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An Injection Of Life For The Garden At The Old Railway Cottage

Its been my little project in the back ground all winter. For a holiday cottage, the garden was ‘fine’. A fenced off lawn garden; but it could be much more!

There is a lavender plant near the front door next to a bench. Last summer, while we were renovating the cottage, this bench was the only place to sit down and grab a quick cuppa whilst in the mist of sanding, painting or building a kitchen. I was often sat on this bench having a break, and watching the several different types of bumble bees visiting the lavender plant. This got me thinking.

With so much adversity facing the environment, as a business we should be trying to do something better, and among other things, I decided to turn our very plain garden into a wildlife habitat.

Earlier in the year we put in beds of one and a half meters around the perimeter of the garden. This has been left over the winter and will become a huge wildflower meadow boarder.

Creating a wild flower meadow boarder came with instructions. We firstly removed all the turf, and dug over the soil removing the weeds. Today the beds needed another dig over and I spent a rather lovely sunny morning having a battle with what I think was a bramble trying to establish itself in the boarder. Once most of the roots and weeds were removed, it was time to get the seeds ready.

I have chosen a grass and flower mix for the meadow boarder (A UK native wildflower seed mix). The grasses are perfect for moths and butterflies and the wildflowers are great for bees and other pollinators. I mixed the packet of seeds with sand, and added some extra cornflower and foxglove seeds. I have even tried to be a little ‘arty’ and have sown a row of poppies at the front of the boarder. A little rake over and it was if I had timed it; the rain came in lightly to water the seeds in!

Over the winter I have been rooting cuttings from a wild dog rose bush I have at home. These were also planted today along the garden fence. It might be a couple of years before these are fully established, however they will be worth the wait.

Planting a tree this year was also high on my list. Today I planted a very pretty baby Weeping Willow in the corner of the garden. It’s a little late in the year to be planting trees but with the wet weather we’ve had I think we will be ok with this one. Its little leaves already starting to appear.

There is however one beautiful established black current bush in the corner of the garden. Its huge and I had thought about cutting it right back, but I'm gland I did'nt because its just about to burst into life with beautiful pink blossom, which is looking really pretty, sitting in the foreground to specular views up to the wild Tors of North Dartmoor.

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