Filling the front garden in

The other day I saw my neighbours conferring over the front garden. Now, it might have been to do with the edging, how to mow the lawn in view of the cardboard, or some such issue. And I do appreciate they don’t want an unsightly mess on their front doorstep.

Although I would not be prepared to revert the garden to lawn to keep others happy, I decided it was time to do a little more work on it. So, last night after it had rained, I sowed some summer mix green manure, which comprises mustard, crimson clover, red clover, sweet clover and yet another which goes by the name of ‘Marco Polo Persian’ clover.

I was a little surprised that the rain really had not penetrated the ground at all. Of course, this could have been due the wind direction, if there was any wind, but it opened my eyes to how much water is needed to get it into the ground. In other words, the ground needs watering by human hand from time to time for decent crops.

Anyway, I also decided it was time to cover up the cardboard at the back of the garden, under the front window. This did have a less than pretty look before and nothing except weeds could possibly have grown there because of the derth of soil – or any other organic matter.

So, off I went to a garden centre to get compost. Except that all the composts had peat in them! How can this be admissible in this day and age? The blurb on the back said the manufacturer took great pains to respect the environment but I couldn’t really buy it, in both senses of the word.

The upshot was that I ended up with more manure, albeit with the fancy name of soil conditioner. The blurb on the back of this claims it has been specially formulated for shrubs and trees, which I think is another liberty, but by all accounts it should enable something to grow – eventually!

front garden Sunday 26 April 2015


About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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15 Responses to Filling the front garden in

  1. What a nice big flower bed in your front yard! It will give you such curb appeal when it is full of plants.

  2. Jackie says:

    Good luck – it will be worth it in the end.

  3. drofmit4108 says:

    Put in a border of edible greens… red russian kale and black tuscan kale would be perfect.
    For colour use nasturtiums [edible]… English Marigolds [edible petals] and tagettes…
    with veg, go for shape and plant in patterns…
    look at pictures of Villandry for a very formal way of doing this…
    you’ll find that some of your neighbours will begin to copy!!

    • Helen says:

      The front garden is north-facing, so would they grow?

      I’ve actually got some marigolds which I’m going to put along the front as a border once they are big enough. Are not tagettes and marigolds the same thing?

      • drofmit4108 says:

        There are numerous varieties of flowers called marigolds…
        “tagettes” in this sense are the simple form of the French Marigold…
        Lidl do a variety called Bolero… very attractive but smaller than French marigolds…
        tagettes is the group name.
        English Marigolds are part of a different group entirely…
        as for North Facing… there are veg that need shade… kales for one, hence the two varieties mentioned… cabbages like partial shade and will grow serviceably in shade…
        but, experiment… the books ain’t always right.
        Any plant related to a woodland species will grow in shade…

        • Helen says:

          If kales prefer shade, I can see why they didn’t enjoy my back garden!

          Actually, I was learning quite a lot about marigolds through a book I was reading yesterday. This includes the info about Mexican (I think) marigolds which can apparently kill things like couch grass.

      • drofmit4108 says:

        Mexican Marigolds do not like the Leeds climate….
        nor did they have any effect on the Couch Grass on our plots in Burley!!
        Additionally, it looks ‘orrible… all green and spindly with tiny flowers…
        an “allotmenteer” in Descartes [just down the road] put his tomatoes in last week…
        if he does what he did last year, each plant will get three French Marigolds each….
        boy, is that striking!!

  4. I see your phacelia is coming along nicely!

  5. Nicely done! I can’t wait to see it as it fills in. It’s gong to be lovely.

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

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