This spring has proved the most challenging gardening season in all my gardening years. In November 2014 whilst on holiday at my Sister`s in Huntington Beach, California, I had a bad fall and fractured my spine. I`ve always wanted an extended holiday but not quite like this – flat on my back. Getting the garden ready had to be done in short bursts so I could rest but with the help of my Husband Alan, who did all of the lifting, moving and digging I managed to get the garden sorted.
I am growing the TomTato® again this year as it was very successful last year with almost 5 kg of tomatoes as well as the potatoes harvested. I started it off indoors but as soon as the weather was right transferred it into the larger container of Incredicompost® in a sunny but sheltered position.
I ordered `garden ready` plants this year as I wasn’t sure how much I would be able to do in the early months. They arrived this last week and look wonderful, very fresh and ready for planting. I love Begonia ‘Apricot Shades’ and have planted these into a triple basket, 12”/14”/16” and now in position in the front garden. They are very easy to handle and you don`t have to worry about growing them on first which might have been a problem as I couldn’t stand for very long.
I am planning to use three troughs at the side of the front garden but looking at them they really looked worse for wear, then I wondered if they could be painted with the blue paint we have on our decking, no sooner said than done as Alan painted them last night now they just need planting up and they look like new troughs.
I have also planted a triple stand with black and red petunias and red diascia as a tribute to our local football team – AFC Bournemouth who have just been promoted to the Premier League from being almost bankrupt six years ago. I am patiently waiting for these plants to start flowering so I can see the full effect.
April here in Bournemouth on the South Coast was very dry and warm everything in the garden really sat up and took notice flowering quite early in some cases. May, unfortunately has been cold and wet. In March my 90 year old neighbour died, I have been looking after her front garden for several years. I was very kindly given two stone planters which stood either side of her front door. They now take pride of place in my back garden.
My Strawberry ‘Irresistible’ which I had on trial about three years ago are doing exceptionally well and now have the fruit formed – and to think they almost got thrown out as they had been covered in leaves in the winter and couldn’t see the plants!!
Here`s hoping that the rest of the summer is going to be kind to us all especially the gardeners. Enjoy!
I started gardening 65 years ago on my Dad’s allotment and now live in Bournemouth, where spend a lot of time gardening since retiring. In 2012 I won the Gold Award for Bournemouth in Bloom Container Garden. I am a member of Thompson & Morgan’s customer trial panel.
Thank you everyone for your lovely comments x
I’m sure Jean and Alan’s garden is going to look as spectacular as always. They both work so hard and Alan is a great support to the green fingered Jean, whose displays are a joy to behold. In spite of being in constant pain, I know that Jean is as determined as ever to create some breath-taking displays and her garden will give great pleasure to many people.
Jean was born with green fingers I reckon ! She’s grown in the past the biggest begonias double headers and other huge blooms ,and her garden front and back is always a pleasure to see ,well done Alan for helping out x
Having known Jean and Alan for many years I must comment on the kindness and commitment they showed to my relative in maintaining her garden in the way she would h ave wished when she and was in a care home.
Jeans green fingers and gardening knowledge produce a beautiful display for us all to enjoy every year .What a Talented Lady .
Hi Jean is one of our Group and the recipient of our Springbourne in Bloom Gardener Cup 2014 and also the Winner of several categories in the Bournemouth in Bloom Competition Jean and her husband Alan are committed Gardeners and great fun to know
Thank you Elaine for your kind words.