Garden Blog - Blog Post

Revving at the Starting Line


It’s been very busy in the garden. Since the clocks went forward a while ago now, there has been increasingly more time to work in the garden on weekday evenings, when the weather isn’t terrible. At the moment the day length gives me about two hours of good light to garden in after getting home from work; by midsummer, that should be over three hours. It’s been a rocky awakening from my winter slumber, having succumbed to illness twice and having to stay cooped up inside due to persistent rain (garden too wet to work in), but recently, things have been looking up with lighter, warmer, drier evenings making their appearance and I’m making the most of those. The first of the major jobs is a tidy up of the garden borders, with weeding high on the list, followed by creating a pristine border edge. At one point I was clearing out leaves with the lawn edger and accidentally ended up expanding a new border by a foot; not for the first time either. Weeds are a problem at the moment as the borders are not yet at full density so there are open gaps that weeds have taken advantage of; this is particularly noticeable along Fruit Avenue, which is still rather bare. Magnolia Hill has been better behaved given it is already well-planted.

Corner Border Expansion

An unexpected Border Expansion while tidying the edges

The pace of change in the garden is really accelerating, with new plants budding, opening and flowering almost daily. The Camellias may be finishing but within the last week the Amelanchier burst into a mass of starry white flowers, the Forsythia turned vivid yellow in the course of a long sunny day and Forget-me-nots have suddenly opened up everywhere (they really spread) with their dainty blue airy flowers standing out against grey flags and stone. The Banksiae Lutea rose is making a bid for World Domination and the roses are leafing out in all directions.

Spreading Myosotis (Forget-me-nots)

Myosotis and a lower terrace in need of scrubbing

Around the garden, Magnolia Hill has already had a second phase of planting, where masses of Evening Primrose, ferns and kniphofia (red-hot poker), have been added. Judas Rise has seen further Evening Primrose added as well as more irises, Cupid’s Dart and coreopsis. Fruit Avenue has it’s trees now coming into leaf along with the fruit bushes but we’re still waiting on the raspberry canes planted this year. The Clematis (moved from the trugs at the front of the house) have now burst through the surface and are starting to clamber towards each fruit tree. My favourite, Clematis Chantilly, has made a strong resurgence and is heading towards the Judas tree.

Clematis Chantilly Re-emerging

Clematis “Chantilly” has re-emerged strongly after last year’s Clematis Wilt

Up on the patio, we washed, scrubbed and bleached the flags and gave them two coats of sealant during a window of sunny weather. After this dried we were finally able to re-assemble the patio pot collection and start taking things out of the greenhouse. The second arch has been planted with a Rosa “Gertrude Jekyll” and a Rosa “Teasing Georgia” (one on each side) that were taken from the front border, which we were emptying as part of a major overhaul.

A Scrubbed and Sealed Patio

A dull, wet patio that gleams if it ever stops raining and has chance to dry in the sunshine

With all these changes happening in the garden it feels as though I can’t write quickly enough, and it’s already May. The starting gun may have fired but the garden is already half-way down the track!

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author & gardener

Sunil Patel

I'm Sunil Patel, this is me. I created the Garden at 13 Broom Acres and I open it to visitors. I also bake and write blog posts giving a "behind the scenes" look into what it's like to maintain such a garden.

Visit the blog, then come and visit the garden. We can have a good sit-down, a jolly chinwag and a relaxing cup of tea with a sinfully generous slice of home made cake.

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susan maclean 11/05/2016 - 10:17 pm

Yes, but isn’t it fun! I have stuff I didn’t even know I had in bud!!

Sunil 13/05/2016 - 8:27 pm

Hello Mrs Mac, for me it’s, “I didn’t know I had planted that, there?”. I’m in two minds about creating a garden plant map because it keeps changing and by the time it all settles down, I will have lost track of the plant names!

casa mariposa 12/05/2016 - 1:53 am

I love that you accidentally expanded your border! We’ve had tons of rain lately, too. I’m as soggy as you are. I hope that clematis survives…. 😉

Sunil 13/05/2016 - 8:29 pm

Hello Tammy, it happens all the time and I don’t know how? One minute I’m just cutting the grass or sowing a seed tray, the next I’ve got an extra ten square feet of border that’s just been created. Somebody should do something!

Sarah Shoesmith 12/05/2016 - 2:25 pm

Argh! I know that sense of constant weeding in new borders only too well! Things can only get better – as Magnolia Hill proves. Despite the setbacks, your garden is developing apace.

Sunil 13/05/2016 - 8:30 pm

Hello Sarah, the weeds are pretty bad and there are parts of border that are actually grassing over again! I may have to put back some of the landscape fabric to cut down on the weeding until those areas have plants ready to go in.

gardeninacity 17/05/2016 - 1:22 am

It’s funny how easy it is to accidentally expand a border. In my case, at least, it falls under the description “accidentally on purpose”.

Sunil 19/05/2016 - 8:35 pm

Hello Jason, it happens all the time with me, I’m so clumsy, there should be a warning label on it or something!?


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