Thursday, 23 April 2015

in the garden

Hooray for sunshine and flowers. And if rain is around the corner, well, that helps them grow.

snake head fritillary
We have been enjoying picnics, and eating outside in the garden, and the kids have been playing with their friends in the street – racing up and down on their bikes, playing football, climbing fences (we've had words about that) and drawing with chalks on the pavement.

And the garden was a mess. 

I had some seedlings to go in, but not enough. The top of the garden is boggy and the bottom is dry, and there's lots I want to do, but where to start?

A friend of mine provided some suggestions the other day. She sent me a link to Artful Parent which has lots of ideas generally for crafty things to do with children, but in regards to the garden there are some awesome suggestions. I particularly like the garden wish flags (like buddhist prayer flags, but with pictures painted on of what we wish for), the bean pole teepee (although I'm not sure where I could put it, but I'm working it out), the hula hoop loom (which looks like a giant dream catcher), and the beaded garden ornaments. I'm so excited to do some of these things with the kids, or even by myself, while they get on with the important business of having fun, that it's made me pull my finger out about getting the seedlings in. 

balloon flower (also called Chinese bellflower)
On top of that, I've got an intensely bored boy at home recovering from his small op (he's been given the green flag for returning to school on Monday, thank goodness), so I decided to head to the garden centre this afternoon.

Our fritillaries are doing great this year, but I would like more small daffodils, the big ones are rather brazen beside the fritillaries (although that can wait until Autumn). The lavender and fuchsias are not doing well, but the roses are OK. We also had lots of annual bedding plants which are dead and gone. Generally everything needs more care, and we need lots more plants! 

I feel like I should have a plan, but if I do that then the plan could go awry. Instead, we'll just get a load of stuff we like and hope it works. I don't want to spend too much or have anything too perfect because our garden's primary purpose at the moment is a space for fun and laughter, although not climbing over fences. I'm going to have to do something to nip that in the bud!

So, we had a look at climbers, but nothing grabbed our attention. We got some petunias and pansies, nastertiums and lobelia for filling up space. We had some brachyscome already, my son chose a green cordyline (going in a pot on the patio with some lobelia and nasturtium) and a lime green fir tree (also going in a pot for now), and I found a couple of beautiful plants which I couldn't manage to leave the shop without (the balloon flower, and a helibore which I could gaze at in wonder all day but can't take a decent photo of). 

I have been weeding and planting and carrying around pots since we got home until now... and I am not done.

What does your garden grow?