Getting Back Into The Garden

Before we had the kids Sam and I would spend a lot of time in our garden. When we bought our house back in 2009, apart from a greenhouse and a ton of terrocotta pots, all we had was grass. It was the perfect blank canvas and we spent the next few years working on it together.

When we discovered we were expecting Wilf, who was due in May 2012, one of the first things Sam said to me (obv after the excitement!) was "oh, you're going to be rubbish in the garden in the Spring." I'm sure what he really meant was that he was just going to miss having a green fingered side kick but, if I'm honest, I've been a bit rubbish in the garden ever since!

Sam is a true gardener, he's knowledgable about it, takes time to read, research and plan and does genuinely have that special knack. So as home life (and work) has absorbed me, he's well and truly earned his spot as head gardener.

Don't get me wrong, I've dabbled a bit over the last few years (and I'm well and truly on board with the allotment) and of course I've enjoyed the abundant fruit and flowers each Summer. BUT I've decided it's time to get back out there! New year's resolution?! Yes perhaps it is, but it's one I'm determined to see through until at least the late Autumn when the last of the Dahlias fade again.

We spent a good few hours out there last weekend and, as I raked the leaves that covered the boarders and dug up weeds, I decided on a few little projects I want to get done. I thought I'd share them with you here in case you fancy giving them a go too:

  1. Dedicate a small patch to the kids that they can have as their own. We had this idea when they were much younger and imagined how much fun it would be to let them choose, care for and harvest their own fruit, veg and flowers. They're now old enough to give it a go and I'm excited to sit with them both to chat about what their 'favourites' are and help them to plan it. 
  2. Rebuild our bug hotel. We were given one of these a few years ago but I noticed over the weekend that it needs a bit of renovation work. I'm sure it's something the kids would love to get involved with too. 
  3. Start a nature journal. I picked up this idea from a lovely blogger called Polly, who I had the pleasure of meeting last Summer at the Sisterhood camp. A simple but lovely idea to record sightings and adventures out in nature. Whether that's through drawing, writing or photos, I'm sure it'll be a lovely thing for us all to look back on one day. 
  4. Take part in this year's RSPB BIG Garden Bird Watch. Wilf and I loved doing this last year and he still remembers sitting on comfy chairs by our patio last January, with a clipboard and pencil ready to tick off when birds landed in our garden. Despite not seeing one, for a WHOLE hour, he still talks about it and was delighted when the spring birds finally arrived. This year it's being held over 28-30th January, the idea is for people to choose an hour during this time to record bird life in their garden. If you fancy joining in you can find out more here
  5. Encourage birds and wildlife into the garden. There's loads of ways this can be done, from the obvious such as leaving feed out for the birds to planting wildlife friendly plants and creating mini habitats and hideaways. There are some great resources out there which I plan to tap into and I'll share here along the way. And finally, 
  6. Find a nice comfy bench to enjoy it all from! We have a lovely metal bench at the moment but it's not the comfiest and to be honest, is now a bit battered and rusty, so I'll be on the look out for something to spruce up. I'm sure it'll make the perfect spot for a morning cuppa or evening drink.

I'd love to hear if you have any garden projects that you're planning on tackling this Spring and, if you have kids, how you encourage them to get involved too.