A few months ago we started work smartening up our new garden and it’s time to show you our progress! Click for a quick reminder of how it looked before. After tidying up I wanted to start adding some plants as soon as possible to brighten up the borders. We’re lucky enough to have a big Homebase almost on our doorstep so it was easy to pick up lots of hardy flowering perennials that will come back year after year. Although I’ve written some garden features in my freelance work in the past I’m no expert, so my choices were mostly based on which plants looked prettiest. Here’s what I picked:
Even though it’s October, the mild weather means they’re all still flowering and looking lovely. I especially love the star-shaped salmon-coloured flowers of the kaffir lily and next to it, the aptly-named ornamental sage ‘Hot Lips’. The others are a hardy lobelia, geum, Japanese anemone and bergamot. I actually didn’t set out with a colour scheme but, even though there was a huge choice, almost everything I ended up with was red or pink… maybe it was a subconscious desire to match my fab new wellies!
I also invested in a whopping 400 spring bulbs… it took me eight solid hours to plant them all! I can’t wait to see all these lovely tulips, daffodils, alliums and crocuses pop up in a few months. If they all survive, there will be no shortage of colour in the garden next year, which will be a vast improvement on the drab plot we started with.
As a gardening novice I approached this transformation using the tools I feel most confident with… most of all, paint!
It’s made such a huge difference to the look of the garden as a whole and the flowers will really sing out against the new backdrop. For the fence we picked Silver Birch Woodland Colours from Ronseal. It’s a lovely soft grey and looks really fresh and bright. We thought that painting by hand would take ages, so we used this Power Sprayer and Joe managed to finish the whole fence in only one evening, so it’s definitely recommended for time-poor gardeners like us! We also spruced up the deck with White Opal 2-in-1 decking colour from Sadolin. It was looking pretty manky before so we weren’t sure if it could be rescued, but we gave it a good blast with our neighbour’s pressure washer and after a quick sand and two coats of stain it looks as good as new. We’ll finish off the base with a coat of grey when we have time. We got the picnic table from Garden Street in June and with the wonderful weather we’ve eaten almost every lunch on it since then, even now it’s October! Although it was a nice solid wood, I wanted to add an extra dose of colour so painted it in Green Ground and Calluna exterior eggshell from Farrow & Ball. I’m really pleased with the result and the bench will last even longer now.
Finally, a colourful treat for our feathered friends! I picked up some sample pots in Dix Blue, Brassica and Churlish Green and used them to jazz up the shabby nesting box that we inherited in the house (look carefully and you can spot it in the before photo) and a new house-shaped bird feeder from Viking. It was so much fun painting them we’ve decided to make the whole back corner of the garden into a wildlife area, with lots of bird boxes and feeders in different shapes, sizes and colours to make a feature wall. It’s a bit dark at the back under the tree so this will be a lovely way to add colour and attract wildlife to the garden.
We’ll be making the most of the last weeks of sunshine before retreating inside, but I’ll definitely post another garden update in spring, when hopefully the whole plot will be bursting with my 400 bulbs! All these bulbs are 3-for-2 at Homebase at the moment and you can plant them right up until December.
Ps: there’s still time to enter our birthday giveaway to win over £120 worth of lovely products from Decorator’s Notebook shop. Click here to enter!
[Photographs: all Decorator’s Notebook modelled by future Hearing Dog Kimba]