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Muddy No More!

Posted in Personal Blog

I don’t have a green thumb, I’m a reluctant gardener and so our garden looks rather raggedy and unkempt. I enthusiastically “weeded” when we first moved in unaware that these “weeds” were in fact plants and the “plants” were actually weeds. So numpty here was left with weed filled borders and a few hardy bushes. A hard frost a couple of years ago killed most of those sturdy beggars off too and so we were left with borders full of weeds and a few scraggy bushes. Making matters worse the soil in the borders is very heavy and clay like, which becomes boggy with rain. Our “grass” is more natural weeds, buttercups, daisies and moss ~ which I actually rather like, so decided not to bother too much with that. All that matters is that it’s green ~ right?
When we moved into this house 8 years ago we had no pets, now we have 3 young dogs, 1 of which LOVES to dig!! Therefore, when the heavens open and the rains falls the dogs go outside and immediately run into the borders to splash and dig about in the claggy muddy soil. They then run inside with clumps of mud between their toes and on their beards and deposit all over the floors, sofa, carpets and us!
After a holla out to the folks on facebook asking for cheap easy solutions one wonderful soul came up with the idea of clearing out the borders, laying down weed control fabric and topping with stones and potted plants. Total light bulb moment ~ why hadn’t I thought of that? 
So, fully inspired we have the borders cleaned out and raked over, here they are ready for the next stage, as you can see we opted to leave one bush in the first border (to screen the composters) and three in the back border, we like the holly bush but it needs some shaping and training, we have chopped several feet off the top and cut it back, we have the big Yucca in the middle and then a Buddleia for the butterfiles at the end…. 
Long garden border with Yucca Plant in the middle

Garden border with Buddleia in far right

Garden border with disheveled Holly bush to the far left

Patio border with bush seeded by birds at far end hiding composters
We visited our local Buildbase to look at the stone/slate options for filling the borders and found the perfect ones ~ the patio border will have a tonne of Forest Green stones to match the stones around the hot tub (you can see in the picture above the stones around the hot tub then purple slate in the next channel) and so we’ll then have forest green up in the border to tie it all in.
Forest Green stone chips
For the garden border, which is much larger and at the back of the garden we have opted for the cheaper washed gravel ~ which will still look nice and fresh but as no-one will see the gravel unless they walk along to the back of the border not so important to buy the more expensive options.
Washed Gravel
So, whilst awaiting delivery of the stones/gravel we had to cut and fit the weed control fabric and dig out my mismatched collection of tubs/pots to decide which tub will go where and then search garden centres for just the right shurbs/plants to go in them. 
6 Pots all lined up to be filled ~ there is another one already filled (not in photo) waiting to go as a centrepiece

Garden border pots all waiting to be filled – 9 in total (eek!)

My Trio of Composters 🙂
The gravel has arrived and the borders have been lined with weed control fabric and filled with stones. The final component needed now are plants to finish the project.

Seeing as The Dave detests gardening I chose to visit the garden centre on Mothers Day, as he couldn’t refuse me on my special day to collect plants to fill the pots ~ all 15 of them! If any of you are gardeners you will know that plants don’t come cheap. After a week thoroughly researching dog friendly plants I chose the perfect evergreen shrubs to plant. The problem was ~ to buy established plants would cost way more than our budget would stretch and so we have gone for younger smaller ones which are much cheaper. This means they look very small in their pots right now BUT with love and nurturing will grow and fill out. Most of them have lovely blooms too – and will be a mix of white or purple/blue colours when they do. On the back border I have chosen two fiery dogwood plants (which cause The Dave and Keisha to raise eyebrows when they saw them  ~ thinking I had gone made and just bought two pots of cut down sticks in soil!) – these don’t really show at all in the photographs as have been cut back (which is necessary every March) to then thicken out and grow throughout the year. Our neighbour has them in his front garden so I pointed them out to The Dave & Keisha on our return to show them what they would look like once established (which is very pretty and fiery).

I am so happy with the final results and am looking forward to seeing these plants grow and bloom as they mature…

Patio Border looking great 

Patio Border

Garden border right hand side – these shrubs will grow out and become bushy as they mature to help cover up the ugly backdrop 

The same with these – they will mature and spread – the two fiery dogwoods aren’t showing up just yet as were cut back – but will thicken and flame later in the year 

The girls know I adore Buddha’s (I have a small collection in my living room) and so clubbed together to buy me this beautiful happy Buddha for my new patio border to go alongside my small collection of garden ornaments. I think you will agree he is just gorgeous in slate grey and looks very chilled out between my tubs. Every time I look out the kitchen window I see him and he makes me smile and when the weather turns warmer will be able to enjoy him when outside on the patio too.

My gorgeous new Buddha ~ a Mothers Day gift from my girls, now in pride of place on the patio border
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