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Operation Pond

by - Monday, July 29, 2013

Well hello!
Hope you all had a lovely weekend! With summer currently in full swing, I have been feeling a bit un-summery when it comes to our garden. I know that it's going to take time, and a lot more work to get it to how I'd like it, but it was just, so, green. I bought loads of bedding plants and put them in last month but they're just not cutting it, you don't really notice them when you look around. There is still too much green!

Now, P was working all weekend (again) the other week so I hired in Mumma Badger to offer me her 3o years of garden experience & advice. We got started bright and early on Sunday morning, bought some more petunias, fuschias, dahlias, cockscomb and pinks, and got to work stripping out the forget-me-nots that had first taken over, then tipped over.

The big achievement of the day was the pond. Right in the middle of our garden, (this photo is from an old post, taken last year) is a kidney shaped pond, with a hole in the liner. This means that the water level was about 8 inches high, and had just gone completely stagnant, with mosquitoes and other nasties laying their larvae in it. It was just... horrible.



I'm afraid you can't really see it in this photo though, I never took pictures of it as I hated it so much. But it's there - behind the big tree. I took this last year after we'd just finished turning it back to a real garden, but it feels incredibly different to me a year later.




I wanted to take some proper 'before' shots of the pond last weekend but Mumma-B had already got to work on banishing the blasted thing, so I've got some 'just after the before' shots for you instead!


Yuck, yuck, yuck! It doesn't look too bad half filled as you can't see the stagnant water that was there before. And you also haven't had to manoeuvre your lawn mower, your garden furniture and yourself past this stinky little pit of yuck! In other words: trust me, it was horrid!

You might recognise the chairs at the back there from my Rattan Chair Makeover post. If you plan on using the same paint that I did for these, and plan on leaving the painted item outside all year, I recommend not getting this paint. It's now wearing off and leaves a nice flaky white imprint on anyone that touches it. Not too impressed, me!


I'll just sneak in another before shot here of the left side of the garden. Being away on holiday at the beginning of the heatwave has taken it's toll, everything went crazy while we were away and my poor sweet peas have started climbing in all the wrong directions! Anyone know how to fix this? I feel a bit mean undoing their tendrils and redirecting them.

But, as usual, I digress.

We made the decision not to rip out the liner and completely fill in the space, as at the end of the day, I don't own this garden and I'd rather eliminate any chance of irritating the landlord. Not that I imagine he knew there was a pond here anyway! At least it can all be pulled back out again if need be. Either way, what we've done has been a vast improvement so I'm smiling all the same!

We also used it as an opportunity to get rid of some large chunks of concrete that were lying around, so we put those down to fill in some of the space. We then triumphantly emptied three 120 litre bags of compost into it and evened the surface out.


Then we started to plant. There were some nice rocks lying around the garden so we decided to turn it into a rockery. Well, sort of. I bought a LOT of bedding plants and had already run out of pots. I also knew that the small rockery alpines would take years to spread out, and I wanted colour and pretty in there for this summer. So at the moment, it's a rockery that houses a few summer bedding plants, too. And I quite like it!



Like so! There are various rocks dotted about, which look a little random to me at the moment. (I've never had a specific opinion of rockeries... sometimes I like them, sometimes I don't understand them!) But once the alpines spread and fill out it will all look better. What I can say is, it certainly looks tonnes better than it did before, and that's by far enough to make me grin every time I'm in the garden!


So this is how it's looking now. Nice and tidy, summery and most of all, colourful! (I know on camera it all looks very green still, but it's definitely very floral!)


We moved the bench up to rose corner, as where I'd put it before it wasn't actually being used. Now I sit on it all the time! It's such a nice little spot. I think a net of fairy lights hanging behind it would be so magical in the evenings, too.


And this is the view from the bench! My little birthday present chiminea surrounded by plants and flowers. Apart from the crooked patio, this little corner is now perfect! I have always wanted a cosy and relaxing garden corner, and now I have one! It all looks so lovely and I am completely chuffed.

What's the best bit? NO POND!!! Woo!

Have a lovely week, all, and feel free to stop by for a cuppa in the new & improved rose corner! (And rest of the garden, in fact!)

G'night!

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