Early Autumn and, given that the kids are wound up like tops ready to rejoin the rank and file of sticky fingered and over-excitable school pupils, and the now deflated paddling pool has completely ruined the lawn, I feel it is time to pick up the secateurs for some gardening. I use the term “gardening” loosely because, although my friend The Sybil (she of infinite and random wisdom) introduced me to the pleasures of horticulture and I now can almost see the point of Alan Titchmarsh, I must confess I’m still not altogether sure what on earth I’m supposed to be doing.
The previous owners of our house must have had a thing about Fuchsias because their purple tendrils reach everywhere, no matter how often they are trimmed (hacked!) back. They have totally swallowed up the sunshine along one length of our small walled garden which consists of raised beds along two sides of a square and a long garage running the length of the third. The shrubs I have planted there have wilted in the constant shade.
The garden is reached either through the kitchen or, primarily via glass french doors at the end of an extended lounge outside of which is a small patio. The potential for mud and mess as the kids run through the lounge is, as you might imagine, considerable.
I have tried to add some shrubs and some herbs, mostly procured from Morrisons or our local garden center on SWAT missions with The Sybil. These generally involve her pointing at plants and me putting them in the trolley. Some I can recognise, roses, lavender, rosemary, pansies – all the easy ones are in my “Dummies Guide to Gardening For the Peri-Menopausal”. Sadly, despite recognising them, their fate is very hit and miss.
|Geraniums (I think)!|
I have managed to grow some strawberries and last year had a bumper crop of tomatoes and beans which, shamefully, mostly went to waste. I am afraid my vintage housewife score dropped radically through failure to produce a batch of spicy tomato chutney or anything vaguely inspiring involving runner beans. I may try again next year when I am better prepared and armed with a full chutney kit!
|If in doubt, use the old statue and wind-chimes disguise…|
|I have cunningly pruned this, erm, plant to resemble a triangle|
The biggest problem I have at the moment is the whacking great bald patch on the lawn where the paddling pool sat. It looks like a monk’s tonsure and I’m praying the grass grows back quickly.
|My bald spot|
The husband is campaigning to fill the raised beds with chippings and replace the plants with things in pots. He may have a point. If he does, I shall take a leaf out of the Knights Who Say Ni’s book and call for Roger the Shrubber. Does anyone have his number?
|Roger the Shrubber from Monty Python & The Holy Grail|