Sunday, 15 March 2015

I never want to have to do this again

There are lessons to be learnt here.

For sometime now it has been fashionable not to straighten up the garden at the end of the year.  Apparently we’re meant to leave everything for ‘wildlife’.  That might be a good thing in an urban garden, but we have fields on two sides, log piles, ponds, untidy hedge bases and goodness knows what else, and we’ve definitely got a thriving and varied selection of wild things living in the garden.  With no chemicals and lots of sheltered places for hibernation I don’t think I need to leave all the knackered perennials until the following year.  I’ve never been intentionally fashionable in my life, but for the third year in a row I didn't manage to get the garden tidied up as Autumn turned to Winter.  For the third year in a row I’m starting the new season on the back foot and am already behind.

You would think I might have learnt my lesson the second time this happened, but the eternal optimist, I am always convinced there will be a decent spell of bright weather in January and I can do the cutting down and clearing up then . . . I may have finally learnt that 10 miles from the coast in West Cumbria I am not in charge - the weather is in charge (I may have mentioned this previously, it seems like the message is finally getting through!)

Falling out of love with the garden last summer and letting everything get on top of me didn’t help,  And this is why I have had spent an entire week clearing up the fruit cage.  Multiple sessions outside to the exclusion of all other {much more attractive} gardening tasks, including working on in the rain (hey, I was already wet and muddy, a bit more wasn't going to make any difference).   There are no ‘before’ photos because the horrible mess of the most profligate strawberry plants ever to grace a raised bed is not something I want to see again.  I adore the Marshmello plants which produce some of the best tasting fruit in the whole strawberry kingdom but they create runners like nothing I’ve ever seen before.

It's all been worth it though, each bed has had a feed of chicken pellets, a top dressing of peat and a mulch of composted bark, the fruit bushes are pruned and full of new buds and it won't be long before they are in leaf.

Once the paths have had a new covering* and additional “little beds’ built at the end of each row it will all be so smart I’ll not recognise the place:-}    Sadly, that will all have to wait.  I’m reliant on LP for all the heavy work and shifting of bulk supplies.  He’s poorly and we don’t know when he’ll be able to come back.

*  a decision has had to be made - the bark chip is rotting down far too fast and replacing it every couple of years is just too much work.  It looks like we'll be trying stones.  Oh goody, tons of stones to move . . . 


  1. Looks fantastic ,,, all your hard work has paid off big-time!

    1. Thanks Jill, looks even better "in the flesh". Hope you'll be here to see it soon.

  2. Well done you, but maybe at the end of this year you'll have the oomph to get at least some of the tidying done. Can't wait to see what you are going to plant. I'm trying hard to think about what you can put on those paths which is kinder underfoot than pebbles. Take care.

    1. I'll leave decisions like that to LP - it's his area of expertise :-} As I always wear shoes outside, whatever stone we use shouldn't be too bad underfoot.


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