A few pictures taken yesterday that show how some areas of the garden that have already been featured here are evolving (heh, I'm not going to reveal "secret" areas about which I haven't had the time to post yet, am I? )
Contrary to my rather pessimistic expectations, there's some stuff that looks like it's growing. Some salads are visible along the shed, but they're being eaten by sparrows Then there's an unused area onto which I'm going to plant both tomatoes and courgettes; after that, I have some potatoes which are starting to sprout but that I need to earth up some more, and two lines of various peas, then finally a line of beans I sowed last week-end but that haven't sprouted yet.
The ceanothus is full of various insects and their buzzing can be heard from rather far. As for the sea thrift, it's quite lovely as well.
Irises have flowered, and ornamental garlics are starting to bloom.
A few flowers are starting to appear there as well.
If sparrows devour all salads in the vegetable garden, we'll still have some here!
Since you're all waiting impatiently for the next episode of our garden-related work (I am being swamped under massive amounts of fan mail... wait, why don't you believe me? :p), here it is: a compost story!
Waste recycling, sustainable development, good food for plants... Whatever. We want to make some compost. In our family, compost production is rather primitive: my father-in-law uses a heap, and since we're following his advice, well, we're going to use a heap as well. Still, we need to chose a location for the heap. The "logical" location for that (in our specific kind of logic, anyway) is behind the garden shed, because it's not visible from the canopy. However, that's the location we'd used to store the wood from the dreaded thujas.
Ok, so we moved these away. But then, while it's nice to say: "so, let's make a compost heap!", you need stuff to "feed" it. Hence began the first, rather epic stage of compost-making; between July and late February, we were still living in a flat, roughly 15 km away from the house... So we had to use a second bin to sort our organic waste in our very, very small kitchen. Guess what was on Manu's knees in the car every week-end?...
Anyway, between the organic waste from the flat's kitchen, various weeds and small branches, the heap started to look somewhat like, well, a heap:
While it worked in terms of "making compost", it wasn't really too handy: it dries really fast, tends to damage the shed, and a lot of it is wasted when the heap needs to be turned over. Because of that, we dug a small trench and used some of the numerous concrete slabs left over by the former owners to make something more appropriate:
Still, you got to admit that it's definitely not too aesthetically pleasing... As it happens, I'd planned on planting periwinckles on the right side of the shed's door:
I'd added some iris bulbs in Autumn. However, some climbing plant was definitely required to hide the compost heap. In addition, various animals enjoyed digging into the heap a little too much, so there was still a lot off waste as they threw some compost out of the pit, onto the grass in front of it. We "fixed" these two problems in March:
We added some more concrete slabs in front of it (in order to make it easier to put whatever the birds and cats extract from the pit back into it) and a winter jasmine on a wooden lattice to hide it from the path (it still needs to grow though).
I am currently trying to grow a few annual plants near the left part of the pergola: some morning glories and nasturtium (the morning glories have already germinated). I have to wait until next Autumn to replace them with perennial plants. On the right side of the pergola, there is yet another clematis (a white "Gladys Picard" this time) and a red climbing rose bush given by my father-in-law (I have no clue what its name is). In front of the clematis there's a curry plant that will hopefully help protect the lower part of the clematis' from direct sunlight... but it will not happen any time soon: for now the curry plant must be at most 5 cm high, as I obtained it from the school's lawn, where it grew on its own and ended up getting mowed a few times. It's a survivor, so I'm hoping it will be happy there.
As for the bricks and pieces of plastic and cardboard, I'm trying to use them to get rid of the grass as I want to make another flower bed there.
First Summer. An urge to plant flowers (or anything, really) to cover various empty spaces. Some plants obtained from the school's roof garden. Holidays with the family and therefore more plants from various gardens, accompanied by even more relatively common plants found in the Massif Central.
The challenge - setting all that up in the middle of August (which was particularly dry last year).
A potential solution - the flower bed in from of the garden shed.
Original state: a small area covered with pine bark where a daylily and a bergenia are rather busy vegetating. I couldn't find a picture of the area in this state, however
First stage: removing the pine bark, digging, adding some loam.
The next step would be to plant whatever I can get my hands on: grape hyacinth bulbs, irises, a few ground covers (wild thyme, basket of gold, creeping broom, etc.), some plants (forget-me-nots, perennial geraniums...) and various wild stocks (bellflowers, mallows, scabiosa, etc.)
I also added very small marigolds. I didn't expect anything from them, especially not flowers, but I had to plant them somewhere...
In Autumn I added some more bulbs: ornamental garlic, botanic tulips. Looking good so far...
... and a first, happy surprise: although I planted it in August, the pot marigold bloomed, and only disappeared when it started freezing!
- a few forget-me-nots:
- botanic tulips:
- a lyre-flower I added in Spring to replace the mallow (which didn't survive):
The flower bed increased in volume - even the daylilies which were already there grew bigger, and I'm going to need to move them at some point. It looks rather promising for now: budding ornamental garlic, irises ready to bloom...