My Apple Garden (or as I like to call it, my 'APPLEYDAPPLEY garden') has had a bit of a bad deal so far. I've only just begun to tackle this part of my space - it's the bit closest to the house and I call it the Apple Garden simply and only because it has two apple trees in it.
I'm a very naughty girl...a naughty and ungrateful one. This bit of my garden is a good size; in fact, it's the exact same size as my neighbour Deborah's garden, and rather larger than that of my Dove-owning neighbours on the other side....but I've left it till last, concentrating all my efforts on the big space down at the bottom; I should call it the Cinderella garden really.
There were existing flower beds here, with a mixture of foxgloves, bindweed and more foxgloves, punctuated by the odd (dead) hydrangea and a couple of standard roses which someone had clearly tried to plant at some point. After watching the digitalis and the bindweed come to life and threaten to take over I took drastic action and dug the whole lot up at the beginning of this week with the help of a couple of fantastic men (sorry for not doing it myself this time dear reader, but I have quite simply run out of PUFF). It was a mammoth job (bindweed is a b***ch to remove) and it's not over yet because the stuff will keep appearing, and I have to stay on top of it. Here are the before and after photos:
All that's left is a couple of blue-bells and some sweet-cicely (which has fabulous sweetening properties...more on that another time).
The roses are gone, except for the climbing one which was practically strangling one of the apple trees when we arrived, so I got the Hunk to cut it down to about a foot above the ground (you can see the stump sticking out of the ground on the right) - Sure enough, it's sprouting again, ready to climb once more.
Now for the fun part - the planting. A heady combination of having hundreds of pots of plants and practically no money means that I'm filling this area with all my balcony and back-yard spoils. I put all the pots out and watered them ready for planting, and there were still vast gaps. I needed ground-cover, and fast so I went to the garden centre and bought a few pots of pulmonaria (the blue one), another daphne (far, far too expensive) and a couple of choisya. By virtue of the fact that most of my plants from my old place were white (yawn), most of the apple borders will be green and white, with a smattering of blue...all frightfully tasteful.
I started planting yesterday, but got waylaid by all sorts of things (well, babies need feeding and watering, and playing with etc, and then there's the fact that they get up rather annoyingly early, which means I can't even get up at 5am for a couple of hours in the garden...But you know...the up-side is you get inspired...and you do more than you would if they weren't around....honestly. We also spent the whole of today with cousins in the glorious sunshine - twelve little ones squealing under the sprinkler reminds me what a garden is really all about, and that I should never forget that I'm creating a space for running around in and having fun.
So I think I'll finish the Apple beds tomorrow, when I've decided where to put the water slide that has suddenly become compulsary.