Friday, August 21, 2009

Launching the garden project ...

The garden - or yard as it is called it here (why is it called a yard, anyone? A yard to a Brit is a concrete 12' x 12' area behind a small terraced house (think Coronation Street) or somewhere truck drivers work from, or a London Metropolitan Police HQ, as in Scotland ...) - OK, minor digression. I'll start again.

So - the garden is in for an extreme makeover. I know it's the third week in August and by all accounts summer is over according to the locals (la la la, I'm not listening!) but by my reckoning I still have a good month or two to play with the garden and create some shapes, paths and flower beds. And anyway, it was 32 degrees today and we're in for at least one more week for warmth and sunshine - so I'm off and ready. And sunburnt already.

As whilst feeling a bit despondent about employment and slim finances, I might as well make myself useful by spending $$$ of the household budget on my plot! 'Tis the female way - no money? Go shopping!

I drew up my ultra amateur garden design the other day - which, when I've worked out how my scanner works, I might be bold enough to put up on here - and then got rid of an awful concrete (utilitarian) fire pit that took pride of place in the centre of the grass courtesy of the previous non-gardening owners of this home.

This is what I am working with.

My garden is basically a big square lump of grass, with some grass, with a bit more grass and tree in each corner. It is surrounded by, in my humble opinion, hideous green chain link fencing (rules of the neighbourhood) which leads to no privacy or screening whatsoever. My British heart nearly fainted at the exposure! Last year I made up one crescent shaped flower bed, and then this spring I created one more oblong flower bed. Digging up turf - or sod as it's called here - is not my idea of fun. Back breaking work, hummph!

I got a man in (!) during May to aerate the lawn with one of those fancy machines that punches holes all over the lawn, and then distributes little sausages of earth and grass all over the place. Personally, I think it just looks the dogs have gone overtime on the pooping department. Smudge looks guilty, doesn't he?

The whole aerating thing, and then adding fertiliser did absolutely nothing to the quality of this lawn which has had it's day, and to be honest, I've given up on the grass this year. I can't keep up with the dandelions, nor the dark circles created by the female canine in the household.

So this is a photo of Day One. The grass is in shit order - thanks to two dogs who pee with gay abandon anywhere they feel the urge - and two children (who do not pee in the garden as far as I know) but who have the audacity to actually play on the lawned area and knacker it out. The current state of affairs is an embarrassment to be sure, and all I need are a couple of old tyres and a half-shredded sofa and I'm sure the local residents association will be drawing up a written warning any day now.


  1. I'm not sure about the yard/garden difference.

    To my Canadian ears a garden is where you plant thing intensionally - like a veggie garden, flower garden, herb garden, etc.

    When I moved to England and heard of people talking about their kids playing football in the garden I envisioned kids stomping through a perenial borders and was curious why the parents of such evil, destructive children were so laisez faire! ;-)

    Anyways... it looks like you've got good plans and a lot of hard work ahead! I'm looking forward to the after pics! They'll be posted on Sunday right? ;-)

  2. Sunday? Ha ha, you're hilarious marnie. No, Monday should do it (yeah right - not sure which Monday though). Cor, my back hurts today .... this hard work lark is not good for you!

  3. Looks a great project. I'm looking forward to reading about it.

    I understand the fence/privacy thing. Takes some getting used to.

    And the gardens/yard thing too. A back yard is concrete. When I hear of someone making a garden in the yard I imagine concrete being dug out and lawn planted. Yard work would be sweeping- if it existed in Britain.

    Anyway good luck with that project


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