Monday, April 12, 2010

Green thumbs...

I've always been very lucky to live in houses with large gardens, lovlingly cared for by my parents that I could play in to my hearts content and occasionally try a bit of green fingered helping of said parents.  Usually my helpful efforts amounted to pulling up the wrong plants or cutting things back so hard they promptly died; definitely more green thumbs than fingers!  I have got better since then and do try and help to keep our garden under control by doing exaclty what my parents tell me to do... However, I don't really have the physical strength these days to do much, but I do like to potter about and make helpful suggestions as well as drinking tea on the lawn! 

Mr EB's house in Cambridge has a very tiny garden, much more the kind of size a gardening weakling like me could try and be helpful with.  The garden is a classic shape found behind most Victorian terraced houses- a courtyard with a sort of corridor down the side of the kitchen extension. It faces east and is quite shady as a result and quite frankly it was a bit dull, even in this sunny picture that Mr EB took last year there is not much too it apart from paving, ivy and the ugly garage-
You can see the strawberry plants that Mr EB had great success with last year (at the back in the big pot and trough), but Mr EB knows even less about plants and gardening than I do, so having read some useful books of my Dad's we decided to improve things a bit.  Over the last few weekends we've done quite a lot, Mr EB has spent lots of time digging and planting whilst I directed and provided encouragement!  First thing to do was plant out all the strawberry runners that had spread themsleves all over the available soil and then get some nice new plants to put in the empty pots. I also managed to get a bargain strawberry pot for all the runners (one of those with all the little openings) which came with a free mini herb pot (at the front similar idea). So with a bit of work it now looks like this-
To try and cope with the shade we've gone for things like hostas (above), grasses, violas and some climbers that can cope with partial shade but that will cover the ugly grey fences. We've also got Mr EB an espaliered apple tree to add to the productive side of the graden. We've nicknamed  it 'Stu' as its a Discovery apple (sometimes the name is shortened to Disco, hence Disco Stu...you can guess who came up with the name!) 
It was an incredibly tight squeeze getting Stu in the back of my car, even with both the back seats down we had to remove the bamboo support to get him in, and then drive back with him poking over our shoulders! It was also a tight squeeze getting the tree into the hole we dug for him between the fence and the pavings stones, but we got him in eventually and hopefully with a bit of TLC he'll put out some flowers and maybe even some fruit later in the year.  As things progress I will try and update our success or failure... (All the pictures in this post were taken by Mr EB, hence the artistic angles of some and the better quality of all the images!)

2 comments:

Simon Elliston Ball said...

I'm particularly pleased with the apple tree. Are we spelling it 'Stu'? It was thinking 'Stew' had such sweet potential.

李惠玲 said...
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