It’s safe to say neither of us have green fingers. We spent a frazzled hour at our local garden centre at the weekend with me trying to remember all the wonderful advice I’d received during a half hour chat with ITV’s Katie Rushworth who some of you may know from ‘Love Your Garden’. And if you’re wondering how on earth that conversation came about, let’s rewind a little…
Earlier this year, Pete and I started to tackle our urban jungle of a garden. We have a long, fairly narrow space typical of 1930’s homes. Up until March, one side of it was overgrown and covered in brambles. With our next door neighbours, we’ve hacked, chopped and torn down the bushes including a 20 ft high pampas grass. It was no mean feat but now in its place is a shiny new fence that our neighbour built giving us not only a blank canvas but a dog proof garden much to Maddie’s dismay.
As much as I love the new look without the overgrown element, it’s been looking a little bare of late and we’ve been at a loss with what to do to improve it. Eventually our new extension will be built over the patio and the whole back garden will be landscaped so we don’t want to invest too much time and money on what will only be interim steps.
When Tesco Gardening got in touch asking if I’d be happy to collaborate with them on a gardening feature and take advice from Katie, I jumped at the chance. I sent across a couple of pictures of my garden with some of the areas I’d like to focus on, mainly suggestions as to what we could grow up the fence so it doesn’t look so bare and how to break up the patio area a little which is pretty vast.
From just looking at the pictures, Katie was able to give me some great advice regarding our garden with lots of ideas I hadn’t previously thought about:
- We have alkaline soil, ideal for growing climbers such as clematis
- To test the soil if you don’t know what type you have, plunge a handful into a bucket of water. If it clumps together it has a high clay content, if not then it doesn’t!
- As our garden slopes up and away from the house, we should think about planting to break up the eye line. Katie suggested digging a wide bed across the bottom of the lawn running alongside the brick wall to the patio. This would allow us to plant some varied height trees and shrubs, but we could also plant some trailing bushes to grown down over the wall above the patio to make it look less harsh and create interest
- For further up the lawn, Katie suggested a pergola or other feature again to create a point of visual interest and take the gaze away from the garage at the top
- For the patio, think again about different height plants – be mindful though that anything in a pot will need extra care since potted plants and trees cannot find their own water source
It’s amazing how logical it all sounds when an expert is giving advice, I often feel completely lost when I stare out into our garden other than appreciating that we’re very lucky to have the space we have.
Armed with a renewed sense of determination but unfortunately not much time owing to work and business trips abroad, I finally found a spare weekend day to give our patio a makeover using some of the amazing goodies that Tesco provided for an al-fresco home and garden, just before the rains crashed down. I’ve now got my seeds all planted up but was able to decorate our bare fence with the pretty solar powered bulb lights and add a little bit of Moroccan glamour with the gorgeous lantern. Here are some before and after pics:
Now I’m just awaiting a beautifully sunny evening to sit back and enjoy all my hardwork with a glass of Tesco Summer Cup or two and perhaps a little garden party with my workmates…
Thank you so much to Tesco and Katie Rushworth for collaborating on this post. Now I just need to put some plans into action!