Wednesday, 6 March 2013
We've been in the house for nearly eight years now. Wow! For much of that time the side of the house has been paved in concrete. Under that concrete was a fill of fly ash, dating back many years (this house is 100 this year). Fly ash is alkaline and rocky and impossible to grow plants in. So we only got as far as removing a few patches of concrete, filling them with soil and growing climbers, some perennials and an espaliered lemon. Later Mr F made me a fabulous wooden planter and we tried to grow vegies along here but it faces west and with the concrete was too hot in midsummer.
Last year we pulled it all up, layed drainage, added garden soil, put in pavers and planted a garden. Most of the plants were scattered as seeds, moved from other parts of the garden or bought as seedlings. I wanted to fill the space quickly with green to kickstart an ecosystem in this area. A pot of gerberas went in, some vietnamese mint, some dichondra around the pavers. I moved some red hot pokers, a couple of grasses and that lemon tree. I sowed fennel, red orach and poppy seed from a seed swap. I put in cuttings of hydrangeas I'd taken from a friend's garden and some small perennial divisions. A dying potted blueberry and a little birdbath came too.
Its been so rewarding watching the garden take off and grow. Sadly despite our care the moved lemon tree slowly died, so when I noticed a small self sown tomato take off and thrive along here I used the lemon as a support for some yellow pear tomato plants I'd grown from seed. They have just had a second wind with all this rain and you can see their triffid like growth in the first picture. You can also see those poppies, which turned out to be cornflowers! flowering away a few months ago, along with many other plants.