Garden Therapy – Mum’s Garden

This week is the first anniversary of my sister’s death, she had breast cancer for eight years but sadly lost her fight this time last year & I have come to Lincolnshire to be with my parents at this time. 

Weirdly it feels even sadder this year than last – perhaps because we have less to do, or that we are surprised that a whole year has gone by already. We took flowers to the cemetery, but decided we needed more receptacles as two vases are not enough to make her grave look pretty – so we went garden shopping….

That turned into a garden centre ‘sweep’ as they had a sale on & we found ready planted window boxes for £8.00, which were just the right size for the front of the headstone, we bought 3 of those, some bargain bedding plants & a couple of hanging baskets to jazz up mum’s garden which needs some tlc too.

Once home to mum’s we decided to get going & plant up the things we bought. The hanging baskets were not to hang but to put in planters at the front of the house – instant planted pots – a great cheat, & so easy. A couple of the window boxes too & voila! the front is all cheered up in a flash.

Mum is a fan of old fashioned, bedding plant borders, she doesn’t like ‘messy’ cottage garden style planting – which I love – but I am trying to persuade her to introduce more permanent shrubs & perennials, I have brought a small penstemon cutting from my own garden which is a start!

  
Outside the kitchen window is a small paved area & rockery, & years ago a prostrate conifer -a blue juniper -was planted there & had completely taken over. 

   
It was drowning a lovely Azalea & providing a home for mice & maybe a hedgehog or so we thought! Anyway we decided it had to go, so dad & I spent a couple of hours yesterday evening getting to grips with it.

 It covered an area about 2m x 3m & took all of 2 hours to cut back to expose the roots, todays job is to dig it out…. & then think of what to replace it with.

It took another whole day to remove the roots – there was just as much below ground as above! No sign of any hedgehogs or mice but we disturbed a nest of miner bees, they were fairly docile but obviously not happy- I got stung but luckily the sting is mild compared to other bees. 

We planned to take some existing plants from around the garden & redistribute but I headed back to the garden centre & found lots more bargains – Geums for £1.00 – I bought 10 as I ‘need’ some too! Cistus, Scabious, Nemesia & a very sad Heuchera, all will be ok with a bit of watering, I got a car full for £30.00! 

 

This is looking sooo much better now, I planted a white Lavender & a Penstemon that had been in pots for a few years -hopefully they will really thrive now they are in open ground & together with some of the new plants, should fill out this space quite quickly. The soil is very sandy & free draining so its easy to dig & weed, most things  will grow as long as they are watered well at the beginning.

 I will split up the Asters at the back & spread them around, plant bulbs in the autumn & next spring this bed should look lovely. There’s also a clump of California Poppies & daisies that need dividing at the other end of the garden so we can use those in the side bed with some more shrubs (I will be back bargain hunting soon), there is also a bed at the front of the house that needs some more permanent planting but this is all I have had time for this visit.  

I love the combination of these two plants & have taken some for my own garden & some of the Asters which are spreading themselves around.

This little project has kept us busy during a difficult week & we all feel a sense of achievement that comes from making positive changes, we are also quite tired…….

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