I never promised you a rose garden

Just a personal update about my garden.

basket-leftWe moved into our new home last year; it’s a ‘link-house’ which means it is a neither a terrace or a detached, it’s a cross! The house itself is nothing special, three up, two down, no decoration (i.e. everything is beige) but it’s in a nice location in a great part of the Midlands (UK).

The garden was just a weed ridden lawn, with rotting ‘bark chips’ where the flower beds might be.

Although we will only live here for two years or so, I’m not living without plants in my garden! With the clement weather starting, we popped to Ikea for some study furniture, then to a garden centre for a standard rose tree and a coffee. We bought a fair bit more, and hope to ‘weed n feed’ our lawn to health this April.

So I moved the bark chips and the plastic sheeting from off our main flower bed, and found hard, wet compacted clay-based soil. Digging that over, I cam to realise it was only 15 cm deep before I seemed to hit concrete rubble, left over from the house building. As my Chris knows very well, regulations state that 30 cm of quality top-soil is supposed to be deposited on gardens. This 15 cm I had wasn’t going to be deep enough to plant my roses. I thought about building up the bed in the middle, raising a camber of earth in which to plant in. But Chris came to my rescue. Taking a three foot (half inch thick) pin / nail / javelin and a heavy-weight sledgehammer from his car boot, he set to work breaking through the rubble. He tells me the rubble was not concrete, but a mixture of building rubble, mortar and MOT (rock n dust). So he literally hammers holes through it and breaks up this impermeable layer for me.

So now I have heavy, clay soil mixed with dry sandy earth. It’s not exactly what my Granma would class as a good quality bedding soil! Oh well, there’s no time to pander to exotic tastes in my house, everything has to be hardy enough to look after itself (as out new cat will be when we get it).

Anyway, I don’t have any ‘before’ pictures so you’ll have to imagine how bad the old sodden ‘bark chips’ looked (you can still see plenty of evidence.)


I have a tree, four tiny roses that will take years to mature, and a lovely and slightly expensive mature Standard Rose Tree – Silver Celebration (a hybrid created in the 90s). Caring for roses is all in the pruning, and my Granma taught me well enough as a very small boy (I was the small boy, not her, obviously).

Down as the bottom of the garden, there was a triangle of the foul bark-chips, so I’ve just dumped some bedding plants and a heather there. I hope to throw some seeds down their too.


basket-rightI doubt if the two hanging baskets on our garage have ever seen a plant, so it’s nice to squeeze in some trailing ivy, heather and lavender.

So that’s my weekend, and yes, I’ve broken a rule of blogging. My articles are supposed to be useful to professional communicators and passionate writers; but what the heck, another rule of blogging says to be ‘personal’ and ‘personable’, so there!


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  1. It looks brilliant and I can see how much work has gone into it (I saw how it was before!) Fantastic pictures too.

    I think it’s great to write personal blogs, even on a professional blog such as this (and especially at the weekend). I’m sure it makes you more ‘real’ if ya know what I mean.

    I love your rose tree (you must teach me how to prune them as mine is going a bit wild!). Will she flower this year?

    I imagine you’ll be able to dig her up and take her with you when you eventually move?

    Oh I’m so inspired, and desperate to get started on my own garden! :)

  2. Everyone should break the rules every now and then.

    I think your garden is off to a lovely start.

    We were at a home and garden store earlier today and I was telling my husband that I’d like to add some lavender in our front garden. (The back is for herbs and vegetables, mostly.) The heather is lovely, too. I’ve never tried to grow heather. I wonder how it would do here. Hmmmm. Have to check. I’m strictly an amateur at this. But now that Spring has finally sprung, I’m compelled to get out and get dirty. :)

    Thanks for sharing.

    Now, when do we get to see the new “split” library? :)

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