So as well as trying to start a new business, I am also in the throws of trying to completely re-design my own garden.
We moved into a new property in May this year and I inherited a garden which was obviously loved and enjoyed at some point, but unfortunately the previous occupier was an elderly lady with mobility problems who hadn’t done any maintenance to it in 4 years!!
On the day we moved in, the garden looked like this:
At first glance, it doesn’t look too bad, but then I started to walk round and things didn’t appear quite as they might seemed. Apart from the lawn, the ENTIRE garden was full of Muscari bulbs (more commonly known as ‘Bell Hyacinths) . I kid you not, 95% of the beds in the garden were full of these bloody things and they had literally been allowed to multiply to staggering proportions. They were growing through the hideous crazy paving, through the bed walls and even through other plants!
You’ll notice that there is a pylon leg in my garden, not remotely offensive to me as I grew up opposite one and I don’t even notice them any more. The area underneath the pylon was just a jungle of weed and bramble with one very sorry looking Peonie that was literally being strangled by weed and Muscari. The Clematis and Honeysuckle that was growing up the pylon looked in pretty good nick… from a distance….. but up close it was obvious that the centres of both of these plants were dead and hadn’t been pruned back for years.
The Laurel tree that was planted on the only south facing wall of the garden (Why???) had grown to epic proportions and was taking over a huge area. The centre of it was mostly dead and the number of dead and decaying leaves that were constantly falling off it confirmed this. I also had Sparrows nesting in there so knew, I would have to wait for the babies to leave the nest before I could do anything about it. On the subject of birds, hanging off the pylon was a rickety, old bird box. After a couple of hours of mooching round the garden, I was blessed to find that there was actually a family of Blue Tits living in there. I love Blue Tits, such a gorgeous little bird with bags of character 🙂
On walking round I noticed that parts of the stone wall looked a bit loose and on closer inspection found that every single stone wall in the garden was loose and there wasn’t any type of bonding material used in any of it. Where the Muscari bulbs had spread, they had pushed parts of the wall off balance and the whole thing was now in danger of collapse!
The pathways and steps were all overgrown and the whole garden just felt so neglected. With a pen and notepad in my hand, I started writing a list of all the jobs that needed doing so I could at least tidy it up a bit to see what I was actually dealing with. Or that was the original plan…..
Looking around the garden and seeing what other few plants there were in there, I tried to envisage what my predecessor was trying to actually achieve with the garden. Apart from the Muscari, the only other plants I could find were an ill-placed palm tree (!), a mixture of purple and yellow Aquilegia, which had obviously been allowed to self seed due to the randomness of the places they were popping up, a trailing Geranium situated at the back of one of the beds, several fuscia’s which were way past their best, and a rather depressing looking Sedum, a couple randomly planted Lamb’s Ear plants and a scattering of Violet which was doing nothing to help with the collapsing wall situation and a struggling Euonymus. That was it. These plants were dotted around the garden and not really serving any purpose or making any impact at all. Oh! I almost forgot the Christmas Tree. Yes, there was a dead Christmas Tree in a pot, left for me to admire also.
So, after a bit of time in the garden, I thought it best I start helping unload some of the furniture and belongings from the removal van, although to be fair, my heart wasn’t in it and I was already itching to make a start on the garden. Due to the fact I didn’t want a domestic on my first weekend in our new home, I summoned the willpower from somewhere to refrain from any sort of gardening activity until after the weekend (we moved on a Friday).
Once Monday morning came, I sprang out of bed at 5:00am, did all the necessary housework and took my Son to school. By 8:45am I was in the garden and on a roll. With no Husband or Son to distract me, I was a woman on a mission!! By the end of the first day, I had started to rip out the crazy pathing and was making inroads on the grass and Muscari that had been growing through the (rather large!) gaps.
My Husband’s first reaction was “I guess I am going to the tip then”. Little did he know, this would be the first of about 30 journeys to the tip – oops!