A comment our neighbour made over the garden fence the other day really got me thinking. So often with two young kids at home it feels pretty much impossible to get any "projects" actually seen through to completion. Everything seems half done and there are a million and one things that both Mr C and I want to start, finish or just make progress on, yet it can be impossible to make time with the kids. However, in July it will be 5 years since we moved to this house and apart from making and growing two small children in that time we have also managed to completely transform our garden.
Looking back at the first couple of garden posts (here and here) I wrote when we moved in here it's hard to believe that the garden was so dull when we bought the house. Mainly grass with a dead tree stump in the middle and a small strip of soil down one side that we grandly called a flower bed and that was it. Yet as I stood at the outdoor tap filling a watering can the other day I caught sight of what has to be my favourite glimpse of what we have created.
Part of it is still very much a work in progress, but it's fair to say that we're really pleased with about two thirds of the garden now.
In the very bottom section (closest to the cabin) Mr C has built four new raised beds and also laid a gravel path all around them. One of the sheds that we gained with the house has been demolished and he's also moved the other one to the other side of the garden (so that it's no longer taking the best of the sunshine) and placed it on a new base there.
Master C obviously thinks that these gravel paths are a new playground just for him and he spends ages every time he goes in the garden picking up stones, putting them in a bucket and then taking them to another part of the garden where they are thrown on the floor!
It's so lovely having this part of the garden finally sorted and it really inspired me to make some early preparations back in February for the rest of the growing season and I'm pleased I did as this is how those tomatoes looked last week when I potted them on for the second time!
I've also made a start with one of the raised beds and after picking up a cell pack of mange tout at the local garden centre these are now planted out and a cane support structure is also in place for when they hopefully get big enough to need it.
The same bed also has a handful of mixed lettuce plants in it too – again from a cell pack – and just this afternoon I've sown a couple of rows of carrot seed. We've not had much success with carrots so fingers crossed that we do a bit better this year.
At the moment a second raised bed just has a giant parsley bush in it – yes I know parsley doesn't usually grow on a bush, but that's what we have – whilst the other two beds still have the green manure growing that I started off in the winter as soon as the beds were finished. I'm probably supposed to have already dug this in or something, but I keep forgetting to look up what I'm supposed to do. I'll add that to my list of things to research tonight once the kids are in bed.
So that's the bottom part of the garden that we hope will really work for us this year in terms of homegrown fruit and veg. There's still lots to do there, but finally I feel like we're actually making progress.
Next time I hope to tell you about what we've been up to in the rest of the garden and if I can get myself more organised this should just be the first of many link ups to Annie's wonderful How does your Garden Grow? linky.