Extreme Gardening: Carnival Edition

The Men of the House, weeding.

How are your gardens getting on? We’re doing OK, although the slugs have taken a huge proportion of my seedlings as ever. This spring we’ve really got to grips with some new areas of the garden that we haven’t really used to their full potential before, and we’ve also finally removed all of the grass from our premises, so we have more space to grow decent plants and no mowing to do! Hooray! We hate lawns and we hate mowing, such a waste of time and space.

It all started when we decided to paint some things. We have some odds and ends of outdoor paint and wood varnish in the shed from various past jobs and decided to paint things randomly instead of properly. We painted the trellis green and orange (but not the fence behind it), we painted the raised bed that the Boy made for me a couple of years ago. Then I randomly painted some swirly patterns on to this old fence post. You can’t see if that well in the photo, showing it is quite subtle, but when it rains the green really stands out, I love it.

Next we (well, mainly The Boy to be honest) dug up the scrappy horrible turf at the front of the garden. We’ve been trying, a bit, to sort the grass out for several years now, it was time for it to go as it was more trouble than it was worth.
He didn’t want to cut it really.

Bye Bye Grass

Once it had all been dug over, we left it to settle for a couple of weeks, as we had turned some of the turf over. Some of it we dumped at the back of the garden, under the cherry tree to rot down.

Meanwhile, I treated myself to a bulk bag of compost. (A late birthday present, this is extreme gardening at its best.) We dug the nasty, neglected hedges out of one border and mixed in some of the new compost et voila! A whole new place to grow veg! Sadly, everything is getting super snail attacked at the moment, so the mandatory relocation programme is in operation, moving them out to the nearby grass verge, but still no luck as of yet. I shall perservere though.

 We also filled a load of large pots using the big bag o’ compost and have created a fetching arrangement on the drive, where the sun stays for the longest time. We’ve expanded it since, but here is the original arrangement for your enjoyment.

 Back to the front garden. Having dug the front over, we reused some old slabs we had hanging around and also some of the conifer trunks we’d saved from the mass conifer removal of a few years ago, tied together to create this fetching arrangement.

I used all the bits of random rock and slate we’ve collected around the place over the years to create my own mini rockery. I’d bought these lovely succulents from my favourite house in a neighbouring village where they always have a stand of plants to buy out the front and you just pop your money through the door. 80p in total for these beauties and also the long thin one I rescued from off the drive, where it was randomly growing under the fence. I hope it will settle in and be a bit less leggy, but I’m pretty happy with my little rockery for a start.

Then we added the remaining stones we had from doing the raised beds in the back garden. And it looks great! But there weren’t as many stones as we were hoping (sad face). I will have to buy another bulk bag at some point. Extreme front garden landscaping fail. Still, you get the idea.

All is going well then, in the land of the garden. I am spending every moment I can out there, pottering. I have been treated to a hose, so I can water everything in one go, rather than making 20 trips to the tap with the tiny watering can. The strawberry patch is taking over the world and all of the fruit bushes are in full bloom.

The pumpkins have started to flower, so much has made it through this far that I am hopeful we will have a bumper harvest this year. The Boy has also been helping me to feed my plant addiction by buying me a beautiful passionflower to grow up the newly painted trellis and I finally succumbed to trying out a rhubarb in a particularly bare, shady area of the garden. I hope that it will get to quite a size and really fill the corner. We also got a bargain 50p pepper, since our seedlings all got eaten. This one is quite nicely established so I shouldn’t think it will be too long until it flowers.

And why is this the Extreme Gardening: Carnival Edition? Well, once we’d got a taste for randomly painting things in the garden, we knew we had to recoat the garden furniture. It had been several years since its last treatment and it was looking decidedly shabby. We soon put an end to that.

Those black central patches are chalkboard paint. Chalkboard! We made our garden table so you can draw on it. I am so over excited about it that it could possibly be untrue. Oh, and it looks like a circus. Happy gardening y’all.


Bestselling author and freelance drinks writer. Champion of pubs and breweries. Occasional printmaker.

0 thoughts on “Extreme Gardening: Carnival Edition

  • Hmm, I've used it for cleaning but never heard of it for slugs! Sounds worth a try though, as it won't affect the cats I don't think.

  • gardens looks lovely, especially loving the table and chairs. I have indulged in a book about 100's of things to do with bicarbonate of soda and one of the things it recommends is to sprinkle liberally around bedding plants/plants to keep slugs and snails at bay. might be worth a try around young veggies?
    Also offers great alternatives from using household cleaners and chemicals.


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