I love growing vegetables but I also want to grow lots and lots of flowers.
Last year I only grew them in raised beds, but this year I want to spread the flowers around a bit more, especially in the places we can see from the house.
I want to look out the windows and see flowers smiling back at me.
Initially we had planned to grow a wildflower meadow in front of the house but it didn’t grow, so we are left with a view of a large overgrown field.
Since that happened, I shelved the ideas of big plans in big spaces and decided that the best approach to gardening for me is piece by piece.
So, I am creating a few mini-gardens within the space, and incorporating permaculture principles as I go.
It won’t be one of those tidy manicured gardens you see in magazines, but then I’m not one of those tidy manicured types you see in magazines either, so I think my garden and me will make a good match.
I am starting around the house and working outwards. I think this will make it easier and it will be inspiring to see growth close by.
The two main spaces I want to develop this season are the nearest part of the non-wildflower meadow to the house and some of the space at the rear.
We have made a start on the non-wildflower meadow by planting lots of spring bulbs.
Most have survived the driving rain, the pecking chickens and the digging puppy and they are now beginning to show buds.
Behind the house and close to the chicken coup there is a rectangular patch. It lies between the vegetable beds and my writing hut.
This was completely overgrown with briar last year and also covered with huge rocks. We got someone in with a digger and he leveled, cleared it and moved the rocks to the side.
However, once the tons of briar were removed we could see that there were more rocks than soil underneath – this, in fact is the story of our garden.
FIFTY TONS OF SOIL
If we want to develop this we would need to ‘bring in at least fifty tons of soil,’ said the digger man, hopefully.
I know that between the weather and my own time limitations it would be covered in weeds and bramble by the time the lorry had gone through the gate.
So what I decided to do was to gradually cover the patch in organic matter, newspapers, cardboard and seaweed.
This is in keeping with the idea of permaculture and we have been doing this for a few months.
We have done about half the patch at this stage.
I thought it would be finished by now but the problem has been the relentless Galway rain – another large part of the story of this garden.
The lower half of the patch is where the septic tank is situated and this is also close to the chicken coup, so since roses love chicken manure it made sense to me to make this part of the patch a rose garden.
We have made a good start here and the next plan is to grow a moon garden.
I am learning as I go along and love hearing from fellow gardeners – so comments, tips, hints or suggestions, or corrections are always welcome.
Bye for now and enjoy your garden.