The sight of those tulips raising their beautiful heads at the end of March 2014 revitalized my joy in gardening.
I started thinking about what I could do now to make my garden pretty so I painted my front gate and fence with Cuprinol Garden Shades Willow.
At the same time, my lovely dad started building me a polytunnel of sorts using the frame from my Grandad’s old onion tent. He had the idea of using corrugated clear plastic rather than polythene to make it a sturdier build. As amazing as this all was, we have come to realise the glaringly obvious mistakes that we made. Firstly, we didn’t level off the ground. My impatience at wanting to get it done so I could grow something and also not wanting to hog so much of my dad’s time meant we did a bit of a rush job. I probably hassled him too much as well. We didn’t put the sheeting on well – it leaks terribly in places as the rain water runs down at an angle and slides through the gaps. The inside of the front is slowly going rotten now.
Although, this polytunnel will need changing in the next couple of years, I’m still so grateful for it. It may not be perfect. It may resemble an air-raid shelter. But it has meant that I could grown my own.
In 2014, I grew some sweet peppers, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes as well as come lettuce in pots outside, a few sweetcorn in the border, and some courgettes in a grow bag. I had pots full of annuals such as petunias and begonias (I had finally figured out the difference between annuals and perennials). But best of all, I started to really think about the next steps.
I needed a shed desperately as the old one started to fall in on itself. Most of my money that year went on some garden tools, a new mower, compost, annuals and pots (and of course the bits for the polytunnel). I also bought a Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and grew it in a large pot. I still feel that same sense of joy even now when autumn comes around and I see those sedum heads turning dark pink. I now have three of them in the border and they make a lovely winter feature with the dried heads that I leave on until Spring .
As autumn came around I dug out another border and in mid October, I set about planting daffodils and tulips mixed in with wallflowers and pansies into the new border. Something about those little shoots poking through the cold ground after winter filled my heart with joy, so I knew I wanted lots of spring flowers in my garden.
Late December, I got my new shed. In taking down the old one we discovered a family of frogs that we moved to safety before constructing the new one.
Things were starting to come together.