Behind the scenes
Do you ever get that feeling when visiting other peoples gardens that everything is just magically perfect and then you come home and go... noo, not good enough. Everything I did last year just doesn't feel right anymore and now I really need to think things through to improve my own patch. A new border here, the chicken coop moved from the orchard to there, ah! and those beautiful purple asparagus I've been dreaming of they could then fit where these plants are now... and then I'm off creating new projects galore!
One thing I've learned is to do the big stuff first. It kind of helps. So first on the list was to move my summer chicken closer to home. They had a great place in the fruit orchard but as I really love socialising with them I decided to move them right into my garden. I love the idea of waking up and having my morning coffee next to my chicks, and this way I can just nip in and pet them anytime of day. Still to come is a good and sturdy fence with chicken netting around their coop, as we have so many fox and other animals that they really need a secure run.
Once the little house was in place we started digging a new woodland border. I really wanted something a bit more showy and decorative right next to the house, and last year my gardening friend at our local garden shop suggested a woodland. However, things take time and I had all winter to dream about it. I know it will take all spring to form the new border, and even when it is finished it will take at least two years to settle into place prettily, but eventually I hope to have a beautiful woodland garden there!
I produce as much of my own compost as I can, but with the enormous kitchen garden swallowing the lot I need to buy in soil whenever I have a new project. This is the unglamorous reality behind the scenes - digging borders and shuffling soil and toiling away in the dirt.
To make room for my new purple asparagus I moved the flowers from the bed next to the sauna to the bed by the driveway. At this time of the year they don't mind the rough handling too much, as long as they get plenty of roots with them and are watered in properly. As my back is permanently injured, I prefer to make new beds by using the non-dig method and building upwards. This means I line the patch with newspaper, cardboard or fabric and add soil on top. Afterward I have planted it up with perennials and shrubs I mulch the area, but this week I simply haven't had the time.
April is a really great time to do this kind of work, as the frost has left the ground but nature has yet to properly wake up. In two weeks time the gras will have started to grow furiously, and weeds spring forth by the bucket. Until then though, I shall let myself enjoy the first flush of spring and sunshine!