Overnight the first snow of 2017 has fallen. Only a skittering but nevertheless enough to send the garden birds flocking to the bird table for food this morning.
Ahead lie the coldest months. January, February and March in La Corrèze, France usually brings freezing temperatures and snow. Even as I write this the sky has darkened and a few snowflakes have begun to fall.
What Mother Nature will bring us is unknown, but for the first three months of the New Year, with the ground frozen, there will be little I can do in the garden other than clear up (more) leaves, get brambles back under control and keep the flower beds tidy. For the next few months instead of using my body, I’ll be using my head to plan the gardening year ahead.
This year, with my borders bulging and perennials in desperate need of splitting and relocating, I’ve taken the decision to reclaim our front garden. For the six years we’ve lived here, the front garden has been used for our vegetable plot; when we moved here it was the easiest area to tame! However, it’s time to move forward and the plan for this year is to create a formal front garden. Having never done formal before this will certainly be a huge challenge for me!
It still have purple sprouting broccoli and my autumn planted garlic growing in the vegetable patch, but come May, once they have both been harvested, work will commence.
I plan to create a central feature with a pathway leading from the front gate, round the feature and up to our front door. Around the edges of the walled garden I’m going to create symmetrical borders edged with box. In these borders I will then plant some wildlife friendly shrubs and the perennials that need splitting from the back garden. That’s the plan anyway, though as I can’t resist having bulging flower beds, I suspect that what I’ll end up with is formal with a touch of cottage; a sort of shabby chic!
And what about our potager? The plan is to create a new one in an area at the back of one of our barns which is currently only used to hang washing! It’ll be a big task; rocks and rubble from our house renovations will need to be moved and raised beds created in their place. Will this be done in time for planting this year? At the moment I’m not optimistic. Both my husband and I work full-time leaving only the weekends free. With ongoing house renovations to also fit in, I think that this year I’ll just be growing what I can in my greenhouse.
If we don’t get the potager relocated in time, I’ll certainly miss not eating freshly picked vegetables, but I’ve learned over the years that you have to make sacrifices (sometimes big, sometimes small) to make things better for the future. C’est La Vie!
I’d love to know what plans you have for your garden for 2017, so please do leave your comments in the box below.
Wishing you all a wonderful and happy 2017.