Now the BFI Flare festival is over I can get back to concentrating on the important things – my garden and allotment!
My poor back garden has suffered much over winter – mostly because I’ve not had the time to pay due care and attention to it. Luckily I’m off work until Monday 4 April so I have a few days to play catch up and remedy the effects of neglect, Storm Katie and the local fox population.
It’s a small urban garden – proper plan to come soon – with 4 rather overgrown plants. I live in a first floor flat so the only access to the plot is through my bathroom and down the fire escape!
This is the view from the top of the fire escape – as you can see (or rather not!) much is hidden by the giant Pyracantha which I planted about 20 years ago. The terracotta pots tied to the outside of the fire escape are fully of herbs (or will be) and the pots on the steps usually have seasonal plants.
The poor old Pyracantha is not looking to good at the moment – I suspect it may have a case of pyracantha scab so I’ll be buying some Westland Plant Rescue Fungus Control which is one of the few things recommended for treatment.
Once you get into the garden you can appreciate how small it is. Two views here – one from the bottom off the fire-escape and one from the bottom of the garden looking back to the fire-escape/flat.
There are two 6ft x 3ft beds on each side of the path. I grow veg in the beds on the left hand side of the garden (left hand side of the pic above left) as this side of the garden gets a lot of sun. The two beds on the right hand side are more shady – the one closest to the deck usually has chard, sorrel, oriental greens etc and the other one has flowers.
A couple of landscape views give a better idea of size.
The photo below was taken sitting on the fire escape (which is why it looks a bit shady – thanks to the Pyracantha). On the left hand side at the bottom of the garden are a winter and summer jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum and Jasminum officinale) planted next to each other – both again about 15-20 years old. On the right hand side is the massive ivy (a mere stripling of roughly 10 years) which is covering the fence and providing a happy home to lots of wildlife. My tiny deck has just about enough room for two chairs, a small table plus some pots. The plants on the deck are a small Victoria plum, a bay tree, agapanthus, lillies and a couple of smaller pots of forget-me-nots and other seasonal plants).
And this is taken from the tiny deck looking back up the garden – lots of pots on the path too. I think I may need to rationalise these down…or not! There’s more agapanthus, a couple of patio buddleia’s, a large pot of mint, more lillies, spring bulbs, strawberries and to be quite frank I need to have a dig around to find out what else is there.
I spent a couple of hours this afternoon doing some much needed remedial pruning of the two jasmines, giving the ivy a jolly good haircut and doing a pretty brutal cut back of the Pyracantha which was starting to cast too much shadow and I must finish that tomorrow.
The rest of the tasks for the next few days are:
- approx 8 bags of prunings to go to the recycling plant
- buy lots of bags of compost (for pot refresh) and manure (for beds)
- empty/refresh pots – once I’ve investigated my seed stash!
- add new manure to beds and plan what to plant
- find the two green houses packed away in the attic – check for damage and then put over veg beds to warm up soil and protect any tomato seedlings I may plant
- buy paint to put a new coat on the fence (maybe Friday afternoon?)
- scrub the deck and then oil it
- scrub down and treat the garden furniture
- sowing seeds for garden and allotment
- cut the new gravel boards and fix to the damaged fence panels under the ivy and under the jasmine (pesky urban foxes have been using my garden as a run – see below)
- venture into the attic to find the garden decorations I bought over the last few years from Chelsea and Hampton Court and finally put them up!
On that note I’m away to bed as I need to be up with the larks tomorrow!