As good as new

This was the phrase Sophia clung on to this weekend as we started actually trying to make our gardens look presentable. She kept saying she wanted them to look ‘as good as new’ just like ‘last summer in our garden’. Given that our last two gardens have been, in their own ways, ridiculously picturesque in comparison to our current one, I’m hoping she doesn’t have too high standards!! I’m just aiming for weed free, tidy, some nice flowers and hopefully successful vegetable growing.

The process started with a visit from Mum and Dad on Friday with their hedge trimmer. They very kindly cut back all our massively overgrown hedges and instantly, the garden looked better. They took half a dozen rubble sacks filled with trimmings with them and over the weekend Sophia and I started filling heavy duty black bags with the rest to take to the tip for recycling. We’re not finished yet but the front garden certainly looks much better (I just wish I had thought to take a before picture).
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By no means a thing of beauty...

Now we just need to finish tidying the back garden and then we can start to think about what we’re going to plant and where.

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Definitely not a place of beauty!

Whilst we worked Sophia chatted to me about what she thought we should plant. She was keen on nasturtiums but they can spread so easily and need a lot of pruning so I wasn’t so sure. I agreed with her on sunflowers and daffodils though. We’ve dug up an ugly shrub in the back garden to make room for a fruit tree and I promised the kids it could be plum so I need to find a self propagating variety and probably sooner rather than later now it’s warm.

There is a lovely bay tree and a big lavender bush already and we do seem to attract a lot of birds which is lovely to see-a particularly confident blackbird often appears for berries and worms from all the currently exposed earth. Our grow-your-own-potatoes pack arrived this weekend so come March we can get started with experimenting with growing potatoes in pots and I need to sort through my harvested and left over seeds from last year to see what else we can grow. I think we’ll definitely do peas, pumpkins, tomatoes, salad and strawberries but that might be all we manage this year by the time new baby haze is over and we’ve got the garden into a usable state. That’s OK though, it’ll be enough to keep us outside and busy but not too much that we get overwhelmed and it all goes to pot.

It was so nice being outside and not instantly wanting to go back into the warm, a real reminder that winter isn’t permanent. Spring is definitely in the air. We hear the birds singing in our garden each morning, the skies are lighter when we wake and I’ve even spotted some early daffodils peeking through. It’s a good time of year and after 3 months of hibernation I’m looking forward to getting out more. The kids are definitely ready to as well, this last week or so their energy levels have been high and they’ve been bouncing off the walls! I’m especially glad to be back in Topsham as spring arrives. With the park, RSPB marshes, river and cycle paths in such close vicinity, it’s great to know that I will be able to easily get out with three(!) children and spend some quality time outside with them in our gorgeous Devonian surroundings.

Hope this finds you all well and enjoying these first gorgeous sunny spring days. I’d love to hear all about your gardening plans as the new growing season approaches. What’s going on in your garden?

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