This year, I’ve been busier than ever in the garden. Spring was full of lovely colours in the back garden (see the pictures here), but the side yard and front garden were bare – I have bought lots of tulips bulbs to plant there this month to remedy the situation.
I haven’t done much work in the back garden in summer as I wanted to concentrate my efforts in the side yard and the front garden. One thing that always pleases me there that requires no effort from me is the beauty of the climbing red roses on the arch, this is the 1st year that the arch is fully covered by the flowers.
Another thing that delighted me in the back garden is the red flesh apple tree (pixirosso variety), I got about 30 apples from it this year, they are small in size but very tasty. You can see it here with the blackberry plant, a banana plant and the cotinus grace:
All fruit trees/plants here performed well (2 grapes, 1 cherry, 1 columnar cherry, 1 apple, 1 midget apple, 2 blackberries, 1 red currant, 1 buckingham tayberry, 1 loganberry, 1 boysenberry, raspberries and strawberries), except the apricot tree which turned out to be more like a plum tree (maybe a pluot tree?) and gave me just 1 fruit. I also got zero fruit from the peach tree, it suffered the dreaded peach leaf disease and I didn’t spray it on time with a bordeaux mixture solution.
This year, I tried a newspaper mulch system with my strawberry planters. I first heard about it from Monty Don in one of his old tv programs. It does work but it is not visually pleasing.
I use this pink table as a platform for growing lettuces and herbs in troughs (ivyline troughs from amazon):
This is a corner of the back garden in autumn:
One of the new zealand purple castor oil plants, that I grow from seed every year. Next year I’ll also plant some in the front garden.
And the much loved cotinus grace, which is so vibrant in october. Its leaves look like they are glowing from the inside:
The side yard is south facing so I decided to continue growing some of my vegs there. I got more 55 cm pots from Tesco (free with my clubcard points) in spring and lined the side yard with them.
This is the entrace to the back from the side, the wisteria plant has not flowered yet, and those purple flower plants were grown from seed but I lost the label so don’t know their names.
I do an intensive planting here, which works as the pots are deep and roots can go down instead of competing at the top. Each 55cm pot usually has 3 or more plants in it. This is a typical pot with a purple sprouting broccoli in the middle and 4 pineapple berries around it:
Or a hibiscus plant (flowering for the 1st time) with 4 strawberry plants around it:
Even small pots (35cm) are planted intensively, like this chilli plant surrounded by 4 thai basil:
Ah, the front garden! It’s supposed to be a potager but it was more like a weedy messy jungle this year. And it was my fault. I was overwhelmed by the amount of weed there (creeping buttercup mainly) and did not add any fertiliser there (I use chicken manure pellets everywhere else) as I was afraid I may make the weed problem more proeminent. So I just added bark after weeding, and planted vegs and fruits here and there (squash, pumpkin, melon, watermelon and herbs) with a bit of the chiken manure pellets in each planting hole. But this was not enough and the plants struggled to grow. As a result, I only got 3 small squash (potimarron/red kuri) and no much else. Lesson learned, next year I will buy some proper bagged manure and will add it everywhere.
This is just after I’ve done a proper weeding in june. You can see that the right side area is just a temporary place for pots as I (or rather my partner) still need to build a raised bed along that mini wall.
Here it is again in october:
The plants that did well here are the dahlia planted last year, they were bushy with lots of flowers so I guess they are happy here. The 3 fruit trees here did not seem happy: the plum tree was on strike and did not even have a single leaf (I was worried it was dead but it is alive as the bark is green underneath, I read that plum trees do not like to be moved and I already moved this one twice), the apple tree did not have any fruit and the pear tree only gave me 1 fruit.
The dahlia are done now and I need to cut out their dead leaves. I leave the tubers in the ground as I found that they survive quite well here. And once the whole area is cleared and tidied up, I will need to plant some white onions and some tulip bulbs (I always plant them in december without any problem).
I can’t wait for spring. I am already dreaming of new things to grow. Do you have a garden? If so please leave a link to your blog so that I can see what you are growing in your part of the world.