More taking out than putting in

It seems to have been a tough year for gardeners everywhere, but parts of our patch look more like an archaeological dig than a garden.

the worker

getting there

We’ve been blessed with an odd plot – a near vertical front garden with very heavy soil and a small back garden that the previous owner had the foresight to level off. Sadly that’s where their good ideas ended. They planted all manner of things that were more suited to the grounds of a stately home than a small semi-detached. From 8ft tall shrubs to trees – the sales particulars proudly referred to a ‘mini orchard’ in the back garden – the garden was filled with things that were just plain wrong. So we* have spent most of the last year taking things out rather than putting them in.

This is our first real attempt at gardening, previous efforts having been limited to a balcony in London, so we’re learning on the job. But we’ve got a clear idea of what we want and on Saturday Fraser took the last of the turf off the back garden to make way for our vegetable plot. In theory we’ll end up with a squarish working/sitting area with wide veg beds along two sides. The other sides are flanked by a lavender bed that is already in rude good health and the path to our back gate.

My parents are both very skilled gardeners, so while I am spurred on by daydreams of plentiful fresh veg and eating dinner among the lavender on summer evenings, I know the reality is more likely to be dirty fingernails and slugs in the lettuce. Still, it’s good to be building a garden of our own at last.

lovely lavender

*to be fair, most of the work has been done by Fraser; my role is definitely best described as ‘general assistant’.

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