A Spring Garden Update

March 22, 2017

I LOVE this time of year for the garden waking up. Seeds are sprouting, the perennials are pushing through the soil and seem to be growing by the day. It's slowly getting warmer and sunnier {followed it seems by pouring rain and wind after each sunny day when we feel like Spring has arrived properly} and it feels like we're inching ever closer to BBQ season and days when you can just lay on the grass amongst the flowers. I get requests a lot for garden posts so I thought I'd share an update of some things we've done recently to get ready for the new season. 

  • Put up a new fence.  Our garden is surrounded by hedges but they're all different so it lacks uniformity. There were a few big gaping gaps where we had some trees taken out last summer and in parts, a chain link boundary. Whilst I like greenery as a backdrop, and the hedge on the right looks pretty right now with blossom, in the summer it has very dark leaves which I didn't love as a backdrop for the flowers. I've always loved hazel hurdles {we put some in our last garden} so we decided this Spring to go around the whole garden with it. They look very new to start with but we're going to plant lots of climbing plants, clematis, everlasting sweet peas and roses to climb up them and as they age it should look like a pretty cottage garden.

Some photos Ben took as him and some of his team put it up last week. I haven't taken any photos of the whole garden finished in it yet, we need 2 more panels annoyingly! But it looks so different already. And somehow makes the garden look bigger, I think because it's evened it all out. I wanted to get it in before the flowers start to grow anymore, I didn't look whilst it was going in - wincing if my peonies would be stood on! 

It also helps to hide our compost area behind the trees at the back. Perfect screen, plus gives us more privacy from the neighbours either side.

More photos once it's all finished.

  • Preparing the Dahlias. I wrote a full post on growing dahlias last year, {here} and aside from a little TLC at the start of Spring, they're so so great for producing the prettiest flowers all the way from July to November! We dug up our favourite tubers after the first frost and kept them in the shed all winter. Now that Spring is here we've potted them up in compost and will keep them semi moist until they start shooting leaves. They'll need protecting until after the frosts have ended and then we'll plant them out in the ground. 

  • Planting Seeds. Again, I've written posts on growing seeds for a cutting garden in previous years here and here. This year we're a bit behind but I don't think a week or two matters much. We're mainly sticking to sweet peas and cosmos flower wise this year with a few others thrown in like Ammi and some green foliage for cutting. We'll start on our veg seeds for the allotment once April arrives, a lot of things can't be planted out until it warms up in May so if you sow too much now you end up having to keep potting seeds on and stop them going leggy and wild!

  • Visiting the garden centres - I love putting new plants in at this time of year. It's so amazing to think that this time last year we had only just got the keys to the house and there was nothing planted in the garden at all! Full garden makeover post here. I'm so glad we started on it when we did, getting the plants in early to establish. Now everything from last year is coming up bigger and stronger. But there are still gaps in the borders {that I filled last year with loads of annuals like cosmos} so I like to use this time of the year to see what's coming up, look back on photos from last year and decide what else I'd like to add or what needs moving around. I've moved lots of self set foxgloves to the backs of borders as they'll be tall when flowering. And I've bought some more of my favourites like delphiniums, lupins and hollyhocks to mix in. They're often on deals at the garden centres and I pick most of mine up on 4 for £10 offers. I've also had a few roses as early Birthday presents that I've planted to get them in the ground. 

  • Weeding/preparing the borders/cut the grass - A couple of weeks ago we tackled the flowerbeds, digging out any weeds, removing the dead growth from last year and turning the soil. We gave the roses some feed. We should probably mulch the rest of the borders but we're running out of time at the moment. We {I should actually credit Martin here, one of Ben's right hand men} cut the grass to tidy it up but not take it too short yet and gave it a feed and weed treatment. 

  • Painting the Shed - I'm planning on writing a full DIY summer house post once it's finished but until then, you may have seen in some of the extension photos the bright orange construction sitting at the bottom of the garden. Ben constructed it just before the building work started and since then it's just been used to store stuff. I've been meaning to paint it all Winter but it's been too cold and wet up until the last couple of weeks. I have big plans to pretty it up in the summer with a deck out the front and all white washed inside, I can't decide if we'll use it as a proper summer house yet or as more of a potting shed before we build a greenhouse but either way until the extension is finished and we have a garage again it's full to the brim storing a load of garden furniture/BBQ etc and our dahlias. I put on a coat of Cuprinol shed paint/stain this week to protect the wood and use it as an undercoat before finishing in a nice Farrow & Ball cream with a green trim {remember our old shed in our last house? I miss it!}. Except half way through I realised how rubbish at painting I am so I've handed the job over to our decorator instead. Hoping it's dry enough tomorrow for him to finish it off. I also want Ben to make the front facia a bit bigger and we might extend the overhang at some point but y'know the kitchen is our priority right now.
  • Planning the new patio - Now that summer is approaching and our glass sliding doors get fitted for the new kitchen on Friday {eek!!} we're dreaming of evenings sat eating dinner alfresco. Right now we have piles of rubble for a patio and a huge soak away hole but we have big dreams for creating a new patio area as soon as it's all filled in and levelled out. We want to create some kind of built in seating and planting area as well as just having space for a table, chairs and my galvanised tub obsession. We want to create an area that's usable for big BBQs with lots of people as well as looking pretty. But we also want to keep a fairly clear view from the kitchen out to the garden and not block it with too much so we're looking at the different areas of space we have around the house to incorporate these into it too. On Sunday Ben and I mapped it all out and started coming up with a plan but we won't start on it until the kitchen is almost finished. More on that soon.. 
Have you got big garden plans for this year? Roll on sunny summer days and alll the pretty flowers.

R <3 xx 

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  1. hello!
    i love the fence panels so much! I think I will be using these to replace our old broken fence. YAy - thanks for the inspiration!
    out of interest did you opt for a cheaper option or more expensive - it seems the price for panels really vary.
    thank you, Kerry

  2. Oh I really need to do ALL of this in my garden too but I just don't know where to start and with the awful weather we have been having it's been really hard to get out there and get stuff done :) Your garden looks beautiful!

    Rachael xx.

  3. You have legit garden goals omg :D



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