Time To Stop Neglecting Your Garden

Even people who take huge amounts of care over their home have one thing that they seem to forget about all too often: their garden. Even people who will take huge amounts of care and attention making sure that the interior of their home is completely perfect can often find themselves completely neglecting this incredibly important part of it.

hazel2
Picking strawberries in Grandad’s garden.

When we first took on this house, the garden needed a lot of attention. The grass was crazy high and there were a few surprises hidden in the undergrowth, but slowly we are getting there and the garden is already starting to produce food- our main gardening goal.

Of course, it can be pretty understandable why this sort of thing happens. After all, not everyone is inclined to get down into the mud, planting bulbs and pulling up weeds. But it’s important to remember that your garden is as much a part of your home, it is extra living space, an extra room if you will and as anything else and it deserves your care and attention. Not only that but if you take the time to look after your garden, you’ll find that it’s the kind of place you actually want to spend more time. With that in mind, here are a few simple ways to make your garden a more pleasant place to be.

Light

Light is one of the things that a lot of people assume simply isn’t an issue when it comes to their garden. After all, when you’re outside, there’s so much natural light that you don’t need any! This is, of course absolutely true but by ignoring the need for lighting, your garden is going to be a pretty dark and uninviting place once the sun goes down. There are few things more relaxing than a drink in the garden on a warm evening and with some lights around it can be even more enjoyable. Think about some solar powered fairy lights across your fences or perhaps some LED Floodlights so that you can light up the whole thing with ease no matter how dark it is. Not only does this create a much more pleasant atmosphere but it also helps to keep your garden safe from any potential intruders.

LED lights are better for the environment, cost less to run and will last much longer than ordinary lighting. The up front purchasing cost is more, but you will save Pounds in the long run.

Colour

pixflower

Nothing makes a garden more appealing than bringing out some splashes of colour. Of course, the overwhelming colour of your garden is going to be green, but that gives you a canvas to work from. Why not plant some easy-for-beginners flowers around the lawn so that you can have a lovely perimeter of different colours surrounding it. Perfect plants for newbie gardeners include hardy lavender (smells amazing too!), primroses, verbenas, cornflowers and dahlias. These are all great for our very important bees too!

Why not paint your garden furniture as well? This adds a little touch of brightness that will last all year round. Fencing, sheds and raised beds could all do with a splash of funky colours!

Lots of easy to grow vegetables produce stunning colour too. Pumpkins, marrows and courgettes all create beautiful yellow and orange flowers, peas and beans too give subtle colour… and the bonus is, that you get free food too!

Make it useful

Of course, if you really want to give yourself and incentive to look after your garden, why not just make it useful as well as attractive. Not only can you plant lovely looking flowers but why not plant some vegetables as well. That way your garden not only looks great but it can also supply you with plenty of delicious food! There are few things more satisfying and delicious than taking a bite of a piece of fruit or munch down on a vegetable that you grew yourself!

There are plenty of options for what you can grow and what you plant will depend on the time of year as well as a bunch of other factors. Make sure to do some research and figure out which things you want to grow and when.

We are currently turning our back garden into a mini-farm. We aim to grow enough food throughout the seasons that can be eaten fresh or preserved to keep our tummies filled all year round. My favourite veg to grow for beginners include Beans (runner, broad), peas, lettuces, carrots, radishes and beetroot. We have recently planted some fruit trees too!

Swiss Chard; Bright Lights can be found in our garden atm.
Swiss Chard; Bright Lights can be found in our garden atm.

Getting Our Urban Mini-Farm Ready For Spring

THE GARDEN IS NOW CLEAR! F**K YES!!!!!! You have no idea how much this means!!

So we have now been in our new home for 6 months. That’s gone bloody quickly! When we first moved in we had the challenge of cutting back the (very) neglected garden, working out what was underneath the 6ft grass, pulling out the rubbish, numerous tip runs and replacing the patio and some of the fencing.

My dad working hard!
My dad working hard!

Then winter hit. Cold, wet and at times rather unbearable.

Our attention turned to inside of the house. We started painting the kitchen first, then the hallway followed by the living room. We reopened the fireplace in the lounge, which is now fully functional at keeping us warm. All of our windows and doors are being replaced on Monday. It’s been a very tough journey with a lot of surprises (including a huge hole in a floorboard with an open gas pipe poking out- next to the fireplace. Gulp) but slowly our house started to resemble our home. There has been a lot of tears, but considering we have done it all on a tight budget (AKA: NO F***ING BUDGET) we have done a grand job.

My Dad and Jay put up the new fence.
My Dad and Jay put up the new fence.

On Sunday we wrapped up warm and drafted in an extra pair of hands in the form of my good friend (and pyro buddy) Danii. The piles of old wood left from the previous tenant was to be chopped and burnt. Sadly hardly any of it was useful for burning inside in our open free because much of it had been treated or was growing mould. We did manage to save a few railway sleepers and floorboards, which I shall use around the veg plot. The piles of rubbish (you don’t even want to know what we found in there) was sorted and sent to the tip. Old bricks were piled up for later use.

The bonfire made a fine mess.
The bonfire made a fine mess.

I started burning the wood in our old washing machine drum, converted into a fire pit. Works great when it’s only really good for a small amount of wood. But after an hour of constantly feeding the little thing, it became clear that we were getting nowhere fast. So we built a massive bonfire. Burnt all the sh*t within a few hours. It went up so fast that I am pretty sure our neighbours were curtain twitching very nervously, fingers hovering over 999 on their phones. But it got the job done. In fact it got the job done so efficiently that we actually began looking for stuff to burn. Instead of just looking at any patch of land and seeing crap to be gotten rid of, we were rubbish free.

DSCN5442

Suddenly the garden looked 10x bigger. We now have space for growing food. Our main goal. The reason we took on this huge project. The next task is clearing away all of the ash from the bonfire, making the shed water tight and praying every night that the muddy ‘grass’ starts to grow back.

…And then I remembered the space behind the shed, which was also used as a dumping ground. We shall tackle that space next weekend and get our greenhouses up. But over all I am feeling really positive and very, very excited for what the year has to bring.