Newcastle Photographer and Content Creator, Mandy Charlton, Always on a quest for adventure, often seen on buses, trains and planes. On a quest to be happier and healthier. Lives in Newcastle with her 3 cats, Iris, Maggie and Arthur. Loves good vibes, musicals and cakes. Full time professional wedding photographer in the north east of england alongside content creator on Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook

Monday, April 29, 2019

Spring in the small urban garden

night time in the garden, spring in the garden, Mandy Charlton, photographer, writer, blogger

Today marks the start of a new semi regular feature which is all about gardening and what's going on in my garden, I say semi-regular as I still get bored writing about the same things over and over but right now it's such a big part of my life having seen it's complete transformation over the last few months.

I've always loved gardening, when I met Paul, it was me who was the keen gardener, I'm one of those plant nerds although I can say right now I do not know all of them or their botanical names.  I think I just have one of those brains where I can't remember what I did yesterday but I can remember what a plant is called.

It's been a couple of months of hard work and I've done it all by myself, although Looby occasionally helps with planting or putting something together for me but it's probably the first project I've taken on since being single and where my vision has actually related to the end result.

My biggest irk currently is the paving and the fact that I actually have no idea what to do to it or pretty much, how to actually achieve that, and that's with all of the research time I've spent on Pinterest looking at ideas.

Lighting in the garden is really important to me and I've spent next to no money on any of it, I really did have countless sets of fairy lights of all different types (solar, mains, battery) in my garden and home previously.  There are still areas that need more twinkly bits I feel but I think I've gotten to a point where if it was all completely finished I would have nothing to plan when I'm pottering around of an afternoon.

The big stuff, the heavy stuff, that's all done apart from the aforementioned paving and a Juniper tree which started as a bonsai, then stood in front of an ugly area and is now completely out of place and blocking out all of the light to a red camellia which I think would flourish if it were removed but whilst I still have the searing burning hot pains in my neck I don't think removing a 5 year old tree which I'm mostly allergic too is a great idea.

My garden has been done on a really low budget, I've used Facebook groups, I've begged, borrowed and stolen things from my house to be repurposed in the garden.  The string moon chairs are expensive everywhere apart from TJ Hughes where I randomly found them selling them singularly for £24.99 each, I wanted hot pink, Looby chose grey but it is her garden too.  The cheap water feature is made of solid plastic, also from TJ Hughes, it's weird and I wouldn't recommend it, it empties itself at random moments and i've no idea where the water goes to but until I can save a couple of hundred for the water feature I actually want, it's just nice to have the sound of running water as I sit in the arbour.

Rachel suggested at lunch yesterday that I get another arbour, not one to sit in but one half way up the path to grow fragrant climbers like Jasmin and honeysuckle and I have to agree, it's something I want to add in the future and then perhaps I could hang some pretty lanterns from it to shine in the nights.

As you can see from the last image, I still have plenty of room for new plants, although that is the shady side of the garden so it's getting plants to suit the conditions, we used to have a Gunnera in there near the Rhubarb (they're from the same family) until Petunia the husky came and thought it was tasty and so told Holly Bobbins she should eat it too, that was the end of Gertrude!

I really want a hardy palm too but so far I've only seen cheap ones in pairs and I definitely do not have room for 2 palm trees in my garden!

May in the garden marks the transition from spring to summer with the bedding plants finally able to go outside when the risk of frost has passed, I cannot wait to get some big blousy colours going on and I plan to spend every moment I'm not working pottering around and enjoying my garden.


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