Friday, 29 April 2016

Down The Garden Path: April

Let me take you on a little trip around my garden...
Well, I now have a garden path!
And a very wibbly wobbly hedge, I really need to improve my topiary skills ;) I'm thinking this will be a great hungry caterpillar, I will under plant it with something colourful.
I'm really pleased with how the top garden has developed. It reflects the studio perfectly. It's in a more formal, modern style than I'm used too, but I shall plant in an informal way to balance it out. It will help in terms of my mobility, and also little dogs that like to eat plants! There's going to be another Agriframe arch over the bench...and a smaller one at the beginning of the path.
You can really see the slope in the the lawn here, it would have cost so much more to have had it completely levelled, actually I quite like it. The beds have been positioned back from the retaining wall, otherwise I think it would have looked too oppressive for the lower potager garden.
The plants are being held in a nursery bed, until they can be planted. This summer we will replace (that's the Royal We) all the grass with slate.
My dahlia bed...nothing! Oh only a rouge potato.
The view up the garden. Two of the beds will be flowers and the rest vegetables and fruit. Down the side of the path I've put a collection of pots with all sorts of stuff in them. I might change the contents depending on the season, or I might just plant lots of lavender into the soil.
Baby verbena, I want a garden full of them.
And this is where my greenhouse will go, it will be arriving at the end of the summer. I'm beyond excited. It's a traditional brick and wood one, with a cold frame. It will mean I can still garden in all weathers, and have more early spring flowers.
Hope you enjoyed your visit. There's still only little bits of colour but it's starting to take shape. I'm pleased with the structure, the bones of the garden, it's now time to colour it in! I've been very fluid with the design, very nearly drove Mr Landscape mad, I've changed things so much. It's the way I work, I have a general idea, but then change it and adapt as I go along. I have an outline, now for the filling in bit.
So what will May bring...
Well I'm hoping warmer weather!
Lots of potting on in the greenhouse.
Putting the veg out into their position in the garden.
Install the arches, and plant the climbers.
Start to fill the raised beds in the top garden.
Decide on the patio furniture, I'm thinking settee and chairs for the top patio and a little bistro table on the bottom one, to catch that early morning sunshine.
Thank you for all the super comments on my last post. I rested a lot this week and I'm starting to recover. Next Friday I'm off for a couple of nights to Venice with some brilliant ladies, so I need to be very careful, and conserve as much energy as possible. I'm very excited...again!
What are you up to in your garden? Please let me know!
Amanda :) xxx


Monday, 25 April 2016

Best Not To Panic...

It's been a challenging few weeks, physically, mentally, and emotionally. This week I've felt my body become weaker and weaker. What started as a small numb patch, began to slowly spread over almost half my body. I wondered if it would engulf me. But I say to myself, best not to panic.
It's a funny old thing this MS malarkey, you never really know where it's going to go, which path it's going to take you on. You never really know what's going to happen next, will the numbness spread further? Will the weakness take away the use of your legs, completely? Will you be able to use those blinking garden steps, that's just cost you a small fortune to install? But I say to myself, best not to panic.
There's a lot of stresses and strains going on here at the moment. I'm physically exhausted from the gardening, even though I've had lots of help. I'm frustrated by the restrictions of my body, coming many years earlier than I ever thought they would. In my head I want to zoom around doing all sorts of stuff, but now even the smallest activity can leave me wrung out. But I say to myself, best not to panic.
I've been emotionally challenged by motherhood this week too. It's such an important job, but the absence of energy, and the complexities of my little, quirky family, make me feel wholly inadequate. What if I can't be what they need to be? Am I up to the many years of adolescence ahead of me? Even as young adults they will still need me to be there, have I got what's needed? But I say to myself, best not to panic.
Mentally, I'm frustrated. A few years ago I wasn't treated fairly, it's cost me dearly, both financially, and affected my self worth. I've got a battle ahead of me and it seems so unfair. I'm angry that what little energy I have, needs to be spent on a fight. I need that energy for my family, for myself. I don't want to fight this fight. I shouldn't be fighting this fight. I'm fighting a giant, and that's a worry. But I say to myself, best not to panic.
I'm not one to panic, on the whole, I take what's thrown at me in my stride. This week however, I feel overwhelmed by the path I'm on. I know there are many, many people on much more difficult fact they would think my path is relatively easy. They would swap me in the blink of an eye. I'm overwhelmed because I'm so exhausted, that's all. Things usually work out, and if they don't, there's usually a way of of dealing with things. It really is best not to panic.
Amanda :) xxx


Thursday, 21 April 2016

Modern Garden Magazine: Review.

Hello Everyone,
Here is my review of the new gardening magazine, here in the UK, Modern Gardens. The second issue was released yesterday, and I sat in the evening and read it, almost cover to cover!
The concept is brilliant, it's quite unique in terms of your average garden mag. It's for those who want their outside space to be an extension to their home, but perhaps haven't got oodles of time or money. I love looking through gardening magazines, especially those expensive glossy ones, the ones where each garden is 3 plus acres, show gardens really. They are the gardens of the rich, or at least those who dedicate their life to their garden.
Modern Gardens features 'normal' gardens, by that I mean those up and down most streets in the UK, not on some vast estate somewhere. There's definitely been a gap in the market, and I think it's just been plugged. The magazine is about the norm, but that doesn't mean our gardens have to be boring, or average. They can be creative, beautiful, with a little bit of effort and not too much cash. The thing that's most needed is creativity, and if you feel you haven't much in that department either, well luckily it spills out from every page!
This month there are features on:
Readers gardens and how they achieved the look.
How to choose and develop your gardening style.
Too many Upcycle projects to mention.
Vertical gardens.
Auriculas...I really, really need some of them in my life!
Creating focal points in your garden.
Colourful planting schemes.
Upcycled containers...some of the ideas are brilliant.
Outdoor spas...we all need one of those!
Every single page is crammed full of ideas, in fact it's a bit overwhelming, it's best to keep picking it up in short bursts, perhaps with a cuppa.
So, is there anything I would change?
I think they've got the balance of adverts just right, (please don't put an advert on every other page).
I'd love to see more readers homes in the mag, 3 or 4 full makeover articles, instead of just the 2.
For those of us who like to grow our own, a few more features on growing fruit and veg in your back garden would be fantastic. Most of the grow your own magazines available, seem to focus on allotments, or those with huge plots.
Maybe even a feature about a garden in another country, I'm sure there are loads of people who would like to share their spaces.
It's an excellent magazine, there's even a £1.00 voucher to give to someone so they can by it cheaper. If you've read it, please let me know your thoughts. This isn't a sponsored post by the way, paid for the magazine myself, and thoughts are my own, unbiased and honest.
Right, I'm off to potter in my own garden, Mr Landscape man is back on Monday, curtesy of a tax refund, (now that's never happened before!). So watch this space...I'm ever so excited!
Amanda :) xxx
(My images don't do the pages any favours...sorry!).
Otto, and I have had a difficult few days, both unwell, but getting better :) xxx


Friday, 15 April 2016

Busy, Busy, Busy...

I'm so sorry I've been absent from this space. Life has just been hectic and getting in the way of blogging, that will never do! ;) We've done lots in the garden over the Easter holidays, (that's the Royal We), all in preparation for the next stage of my garden revamp. It's all looking a bit of a mess but I know it will turn out fine in the end.
I will try my utmost to rectify my bloggy absence next week...until then have a fabulous weekend, it going to be cold and wet here by all accounts, so I'll be keeping warm, and my gardening plans may be put on hold.
Amanda :) xxx



Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Down The Garden Path: March.

Well almost down the garden, the path stops abruptly at the top of the steps. This is where it will eventually start. This area gets very little morning sun and because of that it can be difficult to grow some things, perfect for a garden path though. With an arch at its entrance I think...what climbers grow in the shade I wonder.
The grass is really starting to green up now. I had grand plans for the top part of the garden, but after realising the cost, I've scaled these back somewhat. I had wanted raised beds on three sides. Instead, parts of the lawn will be relaid, the flowerbed on the left removed (to make way for a path), and on the right I will have a raised bed built, with a seating area. Eventually I may have another raised bed built near the retaining wall, as funds allow. Raised beds are great for me, much easier for me to manage, they are almost Otto proof too!
Shoots are coming up all over the's an exciting time for a gardener. These are the ones Otto has missed, for now anyway. There's weeds coming up too, so I keep going out with my trowel and having short weeding sessions.
There's not much happening yet in my greenhouse. I've delayed sowing, it's been bitterly cold here. I will start next week sowing some veg and flowers, I'm planning on growing lots of my own flowers this year, usually it's just sunflowers and sweet peas. Dahlias will be a first for me too. Those complimentary Slug-Busters have arrived too from Agriframes, thank you! I will let you all know how they work.
Some of the raised beds have been filled and two planted up, one with strawberries and one salad, chard, beet and shallots. Two will be for cut flowers. We have put up our second arch from Agriframes, easier this time. That's the royal We by the way...and the next little project the royal We will be doing (hopefully next week whilst he's off work, sssh, he doesn't know it yet!)...
Is this, to move the compost bin, (it's almost empty don't worry!), relocate the herbs, and put in another raised bed for raspberry bushes. I've got summer fruiting ones, but intend to get some autumn ones too.
Joining in with Sarah...I've changed the title, My Garden In sounded a bit boring, Down The Garden Path...much more exciting! ;)
So what will April bring...
Sowing lots of flowers and seeds.
Filling up all those raised beds.
Establishing a raspberry bed.
And tidy up the top garden, so at least I can live with it, before the bigger changes happen.
So what's happening down your garden path, I'd love to hear!
Amanda :) xxx