Wisteria and Raspberries

After never being able to grow anything before, my gardening skills seem to be improving at an astonishing rate!

I started off a few months ago by planting some herb seeds. I didn’t hold out much hope because every time I tried to grow anything, it didn’t happen. I stopped buying houseplants because they always died and I felt guilty!

I really loved the idea of being able to fetch fresh herbs from the garden and decided I had enough time, (and help from the internet!) to make things grow! I must admit, I made a mistake with my first lot of seeds. I planted them and they all started growing, to my amazement, but then, I tried moving them into a bigger planter far too early and of the six types of herbs I planted, only the coriander survived…..or so I thought. I went to water them earlier and now see some thyme fighting it’s way up 🙂

Coriander is one of the few herbs that I’m not very keen on but hey, it’s growing, and even if I never use it in cooking, it looks lovely in the garden.
Growing herbs, wisteria and raspberries

I soon had the gardening bug and ordered some Gladiolus callianthus bulbs. I planted them in the middle of April and they’re doing great. They should flower around August and I’m looking forward to smelling the perfume these gorgeous flowers have.

Gladiolus

I have to confess that I didn’t bother buying more herb seeds, I cheated and bought herb plants from the supermarket when they were on special offer. Instead of putting them on a saucer in the window, I planted them in an assortment of containers in the garden. I have basil, thyme, flat and curly leaf parsley and mint.
I’m going to grow some chives from seed next and I also want to try some rosemary. Looks a bit messy at the moment but I will get the garden more organised soon!

Herbs

 

Mint

There are big changes happening in our garden at the moment. We had, at one time, a beautiful pond next to the patio and for the first two years, it was my pride and joy. I remember getting extremely excited when I saw the first frog in the pond. It was a great moment for me because as a child, we’d lived near a brook and I used to love seeing the frog spawn and playing with the tadpoles. I’ve always loved frogs and wanted our pond to be frog friendly.
We planted a bog garden next to the pond with logs for the frogs to hide under and we made the pond slope gradually so it had a little beach to enable the frogs to get in and out easily.

Our old pond

Ant and I were both at home a lot during this time. Anthony was getting over a serious episode of depression and I was a new mum. The pond gave us both something to do and a peaceful place to relax.
Then came full-time work. First, it was Ant who went to work as a manager of our local laundrette/dry cleaners then I started helping out occasionally and was soon working all day, every day.
The garden and the pond especially got neglected. To make matters worse, after a couple of years at the laundry, it was sold to new owners and I was suddenly without a job.
Ant had left a few months before it was sold, to go self-employed as an I.T. Consultant. Business was slow at first and the combined drop in income meant things that weren’t essential (garden and pond) got left in favour of keeping us fed and clothed.
This year, the bog garden is overgrown, the water in the pond is stagnant and the frogs are gone. It made me sad every time I saw the sorry state the pond was in.
So last week, we emptied it. We were going to fill it in and grass it over but decided to make a sunken seat after seeing one on Gardeners World.

I am, however, still going to be having a water feature  *smiles*  as I don’t think I could have a garden without one!
We have a preformed waterfall that we’re going to set into a rockery under the elder tree. I adore the tree and can see myself sitting on the new sunken seat next summer, listening to the sound of the water trickling down and being shaded by the tree.  Absolute bliss.
We have a lot of work ahead of us but it’ll all be worth it in the end.

Here are a couple of photos to show the amazing change 3 years can make when you leave a garden to do as it pleases!

Before

Swing set

After:

Overgrown garden

We can’t see the row of house in the first picture because the conifer has grown taller than the houses and all the ivy, Russian vine and goodness knows what else has covered the fence and grown up into the trees. It’s created a nice private garden but we had to help the trees and remove some of the ivy and vines before they did damage.

Overgrown garden

I wonder how many of you have been thinking, what have wisteria and raspberries got to do with this post? Well here’s what I originally came to talk about and got sidetracked!

My wisteria plant and raspberry cane were delivered yesterday and as soon as I’ve finished here, I’m going into the garden to get them planted.
I’ve been doing some research and I found that wisteria originally grew up trees. They like their roots to be in a shaded spot and they take the goodness from the leaves as they fall and rot into the ground so we’re going to let it grow up another elder tree we have.
It needs regular pruning to help it thrive and we have to make sure it’s not going to damage the tree in any way.
I hope I can pull this off because it’s going to look beautiful when it flowers.

The kids are going to love being able to pick their own raspberries from the garden. We’ve already got a blackberry bush and had great fun picking the berries, freezing them and then making a pie when we’d collected enough!

So I’d best get started before it rains again!

Thanks for reading and check back for updates as I’m going to be doing lots more gardening 🙂