Sunday, 31 May 2009

Summer Season


Garden space 2.

As the sun shines and the plants flourish we have been busy in our gardens, working both independently and together maintaining our garden spaces. Summer is a time for entertaining outdoors, inviting friends round to share summer evenings together, sitting round the bonfire and enjoying each others company. A time to have bbq's and enjoy the outdoor environment. This has been our motivation for recent work in the gardens.

As well as the clean up of the garden spaces we are now trying to be more productive and grow our own fruit and vegetables. The shelf storage area has been utilized to store seedlings that are hardy enough to be outdoors. As well as being very practical the shelving with all its new plants has now become an interesting feature itself, and also stores bbq equipment, recycle boxes, gardening gloves and bin bags. This makes a good link between the house and the garden. A new vegetable plot has been dug and lawn had to be removed and patio slabs lifted. Unusually the veg plot is at the front of the garden near to the house instead of the more traditional 'at the bottom of the garden' location. Again this brings the production of food closer to the home, making the veg plot more accessible and easier to maintain. This area of the garden has become an extension of the kitchen with herbs growing just outside the back door, the BBQ near to the storage area and soon there will vegetables just outside the door ready to dig up and cook.

In the rest of the garden we have done general weeding and clearing and moved some plants around, changing certain areas. The stick feature has taken on a life of its own, leaves have begun to sprout from the once bare branches and grass is growing upwards making the feature feel more like a wall separating the rest of the garden from what lies beyond. Beyond the stick feature we have planted plants along the fence adding colour and softening the boundary line. The fire is now a dominant part of this area and an interesting focal point, made from house bricks and curving round to protect the fire from the wind. Wood ready to be burnt on the fire is stored in this area. Bark from a fallen tree is kept in a terracotta pot and that too makes an interesting feature. The major change to this area is that it is now becoming more 'cave' like. This is what we had hoped to achieve and now that the ivy is growing abundantly the results are very pleasing. Ivy has been trained up sticks that have been pushed into the ground and is now being trained to grow over the top of this area. With regular maintenance this will form a roof like structure over the area making it feel more cosy and private.

The edges of the lawn have been cut to define them and change the shape of the lawn slightly. This is in keeping with the new plant growth and newly created veg plot. New plants (Oxalis triangularis) .have been planted in the flower beds giving new interest and different coloured foliage.

Leon Sparkes

Rachael Hawkins