Saturday, 27 April 2013

Move over Charlie Dimmock.....

When I read about the Center Parcs Tots100 April Family Blogger Challenge I knew I had to enter as we have spent the last few weeks making over our little garden.
We moved into our house about 6 months ago, and this is what our garden was like:

Pretty grim huh?!  A few weeks ago the cold weather finally decided to exit and as I got up to blinding sunshine I sheepishly suggested to the Other Half (OH) that it might be a nice idea to start the garden, he wasn't happy but finally realised that his agreement would probably mean a much easier life in the long run.
So off he went and pulled on his boots and his combats and went to work.  He smashed up the concrete path that was running the length of the garden and knocked down a huge raised flowerbed that was on the right hand side, he had to bag up all the rubble and take it to the tip (probably the hardest job of the whole task, we don't have rear access so it had to be carried through the house).  Between us all we then shovelled all the soil that had been in the raised flowerbed to cover the garden to make a base for the turf, surprisingly there was enough to cover the whole lot which was great as it saved the expense of getting more soil delivered.  We managed to do this whole stage throughout the weekend and by the end of Sunday I could really see it was really starting to actually look like a garden. 
By Tuesday we had got all the turf we needed delivered by a local merchant for £100 and the OH set about laying it whilst I was out at work.  When I got home and saw the turf down I nearly cried I was so happy, when we first moved in I was so upset at the state of the garden I wanted to move back to our old house immediately, it seemed so much worse than what it was when we came to view the house.
 We popped over to see the lovely people at our local garden centre and because I was looking for climbers to cover the fence on left that does not belong to us they suggested we try growing some gorgeous Clematis plants.  We also managed to pick up our yellow bedding plants for our window boxes for just £2 per pack of 12 which I thought was a bargain. On Thursday afternoon the children and I set about doing the fun bit of the job by planting wild flower seeds (99p for a huge packet) in the beds around the patio, potting our window box flowers and weeding.  I also bought a lawn edging tool and cut out a bit of lawn we could grow our Clematis up our newly mounted trellis (again 99p from our local 99p Store).  I think 99p and £1 shops are a top tip of mine if you're looking to do a bit of gardening, I saw lovely little ceramic planters, packs of pastel flowerpots and wind chimes.  We don't have lots of money so those shops were a god send for us.  
Each of the children were given their own pot and packet of seeds, although the Sunflowers terrified Alfie as their was a picture of a Bee on the packet and he thought that meant we were going to get a sudden influx of Bees (he has a phobia after being stung a few years back).  I tried to let them get on with it as much as possible; I want them to be really proud of themselves when the little shoots start poking up through the compost they so carefully pressed into their pots.  I preferred to let the kids use my gardening tools, the plastic ones I bought for them were next to useless, under supervision I felt mine were much more effective.  We also planted some mixed bulbs into pots, I tried to explain to them the differences between our seeds and our bulbs and how the bulbs were essentially a mass of food storage from which their plant would grow.  I'm not sure they understood but they nodded and said they did! 
We have planted curry chives, sage and strawberry plants into hanging baskets and were lucky enough to inherit this beautiful chive plant in the patio bed.  It was the only thing salvageable from the previous garden and I love it, it is just starting to grow amazing little buds at the end of the leaves that I have never seen before.  The smell of the plant is absolutely amazing and even the children give it a sniff when they walk by!  We have also planted Rosemary and Lavender, in our old house I had an amazing Lavender bush in front garden and every summer the colours and scent would be even more beautiful that the last.
Alfie has taken his watering duties very seriously and has gone out every night after school and helped me water our plants, I love how they love their new garden as much as I do.
So we have come a long way in a few short weeks, and I know its by no means perfect and we've still got a long way to go but I want us to make the very most of the space we're lucky enough to have.  I have replaced two of our fence panels but still need to do the rest.  I also want to buy a beautiful wooden playhouse that the children can help to decorate, not to mention we still need patio furniture!  But do you know what?  I don't mind because I know it'll come in time, and with the help of my little green-fingered goblins we'll be living the good life in no time.

For lots more ideas for gardening with your little ones check out The Kids Garden.



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