Who knew that two consecutive sunny weekends could make such a difference.

I started on the flower and herb beds by the shed.  The soil isn’t great and it is shaded from the morning sun by the trees.  I have a polytunnel covering the other part of the plot at this end, so flowers and herbs seemed the way to go.

This is what the area looked like back in 2009:

front bedsflower bednew herb bed






Then it all started to grow!

Spring bed Mayspring 2009





and then it got out of hand! The globe artichoke become a huge monster, which was replaced by a polite Victoria plum tree.

front bed 2011

The only thing that remains is the box hedge, the plum tree and the daffodils.  I’ve given it a deep mulch with compost and re-planted with aquilegia, mallow, daisy and yarrow.  When it warms up a bit more, I’ve some Lavender Munstead and Hidcote to use as a low hedge to the front.  I’m not going to replant herbs; they are much better kept just outside the back door.  I’m not quite decided yet, but as is it sheltered it would make a good place for the dahlias…hmmm


herb bed

flower bed replanted






So that was two beds down.  The apple and pear cordons and espaliers have been very neglected, so it was their turn for a spot of restoration.  I use wood chip laid over weed membrane to create paths and cover the area around the trees.  It looks lovely for a couple of years and then it starts to rot down and the weeds move in.  There was nothing for but to get down on my hands and knees with a hand mattock and pull it all up.  Here’s the before and afters…


clearing rotted woodchip cordons before

more cordons before







What a mess!  but after a several trips to the compost bin with the weeds and half cooked woodchip compo, it looked like this…….


cordon after cleared woodchip

Today the trees rewarded me by opening their tightly held buds; soon they will be smothered in pink and white blossom. The pale pink/white are the pear blossom (different varieties) and the dark pink is one of the apples (Greensleeves)

blossom 1 blossom 2 blossom 3 blossom 4