At some point this year, it looks as if we will be on the move. It has been a long and agonising process, which is still nowhere near its conclusion, but in the meantime, I’ve been wondering what to do about my garden. Since last spring, everything has been on hold. I haven’t bought any new plants for the borders. But it’s been really tricky. I want the garden to continue to look good, as it is one of our home’s main selling points, and besides, I want to enjoy it. I need an antidote to the incredibly stressful process of buying and selling.
The property we’re hoping to go to has a very small, town garden. If we don’t get it, we’ll have to rent a place for a short time. Either way, it’s going to be quite a contrast. So, how to satisfy the urge to garden without wasting money or buying stuff that we won’t be able to fit into our new home?
I’ve been concentrating on tidying up small areas where I can place pots full of spring bulbs to get some instant cheer. This spot by the shed was looking murky after all the rain we’ve had. The slabs are green with algae, the woodwork was splashed and muddy, and weeds were sprouting up every which way.
YUK! This view wasn’t going to tempt anyone to buy the house! So I got to work, starting with the boring stuff, sweeping and then scrubbing the slabs. I don’t have a pressure washer, we’re a bit behind with technology here, but if I was cleaning a large area I would hire or borrow one. I washed down the shed paintwork, creating a blank canvas.
I added some shelves on top of my old metal cafe table to add height (it also conveniently hides the shed paintwork which needs a new coat). In the autumn, I planted every vessel I could find with tulip bulbs. I’ve been rewarded, and they have all come through. I used a combination of Wilko and Bakker bulbs. I also chose some new ombre Muscari bulbs from Bakker, they have a lovely dark purple base which gradually gets lighter towards the top of the flower. If you didn’t plant bulbs ahead, garden centres stock ready grown tulips about now. As a top up this season, I’ve also planted some little colourful button-topped bellis and trusty viola. My lovely pink saxifrage have flowered again in their home of an old sieve. To cut costs, I visited a direct-to-the-public nursery, and found bedding plants were much cheaper there.
As we’re moving, I’m trying to be more organised than usual. We will have less space when we go, so I’ve made some trays to store terracotta pots and plant labels.
The only purchases I’ve allowed myself to make are…more pots!! I tried to choose really carefully, and found this fabulous large shallow terracotta dish at an antiques fair. The white violas look lovely against the weathered rim.
Another investment piece was my copper planter.
I have wanted one for ages, and when I saw this one, I had to have it. It cost £80 which is a lot for me, but I knew I’d love it, and I do. It’s a proper statement piece, which should look good in a small garden.
Finally, these plastic planters on legs are a good solution for putting by a shed. They look a bit functional, but I like the height, and they’re easy to keep clean. My herb garden is in an old drawer, so that will be easy to transport.
The drawer only cost a fiver, and it was easy to paint and customise.
There we are, a few ways to create a pretty garden that, hopefully, can be lifted up and plonked down in another space when the time comes.
We don’t know when that will be yet, but surveys are happening and plans are being made. Wish us luck!!