Open Gardens And A Rethink!

Last Sunday we had a lovely few hours visiting the ‘Desford and Botcheston Open Gardens 2015’.

I love visiting open gardens as you can get so many ideas for your own garden and it doesn’t cost much to look around.  Also the money goes to charity.

I must say the all the open gardens were really nice, but some of the gardens (and houses) were absolutely gorgeous … and massive compared to my little back garden:

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But one back garden showed how you can make a small garden beautiful:


I have never really liked topiary very much, until I saw this:


I thought it was brilliant and it was just one of many in this garden….it has really changed my mind about topiary.

If you would like to visit the ‘Open Gardens’ in your area, there is a really good website here.  It will find your nearest gardens to visit, giving you dates and times the gardens are open.



This week I have spent a lot of time removing all the wallpaper from our front room and I must say I am very tired.


This is the room that we have been saving like mad to do, since we had the building work in our kitchen approximately eighteen months ago.  When the builders knocked the chimney breast down in our kitchen, they had to put in a steel support, which meant knocking a hole through to our front room….so we finally have a plasterer coming on Monday to skim the walls and ceiling over for us, as there are so many lumps and bumps everywhere.

I thought it would be easy to remove the wallpaper, but it took me ages as there were two layers of wallpaper and the bottom layer had been painted over a few times….but I got there in the end:



Because of the time it took to remove the wallpaper, I didn’t get into the garden until yesterday.



A Problem Area And A Bit Of A Rethink:

I had been a bit concerned that Judy (our lovely rescue dog) is still going mad running up and down barking when next door’s dog comes out into the garden at the same time.  I am still working on this with our trainer Steven Havers, but I know this is going to be a hard habit for Judy to break and it will take quite some time to stop it completely, though she is improving slowly.

Unfortunately you can see in the photo below, she has completely worn away the grass in the corner and I have had to put whatever I could find to protect my plants from Judy, as she jumps madly at them when our neighbours dog is outside.


So this area was just not working!

Now when next door’s dog isn’t outside, Judy doesn’t run around the garden.  She just likes to sit and watch the world or fall asleep lying in the sun.  So this week I decided to bring forward the wire fence, so she is even further away from the dog next door.

I brought some heavy duty PVC coated wire fence for £17 and spent yesterday putting it up and moving the gate forward:


I was then able to move the glass away from my peas as Judy could no longer get to them and I tied them to the chicken wire with some string to give them some extra support.

I just wonder now if the birds will find them instead!


I then covered this area with weed suppressant to kill the grass underneath (this is the weed suppressant I won last year).  The weed suppressant will kill the grass by autumn and it will then be easy to just dig over the area without removing it.

As you can see in the second photo, Judy liked the weed suppressant too:

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When the weed suppressant was down I couldn’t help thinking it felt like a waste of space….so I nipped to my local nursery and managed to get a tray of twelve sweetcorn plants for £1….I thought this was a bargain!


I cut slits in the weed suppressant, dug the grass out and put a little bit of blood, fish and bone in each hole and topped it up with compost.  I then planted the sweetcorn, gave it a good watering and then pulled the weed suppressant back around each plant:


I am really not sure how well the sweet corn will grow as I only really prepared small holes for the plants to grow in and I have no idea what condition the soil is in ….but for £1 I thought it would be a fun gamble to take.


The only other thing I did in my kitchen garden this week was to ‘pinch out’ the side shoots on my outdoor tomato plants.  This just means removing the side shoots that produce between the leaf and the main stem, using your index finger and thumb.  You can see my ‘before’ and ‘after’ photograph below:

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I then tied the tomatoes to their canes for support:



So that’s it for this week.  I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog.

I will be back next Friday as usual.

Have a good weekend!


16 thoughts on “Open Gardens And A Rethink!

  1. I love looking at other peoples gardens to see what’s possible in a small space.Sometimes you can buy cheap plants & its all being done for a good cause. Everybody wins! Its my ambition one day to do the same when I get that big picturesque house & garden(think im just dreaming really ) You have so much patience with your dog you really do try everything ! I admire you for that. You are such a busy lady Ive had a bit of a lazy day today & sat in the garden with my older children.

  2. Judy is beautiful and so fortunate to have such a caring owner. She’s got a good life now.
    I hope your corn does well! Are you planning some topiary for indoors, or out?

  3. What a brilliant rethink it will at least give you some sweetcorn hopefully as well.Our lounge was just the same when we moved here, including painted ceiling wallpaper, my poor husband took all the wallpaper off what a horrible job it was for him, its a good job done though in the end. Have a good week.

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