We bought our house nearly 3 years ago and the first Summer that we lived here we didn’t do anything to the garden, it didn’t need doing – we had lawn, patio and decking and it was a really lovely, fully functional garden. But we did have an area at the end of the garden that we just didn’t even look at – we have 140ft garden and so it was easy to just use the part nearest the house. Last Summer, 2012, we started trying to sort out what I now refer to as my Labour of Love. The back section of our garden has always been a vegetable patch – well this was the intention for it, even with previous owners of the house. Three vegetable patches were there when we moved in but as we left them for 18 months before doing anything to them they needed a fair bit of work to get them up and running again. This is how the patches looked at the start of Summer 2012:
By the end of that Summer we had made great progress. The front right patch had strawberry plants in and the front left we dug and covered over as well as the back one. We then cleared the pathways around the patches, laid weedproof membrane and paving slabs before surrounding them with pebbles and stones – all reclaimed from the area that we had cleared. The paving slabs we got off ebay for less than 50p each and the weedproof membrane was from Poundland! A budget makeover.
You can see though that at the end of that Summer there was still a lot of work to be done although it was vastly improved! LP’s Nanny & Gramps bought her this swing for her 1st Birthday.
It then got to the start of this Summer and it was obvious that the winter had taken it’s toll on the cover that we’d put on the veg patches and this needed redoing. Everything was also majorly overgrown again and needing a complete overhaul. This Summer I was determined to make some more progress with the garden but it has been incredibly hard with a toddler and baby in tow. I have stolen an hour or two hear and there when Hubby’s been home – him calling me in to feed Little Man or to have dinner!
So this Summer we have cleared out the strawberry beds, thinned the plants and plated newer, younger plants in the gaps – we had a great season for strawberries, picking at least 2 kilos every couple of days for a few weeks – it was lovely to see the fruits of our labours. We then recovered the front veg patch and got to work clearing the next section of pathways. This was such a time consuming task as I had to sort through the existing mixture of earth and stones to save the stones for use once we’d laid the next set of slabs. This took the best part of the Summer!
But as you can see, we’ve made good progress this Summer! We also planted a couple of blackberry and raspberry bushes and I’d love to keep adding more fruit to the garden each year. I’m looking forward to Summer 2014 and hopefully finishing out vegetable patch project. I’d love to sort out the back veg patch and get it covered to finally then use it in 2015. The back section needs to be sorted and cleared and I would love to get a greenhouse but mainly I’d love to just get rid of the weeds and nettles and lay some more weed proofing so that I don’t have to clear the same section year after year.
My Labour of Love is nearly finished. After that we can start our vegetable growing journey. Cannot wait! The only downside is that as you can see from the photos, we have the new addition of a housing development at the end of our garden… Fab.