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bed 1a


This is the bed to the left in the back garden – trying to number or name them so I’ll know what each is. Decided to split this one into three sections, counting from the front.


April 1st
Under the quince was a mass of chives – the last people here must have loved chives! They and the forget-me-nots were taking over, choking everything else. I took out some chives and put them in pots for future (controlled) use and started to wreak havoc on the rest

I also took out some geraniums – there were about fifteen clumps of them, a tad more than strictly necessary. I put some into tubs and smaller sprigs into pots to give away

Once I’d cleared that much, I discovered a small shrub under the quince; it doesn’t look too healthy, so I thought I’d move it once I’d cleared some more ground – it can’t get much light there, and the quince and those choking chives must have been robbing the ground around it of any nutrients.

Between the quince and the flowering currant are some tulips; I’m not overfond of them, so they’ll be going.

There’s also a clump of bluebells – I’d bought four packs of 5 bulbs each in my “Sainsbury Splurge” – I don’t remember planting any but I’ve only got three now, so I must have. If these were from the 5 that I planted they’ve certainly done well! Took out about 30.

I did try to leave that geranium in place, but the bluebells were behind it, the ground was rock-hard and I was having to bend through three different angles at once. Besides, those @@!! chives were liberally mixed with the geranium; I had to pry the clump apart and check sprig by sprig for chive bulbs (picture apes grooming, that’s how picky I had to be).

April 18th
For some idiot reason, the soil level is higher than the paving at the end of the bed, which was causing minor landslides and heaping of soil. I made a (very!) rough retaining wall out of dug-up stones and bits of ceramic pipe – the area in front of the wall is where I’m going to have the path to the lawn – there was a paving stone here originally, but I had it moved next to the fence – that was where the rose was shoved in a corner. And just about between the trowel and the long wall-stone was the sink, planted with one bulb (to judge by results) and fifty million weeds.

April 26th
The garden slopes – may not notice to look at it, but it’s very obvious when you’re kneeling and find yourself leaning sideways to get level! I’d decided to “step” the beds (well, the whole garden, eventually, but the bed for now) – the concrete fence-posts seemed as good a place as any, and they both happened to be between major shrubs.

Cleared the rest of the “step”, saving bluebells to replant and tulips to give away. Still had that small shrub to relocate but wanted to refresh the soil first, it could probably do with it!

I had some dinky wire mini-fences, but they’d be no use for retaining soil. I did think of putting bricks in (found plenty of those in my excavations!) but wasn’t’ sure I’d get the line straight. Sudden brainwave: found a couple of long strips of polystyrene in my “craft when I get round to it” shed, used the mini-fence to hold it in place while I tried to level out the soil in that “step”. Seems to be holding ok for now.

Spread some of the bluebells all along the back; I was trying to give them room, but they’d been totally crowded before and didn’t seem to have minded (though maybe they did, only two or three were in flower) – I had enough left to plant up two tubs.

Then I could move the small shrub – I’ve no idea what it is. You can see how much light it didn’t get by the way it’s leaning; I turned it half-sideways cos the hole I’d dug for it hadn’t taken account of a long root run.

Then a couple of packs of seeds in front – I’d had these years, no idea if they’re still viable, but only one way to find out.

April 27th
Didn’t really want to do any more, I was aching rather a lot, but the rest of the bed had to be planted so it might as well be done now.

Put in six packs of seeds – I’d bought three “assortments” – easy, annual, and butterfly. Reading the individual packs was fun! Clear cellophane with tiny printing; I had four choices of how to turn each pack to read it, and it usually took me all four. I put “blue” and “white” plants in, trying to get the tallest towards the back.

The bulbs at the left end are what I found while I was digging, no idea what they are but at least they’re all together now.

Digging the left end of the bed wasn’t easy – the quince constantly got in the way, and there’s the fuchsia as well – just bare stems, which made it hard for me to know where to go round them, especially round the roots.

Another reason why digging that end was hard work …

This was all one root that I had to get out in pieces – and there’s still more of it that I couldn’t get out. Did worry that it was the fuchsia, but this was completely dead, or I wouldn’t have been able to snap it into bits (eventually!)

Watered it all in, then went and collapsed into a cup of tea and a bun.

It took me about a month to do all this (well, four days spread over a month). Shee, I need to find the “go-faster” pedal!

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Wow Fran, what a lot of work - it certainly looks different now! Your fuchsia should now be shooting up from the base - when it does you can cut off all those dead looking sticks. You get me wondering where you get all your energy!

When your seeds come though you may find you need to thin them if you've put the whole packetful into each space, to give each one room to develop.

Now go and put your feet up for a while!

8 May, 2015


thanks Stera, The fuchsia at the moment is just three large stems, the gardener cut it back after the last flwoering. It'll have a bit more room now, as well as the quince.

There weren't many seeds in each pack - lol one only had eight in! I have probs seeing that small, so I tipped some bought compost in, tipped everyitng into a plastic dish, then a bit more compost to make sure seeds weren't hiding in cornerx. Then I spread the mix around the designated area, fairly evenly, I hope. There might well be a need to thin some, you can bet that if only three come up, they'll be crowding each other!

My friend's testing his tent in front of the rest of hte bed, so I can't get at it, which is a sort of relief as it gives me a breadk - though I could sort hte shed out, it certainly needs it! ah well, tomorrow ...

8 May, 2015


you have been busy Fran. Hope it is all settled well and growing. Is your friend sleeping in his tent or indoors Fran?Your quince looks to be doing well. Certainly warming up a lot today. well over 85 degrees down here today. hope to hear from you soon. Looks like you have a decent patch of clear soil to plant something nice.

5 Jun, 2015


thanks Dorjac. I put bark over it later to help retain moisture and deter weeds. Nothing's come up yet apart from a dandelion and a sprig of Geranium that I thought I'd taken out completely. Maybe the seeds should have been sown in the greenhouse first, but given what hte snails did to my baby sunflowrers, maybe not!

My friend just put hte tent up to show me, he thought I'd ssaid I could do with one (I have three already, and recently bought another one!). It was well old, and the material by the zip slplit when I tried to zip the flap closed. it went in the bin, apart from the poles, which (ha!) might come in handy for something.

I'm still faffing around trying to plan a layout - doesn't help that I can't measure the garden properly, or plot the existing layout, beds, sheds, lawn etc, so that I can play with it on paper with any accuracy. I've been going through a bleah! phase, not doing much, not wanting to do much; i should get out and make the effort, I know I'll feel better for it

6 Jun, 2015


Just been reading a self help book on Kindle that was free. It got a bit weird towards the end about angels and white mist.Quite sensible until then. It said clear the clutter out of your head and house!Teach youself to like yourself blah blah. Well I wonder who does really like themselves totally? I wish I was younger, taller, thinner,all that kind of thing. Another book I was reading was about the time when Christianity was gaining ground in England and starting to compete with Paganism and the mingling of the festive times. The King in the north it was called. Good read too.

6 Jun, 2015

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