Early Summer Garden

I am very lucky to have a plot of land that is pretty fertile and not so large it will eventually become more than I can handle.  I confess with the greatest reluctance that I’m getting to the age where low maintenance is a priority. The old grey mare, she ain’t what she used to be and all that.

When we bought the house two years ago, the front and back where pretty basic; some very weedy lawn, a few shrubs. The front is quite decent with a lovely huge fuschia bush and a mature hedge for privacy. The patch of lawn thankfully isn’t as full of dandelion as the front. The fuschia positively “buzzes” from May to October. Thats the sound you hear in it as its filled with foraging bees and other insects.

I don’t know what these tiny purple flowers are that grow under the hedge, but the bees love them.

The before and after photos of the back are where the biggest change has happened. Pretty bare in 2015:


This is now in one of the borders in the back yard. It is starting to come back from going totally bare over the Winter.


I do love petunias. Easy to maintain and come in so many colours.


This hosta is now planted in the front lawn and doing well. Very low maintenance, in the Maritimes, they survive snow and ice all Winter and still come back every Spring.


The bluebells surprised us last Spring and came again this Spring. The peony bush has gotten bigger than it was last year too. I’ve been feeding and pruning it in an effort to help it along. That’s a lovely, if very prickly holly behind it. These all came with the house when we bought it.

My little wild patch at the bottom of the backyard. The ivy has wound itself around the old bird bath I put there, making it look much nicer.


We have added some dwarf conifers, more flowering shrubs and dug out the bricks that were lining the back of the lawn where the grass stops and the overgrown weeds begin. I think that strip along the back fence was used extensively as a dumping ground for different building projects done on the house over the years. Some of it is sandy soil, but much of it is full of rubble. Hasn’t stopped the weeds thriving though.  I put several bags of wood chips on the remainder to keep the weeds in check.

My husband proposed the wood border which I think looks great. I’ve left a small patch on the left to grow wild and installed an old bird bath on it. The ivy, which grows absolutely everywhere here, has grown around it, making it look quite nice.

If you an believe it, this butterfly bush was about six inches high when we moved here. I cut it down to fence height in the Autumn and its come back even bigger this year. The flowers are purple on this one when it is in bloom.

I have sunflowers, grown from seed and for the first time ever. Please take a look at my post HERE about how this started. Thanks again to The Big Sunflower Project and its founder, Toni Abram. One is in bloom and I expect the others to do so soon.

Whats more fun is we have managed the improvements on a small budget and that’s pretty satisfying. OH wants to put some decking down where the small gravel is around the back, and I’m all for that. So that will probably be next Summer’s project.

Even if your space only allows for a few containers, getting some greenery in your life is one of the most satisfying things you can do for yourself. There is even some scientific evidence now that it helps protect and renew something called “telomeres”, which are basically the caps on the ends of your DNA. Like everything else about the human body, your DNA strands age. Factors like lifestyle play a big part in the ageing process and while you can’t stop it, you can do things to age in a more healthy way. Gardening and even spending time in nature, is one of those things. So get out there and get dirty!

After all, as my dad used to say, its clean dirt!