Sunday, 5 July 2020

Gardening during lockdown

As we passed the milestone 100 day mark,  we have much to be thankful for, especially that all my friends & family have made it through with us too.

I have been blessed by having a private garden with tall hedges that has screened us safely from all our neighbours. As a self employed, now unemployed Elective Home Tutor,  I have used my garden as my calm, green, Zen space where I can loose myself in tasks. I appreciated how fortunate I am to have this space & time. I have used the time to do a little & often in the garden - tidying, moving, repotting, planting, growing seeds & most importantly, growing more edibles.

Let me give you a peek at the garden, how we use it & the various areas ....

My herb troughs are on a raised side wall next to the kitchen - this was from the time we had our two free range house rabbits & they loved herbs. Being raised means that the herbs are away from any visiting dogs too so I know they are ready for use.

The little space next to the conservatory / patio has the large water butt & I use that space for mainly edibles that need sun but also protection from wind.  It has a little greenhouse that protects some of the more tender plants over winter. At the moment it has several troughs of tomato & chilli plants.

I also have my pea shoots growing there for salads - who else loves peashoots? I had them on the patio & found that the birds love them as much as I do so they absolutely decimated them, none left for me, so this is take two, covered with unsightly bubble wrap that is working at keeping the birds at bay.
Tomato & chillies plants which have a canopy of bubble wrap to protect them from wind & rain & hopefully bring them on to fruit this summer. I always grow things, I am from a family that gardened so this is how I relax .... 

My Elho covered planters with organic greens & foods - three of them, flanking the door. 

Our edible planters are protected against the house wall, flanking the kitchen / utility door so they can be harvested all the time for meals. The wall enjoys afternoon sun which encourages good plant growth. I always grow some salad leaves, as well as celery because we use loads of it. This year daughter grew tomato seedlings but with a new baby, she did not have the time to pot them on so she sent me a whole trough of them which I planted on in 2 troughs on the conservatory side garden, along with the chillies she had grown. After planting on what we could use, I still had too many tomatoes, so I put them out on the drive with a FREE sign & 12 pots full of young plants all found grateful new homes with the neighbours. 
I have grown on pots of herbs from cuttings which I rooted in the kitchen windowsill - some of the plants are added to my own herb troughs, others potted up as gifts.

Potting up rosemary & sage herbs that have rooted from cuttings in the kitchen window, these will be kept close for winter use. It is deeply satisfying to root & grow on cuttings that will be used in cooking. 

At the bottom of the garden is a summerhouse that we repainted with the ‘country cream’ paint that we fortunately had during lockdown. It is a lovely space to sit in & read or chat in summer.  I love the calm cream colour, especially in winter when it looks right against the green hedges.

Framed by lush green hedges, it is a favourite view of the summerhouse. When it arrived as a bright orange, pine building, I took the paintbrush to it almost immediately & the colour choice is ‘Country Cream’ - a calm backdrop colour that allows the flowers to shine against it.

I dug out the beds to the side of it so it belongs & is incorporated in the garden. I love the depth it gives to the space - my planting palette is mainly in blue, purple, pink, white / cream with some red touches. I like the restricted palette of the colours.

I updated the summerhouse planters today because it is the view from the house & bright plants make it look inviting & summery. Fortunately we have a good local nursery that needs supporting as they have been shut for weeks.
 The garden to the left of the patio is a generous lush, mostly ever green border that I love. It consists of various greens shrubs & small trees, in varying heights & shapes.  I just love the privacy it affords (even though we are not overlooked) it is nice to have that filtered view ...

I shared this recent project - it is tucked against the patio wall next to the table so we can enjoy it as it is next to the conservatory.

Our large David Austin house rose has loved the warm weather & it towered right up to the upstairs windows. It has flowered profusely & the gentle scent has wafted down to the patio. It has been deadheaded regularly (the tall ladders have to be used for that so a labour of love) and we will have to add additional wall supports for it as it gets top heavy when flowering ....

Our patio runs the length of the back of the house, with the large area at the conservatory side. This is where we spend a lot of time,  ideal for for quick meals, for coffee or suppers with friends & it is just a gesellige / social space we use all the time. I grow scented plants like lavender in pots near it so they release their scent as you brush past.  I love to light the chimnea & watch the flames while we sit outdoors.

I have pots of peonies along the house wall - they are protected there from winds & rain.  The patio has some very large box balls alongside the lawn to the garden. These were grown from cuttings at the old family home in Dorset & gifted to us as tiny plants 20 years ago. I love their structural quality & shape.  I love clipping them with hand shears - a slow repetitive action that is calming & deeply satisfying.

In my quest to have some flowers for picking for the house, I ordered seeds online & have planted up 6 pots (in predictable colours of pink, purple, blue, white) which are being protected by the Elho covered planters so the birds & squirrel doesn’t get to them before they have a chance to grow. I  would like to have a steady supply of flowers over summer - what are your favourites that you grow?

I decided these late seeds needed the plastic cloches to help the seeds to germinate & grow - so they are now covered, building up some heat & hopefully will soon be looking good. 


I know how blessed I am to have had my own garden to self isolate in; green spaces are known to be calming & improve mental health & this is certainly true during these 100+ days of lockdown.  The time has enabled me to focus on what is important & in improving my space by using my time & energy well.

When we moved in more than a decade & some more, this was the garden, so I am always pleased to know that we have managed to put our own stamp on it & that it has transformed in to a space we enjoy using. The built in fountain is long gone because it made the patio too narrow & it was not working as it properly. It was a great decision which opened up the space for us ....

This was the sale pictures of the garden when we bought our house - you can see how much it has changed, it is now our space, our efforts ...

These photos taken from the same points as the one above to remind me of the progress we have made.

I hope you have drawn some inspiration to enjoy your garden & green space, even if it is just a little balcony.

Thank you for stopping by & gifting me some of your time, stay safe & may we all weather this storm with fortitude, gratitude & love,
Dee ~💕~


  1. Dee
    the roses are beautiful!

    1. Thank you J, they have been spectacular this year with the heat & rain ....


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