|Mulching the right hand side of the front garden was not too difficult. After persuading a friend to provide the transport, bales of bark mulch were easy enough to put in the car, transport home and park in the garage until a convenient day for mulching. All I had to do then was carry each bale in turn to where I needed the mulch and spread it carefully round the plants. This was completed by mid-October. At the end of October, when it finished flowering, I moved the Japanese anemone from the wall bed to the front, where it would have more space, and planted a few more bulbs.|
The path also needs to be mulched, but I have not yet got the paler wood chips that I wish to use - in any case there is no particular urgency for this, apart from aesthetics.
Mulching the left hand side with gravel was quite another matter! I worked out that I needed a cubic metre of the stuff and buying it in small bags was not an option - more expensive that way as well as more journeys (there is only so much that I can ask friends to do for me!)
I shopped around for deliveries of pea shingle: a bulk bag was not big enough, but two bags would leave me with excess, quite apart from being more difficult to shovel from a bag. I also had to organise a morning delivery in order to shift it before it got dark - many firms could only offer a particular day (if that!)
|Eventually I located someone who could deliver loose shingle, put in an order and waited in all the next day. When I telephoned to find out what had happened I discovered they had no note of the order and I had been quoted the wrong price (I thought it was very cheap) ... but they did have work experience students. I have my suspicions about who took that order!|
The second order from them was successful - pea shingle duly arrived, was tipped onto the pavement and road exactly where I wanted it ... and my work started.
It took four and a half hours to shovel it all onto the garden and paths and then sweep up the straggling pieces, but it was a fine day and I did complete the job before it developed into a hazard. I did not stop to place the larger pebbles on the paths - that waited until after the (busy) weekend.
However, the job was completed - even if it does look a bit like a miniature Chesil Beach and I get comments from friends about bringing their bucket and spade. I content myself with thinking how much better it will look when the plants have grown up a bit - after all, most of them did have a rather restricted Summer in their carrier bags, so I can't blame them for looking a bit bedraggled - it's just amazing that they survived. I did manage to buy the Chusquea that I wanted - I hope it likes its new home.
|The corner of the back garden, relieved of its carrier bags and plastic pots, looked rather better when I had tidied up the trellis, put up the wall pots, planted some variegated Apple Mint in the mint pot and moved the three pots of Saxifraga stolonifera.|
The rest of the back garden looks green and tranquil, with two Clematis, Campanula E H Frost, Brunnera macrophylla, Geranium robertianum album and Rosemarinus Fota Blue still flowering happily. The only plant flowering in the front garden is Ruscus hypoglossum, but in both front and back gardens there are bulb leaves putting in an early appearance and flower buds looking suspiciously large for a Spring flowering.
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