@gardenhero:

Bleating from the Back Yard

I’ve discovered recently that many gardening people I talk to have a similar obsession to me; I suppose a quite obvious one really; a wilful desire to a) buy seed (however obscure) and grow them, and b) a tendency to replace the fact that a plant isn’t ‘needed’ but with a need to ‘want’ a particular plant in the garden. Why is this? Because, quite simply, we can!

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In some cases, no real problem, many people have the space and equipment necessary to facilitate the correct germinating/growing conditions…for others (myself included)…ah, so what?! I’ve spoken about viagra pills where I live before, and the idea it gave me for a possible show garden. Exterior ground space need not limit the imagination when it comes to creating a pleasing environment and place to grow/nurture; yes, you might have to adapt and improvise, but do just that…and look upwards too.

I’m veering off at a slight tangent (again) i’m afraid; that’ll probably be the shiraz. Where was I…space, yes, my back yard. That’s it….it’s small. I couldn’t swing a miniature cat in it, let alone the one I have sat staring at me right now. Space however….that’s not the problem. It’s not mine. I’m renting the place while I plan my next move.

I have grand ideas for the yard; in fact I had grand ideas for my last back yard until I was unceremoniously ousted by the owner, who wished to move back in, I tended to her plants lovingly, even told her how to care for them once I left; brought her buxus back to life (!) and divided her plum pudding rather nicely if I do say so myself.

Grand ideas…renting…growing and propagating anything I can…there’s probably more than one post here, but I wanted to jot this down when I ‘mistakenly’ brought some Thunbergia seeds online this afternoon. Basically, I don’t have room to grow them! but I WILL FIND ROOM. That’s the point. I like them, therefore I will grow them. I have about 75 pots in my back yard, with an incredibly daft selection of plants. There’s no colour co-ordination, no real scheme, just things I like. Now don’t get me wrong; i’m a designer by trade, have been for the best part of 16 years, but unfortunately my interest in horticulture, and transferring my design knowledge to that area only began a few years ago; and in that time i’ve been constantly on the move. Hence the little bit of chaos that follows me, that snowball of a plant collection, that rolls with me and continues to grow. For goodness sake…I have a Californian Redwood in a pot, and a Titan Arum on my kitchen windowsill!

Look! A baby Sequoia! A VERY small selection of the plants i’ve collected

I know what should go where, I know about colour, space, texture, form, focus etc…but I also know that this home I have may be with me temporary. I’m slightly hesitant to invest time and money into someone else’s property; but if it benefits me, then why not? Like I said earlier, it’s a case of  adapting. I have 2 choices, sit here and let time tick by, thinking I might have to move at any time; or be optimistic and make it the best place it can be. Besides, there’s always the possibility that I could end up buying this house; so why not start to make a difference now?

There’s concrete paving underfoot, but water runs off nicely to the drain. There’s plenty of wallspace that gets the sun all day; and there’s a nice storage area; well, there’s two, but one is locked and I don’t have the key! I’ve been (mostly) collecting plants that I know will grow well in such a place as a typical Saltaire back yard; and i’ve been keeping them in pots until such a time comes that i’m able to give them a more permanent home, where they can flourish to the best of their abilities. So i’m going to settle on a compromise. I’m going to build some raised, possibly staged beds all around the yard, create a green roof on top of the outhouse (it’s a great space), and let my newly purchased Vitis coignetiae and Abutilon megapotamicum grow nicely against the sunny walls, while my Prunus cerasus sits happily trained against the shadier wall of the outhouse.

It’s going to be fun, and hopefully not as convoluted as this blog post. And at the end? It will feel like home.

GH

3 Responses to “Bleating from the Back Yard”

  1. Garden Beet says:

    i so understand this renting issue – why do all the hard work to only be moved on !!! you know what I am going to recommend – you can take them down when you move – i have stacked about 50 in one small truck – all fully planted – and they loved it – planting beds that move – should I say it? Woolly pocket

  2. Helen says:

    As I was reading your post I was thinking you needed raised bed and some staging so you can display your pots at different heights. I have some staging built from breeze blocks and scaffolding boards which is very simple but effective and you can take with you.

  3. Great post! Been there, done that. Real hard to make that decision to commit to a space that is not 100% yours. I say, get stuck in. Don’t hold back. Make it yours, but make it moveable!

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