Don’t you just hate it when your perennials collapse half ways the season? Mid winter or early spring I can’t wait to see my beautiful arranged flower beds to pop out of the ground for a new season of colorful surprises. They grow proudly till the first heavy rain or hail breaks the perennials and gone is the order. Multi-stalk perennials literally fall apart, stems flopping in every direction to expose the ugly bare center. It’s chaos. I know plants do that in nature and I whould just give in if I don’t want overpriced flower support structures or bamboo sticks sticking out all over my lovely garden.
I was desperate untill I watched the first episode of The Edible Garden with Alys Fowler. Here she explains how easy it is to create your own flower supports from willow twigs.
Now being a rather handy man and having a few willow trees in my garden I thought: “Let’s try and creating some of my own.”. I’ve designed these three types after what I saw. Type 1, the Whisk, has an open and flexible top to leave space for the perennial to grow within some borders. Type 2, the Basket, is exactly that, a basket, keeping the plant straight up. Type 3, the Fish Pod, is a trial for perennials that grow higher than 1,5 meter like Aster and Rudbeckia.
Since it’s winter time I have time on my hands to give it a first try and see how it goes. This step by step manual by Jonathan Ridgeon will help me get through the first basics.
It didn’t work out so smooth as I hoped it would. But this is the first basket I’ve made. More to come. Keeping you posted.
My first home made Wicker Basket
Filed under All, Gardening
It’s been four years now that we’ve been working in this garden. The first year it was a war zone destroying the nettles and getting some shape in the garden. The second year we enjoyed the sowing and found out the hard way that the power of weeds are much stronger than that of delicate seeds. In the third year we started to reconsider our approach with planting in open soil. With the amount of unwanted seeds and roots in the soil, we needed to do something dramatic.
Now it’s year four and we start to see some final shapes. Perennials rule. We’ve created 9 unique flower beds with each it’s own theme. From Brunnera to Bingerden, from white to red and from Spring to Autumn. Only 2 to go and we’re ready for the seasons.
The view on the flower garden from the orchard
Filed under All, Gardening
Probably you do know people who don’t like gardening. I guess everybody does. So, so do we… the previous owners of our water mill. They neglected 90% of the garden because of this. They mowed a tiny lawn and planted fast growing perennials around it in the specific French manner. This means; all as solitaires with no recognisable pattern. This also led to a ‘certain’ disregard of the rest of the garden and a prosperous growing nettle field.
When we bought the mill in 2009 over 4/5 of the garden was one big impenetrable bush of nettles and thorns. We seriously had some work to be done. (Read: Back to Basics) Still it was not till last year when we decided to move to some heavier methods. The nettles just kept coming back. We needed Weed Control! Polypropylene fabric was the answer. (Read: We Didn’t Start this War.) We placed it where we replanted the beds and covered it with woodchips. #fail. We learned how to apply polypropylene fabric the hard way… these are the 7 rules: Continue reading