My Garden Shame

We’ve all got them.

Areas of the garden that are unsightly, where we keep the wheelbarrow or that spare roll of chicken wire or the compost bins (not that there’s anything wrong with compost bins), or perhaps that area that we just can’t get quite right or that we always mean to get on top of but somehow it keeps eluding us …

I have one of those areas. I briefly mentioned it last September at the end of a post, but the spectre hasn’t risen since. However, it stays with me. No matter how much work I put into other areas, this one particular spot is like a speck of gravel in my shoe. Although I doubt it’ll ever become a pearl.

You see, the last third of my garden is generally left to fend for itself. There’s an apple tree. There’s a buddleia. There used to be a vigorous passionflower until my asshat neighbour dug it up (admittedly, I don’t know who dug it up, but I know). There’s a whole lot of nettles. There is also the back of the shed.

The front of the shed provides perhaps half of a fence line that crosses the garden. The other half is a gate-and-fence. This side of the gate is garden proper. The other side is the wilderness. But behind the shed lies my shame.

Like all good shames, its baggage that is predominantly caused by other people yet I’m the one left with it. You see, the area behind the shed became something of a dumping ground. When we first saw the house, I thought it was simply a bit of a compost heap – mostly grass clippings. However, last year proved me wrong.

Old plant pots.

Polystyrene sheets.


Flattened cardboard boxes.

Bits of old toy.

Old Sellotape (presumably remaining from the old boxes).

And assorted other non-biodegradable paraphernalia.

I’ve had a few plans for the area, but nothing really seems right. Last summer when I dug up the masses of daylilies I put them behind there. The sweet rocket that I removed from the main border due to caterpillar infestation was replanted there (and doing rather well this year). In the autumn a few cuttings of catmint and lady’s mantle were put there in the hope of forming a carpet that would deny cats a pooping opportunity (like you would not believe).

However, this year I’ve mostly ignored it. With fairly predictable results.

2014-04-11 15.32.59

But an hour or so of weeding – did I mention the goosegrass? – and the addition of the last few evening primrose plants seems to have halted the hordes for a short time …

2014-04-11 16.16.33

In case you’re wondering, what looks like a twig stuck in the ground on the left there is a black walnut (Juglans nigra) that did nothing last year and may well not do anything this year either (luckily I have a ready supply of saplings that makes replacement fairly simple if its necessary!).

I think that I’ll end up getting a few packets of mixed wildflower seed to throw down in a weed-suppressing effort – as long as they’re varieties that will freely self-seed. Maybe I’ll get a few seedboms

Wildflower Selection 4 Pack by Kabloom

Wildflower Selection 4 Pack by Kabloom

So that’s all almost all the things that my mum sent me planted. Just the winter honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima) to go in somewhere, and the peppermint-scented geranium cuttings to go into a bigger pot!



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