooking the side garden.Alan made the fence last year when we got Beauty.A double benefit of making the side secure so she can't escape and also she can't go digging in the veggie beds!!!
I had taken my books and a blank sheet of paper to plan the changes we had talked about and to decide what veg would go where..We have three raised beds and lots of pots that we have used the last two years.A friend told me about using tires to grow spuds in and it worked but it wasn't easy to get them out so I won't use them again for spuds but am thinking of using them to grow strawberry's for the first time.If I seperate them and have a few plants in each amonst the plants in the borders that should work quite well to keep the strawberrys off the ground and keep them dry.
We had talked about making the borders at the side much bigger and filling with veg/fruit instead of the shrubs that are there at present and also redoing the rockery at the top so we could fit in a greenhouse in that top corner.In an ideal world we would still do this, however my health is still not the best and it would be a lot of work for Al to do this year not to make use of it, especialy as there are a million and one other things to get done, so we have decided to put the plan on hold and scale down a little.We are still going to increase the side border and get some rhubarb and some other fruit bushes (whichever are the easiest to maintain) and I will probably plant peas and have my bean wigwams in here.Until the storm in 2005 we had two massive sycamore trees here, luckily when they fell they fell away from the house!!!The problem is that the ground is not great because of all the tree roots so we will have quite a bit of work to do to get the soil in the border up to scratch.
This area near the shed is not often in full sun and we can't grow much here so we have decided to gravel it over and get a table and benches in here and build a fire pit using some giant old stones we have behind the shed.I have to pull out the french lavender bushes as the frost has got them, on top of which I haven't pruned them and they have gone all woody so that will give me more space to put in the fire pit.I will buy some more as they and marigolds have been part of my defenses against carrot fly and so far I haven't had carrot fly so it seems they work for me;-))The side garden has a footpath going past it and it is not particularly private but the flowering shrubs give more privacy in the summer when we will be out on an evening.
After all that planning I decided just to do a little weeding as Alan was painting the garden furniture and Emily was inside listening to a story CD in a den she had made under the table in the dining room.She didn't want to come out at all but kept popping her head out of the side door to have a chat.At one point her and Alan spent a while making a den in the back garden for her sylvannian family of cats, an old tree stump came in handy for the home with a slab on top for the roof and stones were used for furniture both interior and exterior table and chairs.I started to weed the beds and just couldn't stop,hours later with many interruptions for R&R I finished the three beds and the pots around them.
It is immensely satisfying to spend a sunny day in the garden.There is so much to do and so little time to do it;-)) I got some red onions in that Mum had given me and was very pleased with my days work.As we were eating a late tea Al informed me that Socks (cat) had been playing football with the onions !!! I have had to put on some netting to stop her getting at them,just have to make sure I don't do what I did last year and leave the netting on too late and have a problem when things start to grow through it.I know I am go ache like mad tomorrow but I had a great time getting my hands in the soil today.