Secret Garden Part 2: The Reckoning


If you are in rented accommodation please do check in with your landlord before carrying out any work like this.

So the weather this spring was not entirely conducive to gardening. There were one or two days of sunshine where I dutifully weeded the bricked patio area only for the weeds to come back in full force when the rain came. Weeding is a true Sisyphean task and standing by the window listening to suitably sombre music while watching the rain pour down I began to feel like this garden project was never going to see a result.

However the forecast for this last long weekend was promising so last Friday evening after work Dave and I made our way out to B&Q courtesy of Dave’s Mum, thank you Angela, and picked up two rolls of weed control mesh and four bags of bark chip. The bark chip was on special offer so we got four bags for €25 and the mesh was €7.40 a roll.

I wasn’t exactly sure what my plan for the garden was but I had some vague ideas and one of these was to give up on the idea of pretending that the collection of weeds, buttercups and thistles could ever be tamed into anything resembling grass. Even when we have trimmed this right back the stalks are too tough to make sitting on a blanket comfortable. As I want the garden to be a comfy space my idea was to get rid of the weeds and replace it with bark chip. I love idea of creating a fake woodland area and bark chip is cheap which fits in with my very low budget.

I was afraid of seeking out too much advice in case wiser heads would tell me this was a bad idea but I did run it by my Mum and her thinking was that as long as we dug down deep when we were turning over the sod we should be ok. This is a temporary solution as we may not have this house next year but if I owned this garden I would definitely put more planning in to the project.

Saturday morning dawned glorious so we were out early to start. We cleared out some rubbish from the garden, found the corpses of three old Christmas trees and again I cursed Dublin City Council for getting rid of the tree collection point that had been conveniently right around the corner from our house. I had a fork and Dave had the shovel so while I broke the surface and loosened things up he turned over the sods of earth and weeds. Let’s just say we were naïve about how much work this would take and by the time two thirds of the garden was turned over and evened out ready for the mesh and chips we were wrecked. Kneeling on the ground and spreading out the chips was almost too much for us.

When we were done for that day, collapsed too tired to move we each clutched a well- deserved beer ( thank all the gods for the ready availability for GF beer in my area) and surveyed our work.

We still have one third of the garden to deal with and Dave is trying to persuade me to leave a little wilderness area between the trees / giant overgrown shrubs at the back so I am trying to figure out a way to make that work. The next step will be a wee bit of planting, possibly in planters rather than making beds in the garden. It feels good to have made a start as now we are committed to seeing it through rather than leaving it moulder for another year.

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