dinsdag 21 juli 2015

The garden in July

It has been very dry here in Belgium, and the garden has suffered. Most perennials have gone over, the old growth withered and trimmed away. The annuals had a hard time establishing themselves. They stayed alive, but didn't flourish. Just recently we've had a few good showers and the garden has really picked itself up.

My side garden is a jumble of colors: yellow day lilies, pink cosmos and Salvia viridis, blue cornflowers, orange calendula, yellow tagetes, sweet peas in all colors, orange nasturtiums, ... . I like it that way. It has a lot of annuals, because I like starting them from seed (most self seed around the garden as well), and they have a really long flowering season. Also, I get to keep the bed clean and get rid of as many perennial weeds as possible, before planting out the annuals half May.

View of the sweet peas, calendula and hanging basket with tomatoes, chilly peppers and nasturtiums. And of Lucas in the hammock under our covered porch.

My latest creative endeavor in the garden:...

steps leading up to the slide!

We got the slide from neighbors, the earth was left over from digging the foundations for the porch, the slabs were found around the garden, and the bricks used to be on the facade of the house. I planted some purple sage, mint, lemon balm, cosmos and calendula on the bare earth.
Since we had the porch built last year we've been spending much more time outdoors. We enjoy eating outside, even when it's drizzling. The kids play outside a lot, ride the bikes or the go-cart, playing in their puddle pool when it's hot, or just doing kid stuff. I like 'working' in the garden: things like building those steps, but mostly taking care of the plants and chicken. Willem does the man work: digging out shrubs and mowing the lawn. I'm planning to add some willow huts in a woodlandy garden. Even though it's not a big garden (our plot is just under 600m², or 0,15 acres, and it has the house and porch on it, too), I find that there is enough space to do all I want to do: have a flower garden, some (fruit) trees, a small potager (in the planning stage), chickens, a lawn, a place for car and bikes, some play things for the kids, ... And because it's not to big, it's manageable. At the moment we don't have it all under control, but it's not running wild, and we can see an end to the work that has to be done to have it 'finished' (I don't really want a finished garden, I like a bit of wild, like the poppies that pop up on the compost heap, and the buttercups that line the shed because the lawn mower can't reach them. A perfectly controlled and trimmed garden is not my thing. Right now we are very proud of how far we've come from the building site that was here just two years ago, and our main plan is to enjoy the garden as much as possible!

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