With the necessary bricks replaced, finally the tulip bulbs could be planted. The window boxes became a bit dusty during the repointing and need some attention and possibly replanting -
Out back, the rubble mountain continues to grow, though with the plasterers almost finished in the front room, it may have reached its summit - for now. Later, this area will be rebuilt as an extension to the flat ... but that's "later" -
Out front, though, quite a few hours went by as I happily planted the tulips, and winter pansies, here and there, keeping a photographic record of which went where (though, does it really matter...). Also the pansies indicate places where tulips are expected to appear -
Garden done - for now. Let's see what survives the winter, and the cat-toilet situation: for 20 years and more, during The Weedfield Years, they've looked upon it as their own -
It would be unfair to say that it's not what I planned. There was no plan, just a vision, a photo in a book with tiny plants spreading through the cracks in the paving, and greenery round the edges.
We went "with the flow" - a couple of trips to the garden centre, filling the car with plants - extravagant, yes, but when you're living through the renovation phase, some instant results, somewhere, are a necessity. The groundwork was a bit laborious, so adding Big Plants was a treat.
And the plants themselves turned out to be quite surprising. There are two "lollipop lilacs" (will they survive...), a tamarisk (not enough sun?), a small eucalyptus still in its pot, for out back eventually, a tall, thin yew in its pot (probably a mistake).
In the sunnier corner is Gertrude Jekyll, the beautiful rose; around it are cyclamens for now and primulas and forget-me-nots for spring, as well as pansies and violas for a bit of colour right now.
The grasses - pennisetum, miscanthus - were an impulse buy and a good idea.
A hydrangea, japanese anenomes, delphiniums (the slugs seem to love them), an astilbe (to be moved nearer the house; they don't mind shade) - and one of those lovely-leaved "forget-me-nots" - Brunnera - rescued from Tony's garden, via a sojourn in mine.
Agapanthus in the corner, still in its pot (perhaps to go out back, "later") from Sue.
Lavender, despite Tom's protestations - in the sunniest spot, and also in the sunnier window boxes, along with fuchsia and this'n'that, and those flourishing ferns.
Not to forget the remnants of bushy chrysanthemums, which I know from a tiny pot that's been in my garden for a couple of years, can grow enormous; perhaps they'll be moved to a window box...
Before leaving to find some lunch on the way back home, I stood for a long time just looking at it all, without a thought in my head. Isn't that the joy of gardening: in the changing of seasons, to be paying close attention to the jobs at hand, and to have done it all, for now, and put the tools away, and then to stand back and Just Look.
The earliest photo of the garden was taken in August (gosh only three months ago) - the weeds had been whacked, and the ferns put in place (so we thought) - but beneath that scattering of pea gravel and the regrowth of bramble and alkanet* lurked enormous roots, which hopefully have all been dug out - it looked like the craters of the moon for a while, and pitchforks were broken along the way. As for that pea gravel, it's been sifted into rubble bags: undoubtedly it was meant to keep the weeds down, but didn't do the job. The paving slabs, and a little TLC, will do better.
*"what is green alkanet good for? For some it's a weed - I let it grow around my pear tree but try not to let it spread about. It will grow where little else will, and the flowers are pretty and come in a long succession from spring to autumn: if you hack it back to the ground it will return, unperturbed. Finally, and most importantly, the flowers are popular with pollinators, just like its tamer relative lungwort (Pulmonaria).