Last week I saw to it, that everything in my garden is prepared for winter. My precious dwarf peach trees have been wrapped up against the cold, the young apple trees also got some wrapping around their thin stems.
My little garden (as I call it, in truth it is just the tiny pieces of land that border the terrace of our ground level flat) also consists of a rosary. What a grand term to use for this strip, that lines the entrance to the house, running from the street along the side of our terrace. The small, groundcovering roseshrubs have been there, when I moved here. I guess, they have been planted when the housing was built, as I see them around many of the buildings in our street. They are actually very pretty, blooming all summer in a bright pink, so I left them in. Adding many tulips around them, to fill the gaps in spring. As they looked a bit forlorn, just the ten or so roses on the otherwise bare ground. For summer foliage I had turned the strip into my herb garden, planting lots of lavender, marjoram, thyme, oregano, sage, various mints and laurel. Half of the plot is backed by an ugly concrete wall supporting our terrace. So I grew sweet peas, to cover most of it. But after three years of sweet peas on the same spot, the results this year were rather poor. Plus, against the wall, there have been two shrubs, which actually have very pretty, lime coloured, feathery leafs, but I wanted them out. As they stole much room and light from the roses. And my turbo pruning hadn’t made them look any nicer, so far.
So I planned and thought up technical solutions for this part of the garden. I actually wanted another raised bed against the wall. However, after pondering the technicalities for a few days, I decided against the idea alltogether. After all, this part is meant to be the official and somewhat decorative entrance to the house. Shoving a vegetable plot up everyones nose might be a bit offending. So I decided to first take the shrubs out (which I planted to the front of the garden, where I had gotten rid of thorny bushes earlier this autumn) and then look further. Digging up the shrubs, I noticed the poor quality of earth underneath the thin layer of topsoil once again. So I dug out the rubble and sand as deep as I could until hitting concrete. And put my riper half of compost in, to better the ground, covering all with the rubbish again for the time being.
Looking at the plot as it is now, the solution presented itself immedieately. I will plant three climbing roses against the wall in spring. To their front I might plant a few peonies. And more of what already is in the neighbourhood: herbs and tulips.
Actually, now I can’t wait for spring to follow through with my plan. It is awful to think of the long stretch of time without any garden acitivities ahead of me. I just took the last pictures of blues and reds in my garden when last night the first, big snowflakes fell. Thus, I noticed my last flower pot out on the terrace, already covered with some snow, to be rescued and put inside to wait out the following months in the warmth with me. This morning I woke to the weird, yet familiar sounds of shovels scratching snow off the walkways all around and look out of the window into winter.