Making Real Progress …

The original yard pre Christmas
The original yard pre Christmas

In a few months, the garden has turned around quickly. The soil and aspect are good and it seems as though it was just waiting for someone to take a little care. What I thought was bare dirt has come back to good grass with some water, feeding and regular mowing. The Convent garden has been a blank canvas. What could have been regarded as stark and bare has turned out to be pretty easy to redesign without having to do too much damage to existing plants.

So far I’ve only tackled the back given the front, although plain, at least didn’t have walls covered with ivy and garden beds that were full of weeds and hard as rock. This weekend, I could see real progress – with garden beds now taking shape and filling out, as well as how it will look over the next few months.

The old back fence
The new flower bed
The new flower bed

Big changes have been the back driveway side garden bed which started as popping in a few daisies and marigolds to cheer up a corner – the only part of the garden that can be seen from the back as parishioners arrive for Church. It ended up a major work with white, cream, yellow, orange and blue hues. Most of the plants are either perennials or self-seeding and have already started multiplying. Some original agapanthus, gazanias and a primrose jasmine remain as a nod to the original garden. A few substantial fruit trees have also been added – a golden hornet crab apple, a quince and dutch medlar.

Back Path
Coming along – citrus and herbaceous border

The back garden path that leads to the old iron gate and Church path was so plain – dirt or grass either side and nothing else. This is now flanked by lemon and limes and edged with catmint, thyme and lavender which is now filling out, flowering and attracting the bees.

The Berry Bed
Veggies ready to go

Four large timber raised veggie beds have been installed in the last few weeks and are now being planted out. One is full of berries – lower maintenance but will be great for jams and desserts. In keeping with this being a “kitchen garden” out the back, I have also added another edging of rosemary, thyme and catmint. Just planting this was such a pleasure with all the wonderful scents.

Catoneastor - cleaned up and waiting for freesias
Catoneastor – cleaned up and waiting for freesias

The old catoneaster, which can be regarded as a nuisance, has lots of character, good form and is very healthy. It deserved better treatment and has been tidied up and had it’s base planted out with freesias and snowdrops.


Every week I get up there it is exciting to see the changes. Next plan is to get stuck into the front (which is much larger than the back garden).

It’s still pretty rough but is showing great promise and beginning to feel a bit more like mine. Still hanging in there for settlement, which has been so close for months now. I’m sure once we get past that hurdle there will be a wave of emotion as I start considering it as a real new home and the start of a different lifestyle.

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