Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places. Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger. Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Monday, June 10, 2019

June, in my small urban garden

june in mandy charltons small urban garden in newcastle upon tyne, photographer, blogger, urban gardener


Flaming June is my favourite of all of the months, especially when it is flaming, my small urban garden is not only growing but some of the plants, after all of the rain we've had lately, seem to be growing like triffids!  I also remember that I fed them with Baby Bio the last time I watered them before the rainy period came so I'm guessing that has something to do with it.  Even though I only put 1 small fuschia and a trailing tomato plant in each hanging basket, they're both about to explode over the sides and that makes Mandy a happy gardener.

I was worried this week that the slugs and snails had eaten away my contained potatoes but when I emptied out the container I found enough new potatoes to feed Looby and me for a couple of dinners!  What actually happened though was that the potatoes were so good that Looby ate about 3 portions after coming in from the stables.  We had one amazing dinner and I swear, they were the best potatoes I've ever eaten.
june in mandy charltons small urban garden in newcastle upon tyne, photographer, blogger, urban gardener

I've already had my first harvest of rocket and my second batch is just about ready to greedily gobble up in a big salad.  Is it just me or is there anything more satisfying than growing things you can actually eat.  Don't worry though, I love my flowers way too much to completely replace them.

As time goes on in the garden, I realise just how bad the planting previously was, the collection of plants which would be better in mansions or gardens much bigger than mine.  There's even a compost plant which was helpfully planted and I hate the blooming thing, it has zero points to it and though I have tried to pull it out, it just keeps coming back.  Don't even get me started on the Japanese anemone, it's so monstrous it would be better off in the Little Shop of Horrors, suffice to say, it's living on borrowed time and will be the first plant I remove when it dies back in autumn.
june in mandy charltons small urban garden in newcastle upon tyne, photographer, blogger, urban gardener

Now I'm definitely not claiming to be some kind of gardening guru but I think it's really important in a small garden not to buy, borrow or receive gifts of enormous garden swallowing plants.  each inch is precious after all so it has to be planted correctly.

The bane of my life, aka, the self-emptying water feature finally went to the great water feature heaven in the sky today to be replaced by an 80 litre half barrel style nature pond, I used the pump from the old one, I bought a pot which was £50 and I thought was going to cost £40 because Dobbies had 20% off for their club card holders and when it went through the till for 50p, the assistant and I nearly fell over, it turns out that they're selling off tons of stuff after taking over the local garden centre from Wyevale so go me, with a pond that cost 50p!

Now, I have to admit that I know very little about water gardening so I went the easy way and bought a marginal planted basket which was already prepared, I'm going to add a water lily next and it's probably big enough for fish but I think we're going to try and attract frogs and toads to the garden so I need to find some big rocks so that they can get in and out of the pond and also bask in the sunshine, assuming that's what frogs do, I haven't a clue!
june in mandy charltons small urban garden in newcastle upon tyne, photographer, blogger, urban gardener

I also managed to get a Bay tree which should have been £60 for just £12, again, get yourself to Dobbies if they've just taken over Wyevale as there are definite bargains to be found.  I really only wanted it because I needed something to stand behind the pond which would cover up some dead space, I recycled the bottom tub from the old water feature, cut a hole in the bottom for drainage and then covered it with a few pieces of slate, put in some new compost and repotted the Bay pyramid, I think it's going to be very happy where it is and I've recreated what looks like a natural environment for a pond.  All in all, I'm delighted with the progress, I just wish it would stop raining long enough to enjoy it, one thing is for certain, this summer doesn't seem at all like it's going to be the scorcher that we had last summer although I'm hopeful, I'm always hopeful.




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