Spring comes in this week with a bang and with it comes all the blossom, the promise of fruit and the bloody weeds. Half a gardeners life is held up by the weather, the other half by weeding and our weed of choice at the moment is grass, you can weed it, worry about and turn your back and the whole bed will be brimming with grass.
Back in 2014 we laid the ground works for a new soft fruit patch, our original one which was by the utility shed was only ever a temporary solution, though it was beautiful, glorious and tasty, it was a wonderful haven for bees and stunning during summer. However, it was too narrow, hard to work and didn't allow us the space to cage it at a later date if we needed to. So, with second phase of our orchard, we carved out a new cottage garden closer to the house, one that was built on the idea of a sustainable system that encouraged bees and butterflies, gave us chicken manure from a new poultry area (which, if we can afford to do will come this year). This meant cordoned apples, fan trained cherries (that we fanned!) and more soft fruit. The trees and supports went in during 2014 but the soft fruit went in the ground from the old patch in 2015. We had a good 2015 with our soft fruit but we still have to get in a new patch of strawberries and our beloved bee friendly chives.
Yet, turn your back on a success and the grass creeps back in and it has and last week we where out in the sun getting to grips with it.
When you start weeding though, you can't stop and we moved onto the new arbour which was planted back in 2014, and is slower growing than our hedge because we don't prune it as hard but this has afforded us a tiny windfall of wild strawberry plants that have self sowed into our garden, we have moved them under these trees and hope to get a bench in here soon. In coming years we can sit here with something to drink and the chance of something to nibble.
There's a brick path to complete, this path is recycled from old temporary paths around the garden. The bricks came from the old kitchen and have been recycled into new paths, that are wider, which will run through the cottage garden. You can see the shape of them in the photo above. Yet, after all that weeding, it's nice to duck into the glasshouse and see how well the tomatoes are coming on after being pricked out into individual plug plant cells.
So, the garden has woken up and the weeds are fighting hard but we are being ruthless this year. Sharpen your hoes and get out this weekend on your plot.