This is my garden project for this year, a very overgrown front suburban garden that is a bit of an odd shape but despite this a reasonable size. I actually made a bit of a start towards last year when I shaved off approx 5 feet from the overgrown privet hedge and you can see the rotting remains in the center of the garden. I still have to battle my way down to the bottom of the garden’ but as it’s very narrow will only concentrate on keeping this part under control. There are some wild roses growing down that part and would be good to leave for the wildlife but the neighbour is concerned for the fence so I have invested in a garden shredder so I can prune the roses and shred them before the thorns cut me to threads.
I want this garden to work for me and pollinating insects’ so my plan is to have two smallish raised beds in the centre of the garden to grow some veg. Around these raised beds’ paths formed from chipped timber or more precist a mix of chipped timber with timber shavings and sawdust that I inevitably produce from time to time and the paths perfect for recycling back into the ground. Beyond these paths I will plant’ insect friendly plants that will hopefully mix together and try to maintain a good flowering mix.
When I had an allotment I grew for the bees and other critters, borage and it never failed to attract insects as the plant simply buzzed at times, also another plant that I have seen work well is phacelia and I just so happen to have some seeds left over from when I tried making seed bombs one year, so they will be going into the ground. I have also collected seeds this last year from michaelmas daisy’s and great bee forage for the end of the year. Also seeds from a plant I dont know the name but it produces yellow flowers towards the end of summer and the flowers close at approx midday every day but during the time they are open a magnet for insects. I will simply add other seeds or plants to the borders if any come available, perhaps collect some poppy seeds on my travels. I will not even be apposed to letting the inevitable thistle’s mature to flowering.
I am not looking for a well kept pristine front garden and the 15 foot high privet hedge stops people looking straight in apart from a brief glimpse at the gate but a reasonable tidy insect friendly buzzing garden will do.
The garden actually belongs to a very good friend of mine Gus who lets me have full run of his garden and allowed me to erect a reasonably large shed in his back garden so that I have a small workshop and a base for my beekeeping equipment. The deal was he lets me have the shed and in return I will sort out his garden and some repairs around the outside of the house. It works great for both of us, but as we are such good friends its hard to imaging it not working.
I did the back garden approx two years ago and believe me it was in a similar state as the front. Gus is no gardener and we joke about putting labels on the veg so he can see what the plants are. He can recognize the tomatoes when they are on the vine’ but not the tomato plant before the tomatoes grow. But still it only benefits me as without Gus’s lack of interest I would not have the garden to play with.
The only thing growing in the garden right now other than weeds is some garlic at the far end and planted late November, some not so great over wintered leaks and in a few pots cuttings from the bush/tree buddleja globosa or often known as the orange ball tree and honey bees go mad for the flowers. I have approx 10 good cuttings and looking for people who want one and failing this I will be doing a bit of urban stealth tree planting.