Kevin Smith's Blog

Day 1041 - progress

Thursday, 04 July 2013

This post has nothing to do with Take That's last album (yep, I have to admit that the Progress album is in our collection and, if truth by know, I quite like it). It's all about progress in the garden. It seems I've done nothing but moan about how rubbish the weather has been, questioning whether it's even worth gardening this year, but I'm pleased to say things have taken a turn very much for the better. Hurrah!

The garden is finally kicking into life and things inside and out of the greenhouse are really beginning to do their stuff. Don't get me wrong, my garden is still relatively new to me so nothing looks completely established, but progress (as Mr Barlow himself would say) is being made.

Here's a newly planted border that I hope will put on a bit of a display before autumn's chilly bite arrives. There are lots of annuals (dahlias, cosmos, nasturtiums and ricinus) - the saviors of new borders - along with old faithfuls that I bought with me from my old garden. You could almost see the old faithfuls breath a sigh as they were planted in the soil - instant relief after months of being cooped up in a make-shift container.

When I took this photograph I realised how beautifully the apple tree frames my greenhouse. It's a complete accident that's made me question whether I want to grow the newly planted yew hedge as tall as I'd initially planned - it will provide a lovely backdrop to the border but at the expense of the greenhouse view. Ah well, time's on my side and I can make my decision as the hedge grows. That's the lovely thing about gardening - there's no need to rush anything.

Things are coming together on the terrace too and it's nice to have finally positioned our patio furniture and a few containers. We've even eaten a couple of meals outside, which is a lovely treat.  I'd missed most of the bedding plants by the time I got to the garden centre last month, but was able to pick up a few trays or scarlet geraniums. They were dirt cheap, but have really brightened things up for this year – it just shows that you don't have to spend much to make impact.

The greenhouse is still a wonder for me, and I'm forever spending time titivating all the plants and crops I've got on the go – I find nothing more relaxing. My tomatoes in hanging baskets are just beginning to fruit and the strings I've erected for cordons are really coming into their own. It's brilliant to see how strong and healthy everything is for having such a great growing environment.

And I've even been able to pick a little bunch of flowers to bring indoors. These pretty blooms are all from plants I inherited from Victor, the previous owner. The more time I spend in his garden, the more I realise what a wonderful gardener he must have been. Plants nurtured by his hands are popping up all over the place and it's lovely to see them getting acquainted with the new arrivals I bought with me. It seems progress is a lovely thing.

Until next time...

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Kevin Smith | Garden Media Writer and Editor

On 31 August 2010 I quit my full-time job as the Commissioning Editor at Gardeners' World Magazine to be a stay-at-home dad  and to try and scratch a living as a freelance garden journalist. It's often said that a 'life change' is good, but can I cut it with the yummy mummys? Will I manage to get a single shred of work done? Will Ida (she's the gorgeous little girl who's the cause of all this) like gardening as much as me? Who knows, we're going to find out...