Blogtober 2023 : Day 8

It’s finished!

Oh thank goodness, I can’t tell you how pleased I am to have the veg boxes turned flower border finished at last!

The sun was shining on me this morning as I got my washing out – look at that blue sky!

Blue sky above washing on a line

There wasn’t too much to do from when I left the border yesterday – the main thing was to finish off the small pebble pool that I had started making yesterday by cutting up an old water barrel.

It didn’t take long to make sure that it was level all round and then I could fill it up.

A spirit level balanced across the base of an old water barrel cut to make a small pond. The pond is being filled up with water

I had already cut the top of the barrel so that it would fit inside the bottom half …

The top part of a water barrel cut to fit inside the bottom section being used as a small pond

and I’d done this because I wanted something that would help to support the mesh that I needed to put across the hole – pebbles can be heavy and I didn’t want to have fill up the whole of the bottom of my little pond because I want to put a pump in there next year and I’ll need water to be available for that to run.

You can see how the mesh is resting on lip from the upturned top of the water barrel and the black plant top is to stop the mesh from falling into the pond with the weight of the pebbles.

A black plant pot in the base of a green plastic pond, covered with mesh

I bought a bag of white pebbles from the local DIY store – I think in my head I’d planned something a bit more natural-looking, but they look nice enough now they’re in the pool.  The only thing is that they were covered in a white powdery, sticky residue – I suppose I should really have given them a wash before I put them in the pool but I didn’t, and hopefully the residue will sink!

Large white pebbles in a green plastic pond.  The water is cloudy.

In fact, it didn’t take too long for the water to start to clear …

Large white pebbles in a green plastic pond.  The water is clearing.

The pebbles looked a bit more sparse then I’d wanted, to be honest.  Or perhaps I’d cut the bottom of the barrel too big – but I absolutely wasn’t going to take it out to try to make it smaller!  I think that when I am ready to put the pump in (there’s no point in doing it over the winter if the water is going to freeze as it might damage it) I might buy another bag of white pebbles, but in the meantime I found some in a plant pot that I’ve obviously used for another garden feature at some point and I put those in too.  You can’t see so well as the water is still a bit cloudy, but they’re lovely colours and I hope that once the water is clear again they’ll look really nice.

Small beach pebbles in amongst large white pebbles in a green plastic pool

After that, it was time to plant the rest of the plants and put the bulbs in.  Most of the plants in this new border have either come from the other garden borders or I’ve bought them when they’ve been on the discounted stand at the DIY store or supermarkets – I’ve got some really good deals!

Droplets of water on furry silver Stachys leavesGreen leaves of a calla lily planted in a garden border

The Stachys at the top (don’t those furry leaves look lovely with water droplets on them?) is one that I grew from seed a few years ago and it’s been big enough to split, and the Calla lily below was half price at Aldi because it looked like it was on its last legs.  I let it soak in a bucket of water for a couple of days and it’s looking pretty healthy now, so I am delighted!

I got a bit carried away ordering bulbs – for plants that aren’t on the discounted stands, I buy them from Thompson & Morgan, Hayloft Plants and You Garden at the moment – and I’ve been buying bulbs that I wanted to grow when I spotted them for months.  I’ve got narcissi, tulips, crocus, Camassiaand more Allium than I can shake a stick at with some bearded iris on the way … I think this is the first time in years I’ve managed to plant them remotely on time, too!

Bulb packets lying on the soil of a garden border

Hattie wanted to help …

A calico cat is looking at some bulbs dropped on the grass

but we decided that not having opposable thumbs was going to make it a little difficult so she went to play in the long grass instead.

Finally, I covered the whole area with chipped bark – I found five bags of it at the bottom of the garden from when I’d been using the shredder and I was very glad to see it!  It will hopefully help to keep Hattie off the new border, and it’s another layer of protection for the bulbs and plants in there over the winter.  I’ve got a couple of plants from South Africa (Dierama and Tulbaghia) which I’m in two minds whether I should have kept them in pots to take into the greenhouse, but because the border is behind a hedge and with an extra layer of mulch, I’m hoping they will be OK.

I think I finished just in time – that sky doesn’t look quite so bright now, does it?!

Grey sky above a washing line

And that’s it – ta dah!  It’s taken me months – maybe I could have got it all done faster if I’d pushed everything else to one side to get it done, but I didn’t, and now I just have to wait for everything to grow and fill out in the spring.  It all looks a bit patchy with tiny plants in a big space but I know that once the growing season starts again, everything will take off – and I can’t wait to see it!  It’s going to be so much nicer than looking at overgrown vegetable boxes and feeling guilty that I’m not using them!

A garden border with a small pebble pool



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14 Responses

  1. Glenys Riggs says:

    Please be careful with a lily if you have a cat. They are lethal to cats. Sorry, wish this was better known every year there are deaths when people don’t know.

    • winwickmum says:

      I do know that lilies are poisonous to cats and we always keep cut flowers away from where they’re likely to be in the house. I hadn’t thought about calla lilies outside, though. I’ve had them in the garden for years and our previous cats weren’t interested in them, but I’ll keep an eye on Hattie to make sure that she’s not getting too close – at the moment, she’s more interested in the cat mint! Thanks for reminding me xx

  2. Rachel says:

    Your little pebble pond is so cute! It sounds like you’ve had a productive weekend in the garden, I bet you are looking forward to spring ready to see it all bloom!

  3. I am totally impressed with your green thumb. My knitting is much better. lol

  4. Caz says:

    Love the little pond!
    It looks like it’s going to be a fabulous bed once everything starts growing and filling out 🥰
    It’s lovely here today so I should get out and do some tidying but…….

  5. Susan Rayner says:

    It is a lovely flower bed and will look gorgeous next year when everything has grown and filled out a bit – but so nice to have the promise of a flower bed now. Love the pond – that is a brilliant bit of upcycling.
    Back to the knitting now. xx

  6. Caroline Darrah-Morgan says:

    Looking great! I leave my dierama and tulbaghia outside over winter and they’ve been fine so far – Herefordshire, so you might be a bit colder, but we went down to -14 last winter.

  7. Helen says:

    My Stockport garden is ready for you to come and practise those skills……

  8. Jan says:

    You’ve achieved so much!! In my opinion the pebble pond looked even nicer when you added some in that had colour, so if you do decide to buy more, I think go coloured ones.
    I’m doing a catch up of your posts at the weekend and am very much enjoying your blogtober. Thank you

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