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First Blog...ever!


By mustang


Hi all and thanks making me feel welcome by taking the time to help me with my questions :). I hope everyone is well and enjoying the beautiful Autumn colours…and free chestnuts…as much as I am!

Well this is the first blog I have ever written so bear with me! Righto, I’ll tell you a little about me, my gardens and my plans to get going on ’em!

As for me, I grew up in the North East and West in the countryside, then went to Uni in East Anglia and then stayed in the area. For some reason or other I then spent 10 years commuting to and working in the city in the Insurance industry. Having had just as much as I could take without succumbing to a serious brain flap, I decided to quit the city in June this year and change my career to focus on that which I love most – the natural environment! I have long had an interest in self sufficiency and veg growing and have been trial and error gardening for about 8 years. This led me to decide to study again and I am currently undertaking an RHS course and hope to continue to progress through higher levels of study. I am hoping to become a gardener by trade (I already work on some gardens but only at a very basic level!). So far I can say that I have absolutely no regrets and would encourage anyone to quit an unhappy job and follow their dreams…!!

To fulfill my dreams completely I would love to have a small house with a couple of acres to have a smallholding with animals and veg (and that lovely pretty cottage garden that eveyone loves…..dream dream….ahhhh….!)

I have a small town back garden and an even tinier front garden – both of which are in dire need of renovation and some serious tlc! I also took on an allotment this year which has gone from lumpy rubbish dump unworked for 50 years…to something resembling a working allotment!! If I’m feeling brave I may post some photos of the allotment…but due to the time of year, theres not much to see yet!

I have just taken a large Lilac and a Beech sapling out of the front garden which has opened it up considerably (considering the main bed is only about 3 sqm!). I have added loads of organic matter and mulched it. Currently it contains a rather sad looking hydrangea or undecided colouring, a vigorous sage, 3 new lavender plants, chives and a lethargic looking thing which I am yet to identify…but it has rather nice leaves in summer!!!! lol!

There is also a side bed which is narrow and the only things that grow successfully in it so far are an Italian Parsley and..yes.. you guessed it…another plant which I am yet to identify which is prone to mildew (I may post piccies for help!). Other than that I have two containers which have, over the years held a number of pathetic, barely successful plants.

The main problem with the front garden is that it is almost always in shade and is very dry despite my attempts to keep it well watered (and probably polluted by the busy main road in front of the house) :(. So I’m going to put my thinking cap on in 2010 and try to do something serious about it!!

The back garden has been used mainly as a veg garden (only took on allotment this year) in the past but due to 6 years of defense against my digging and plant sampling dog it has become a bit like a slightly greener version of no-mans/dogs-land with an intriguing collection of wood and wire and string and nails…in fact, if I gave it a strange name and entered it for the Turner prize, it would probably stand a good chance as an expression of war in a modern society hahaha! Obviously the back garden needs a lot of work to get it looking pretty.(groan)

That aside, there are some good features that I wish to retain – it has a nice path and some shingled areas, a newish wee greenhouse and super compost bin that works a treat (caution, bin contents include a family of mice). I have a raised patio area that I intend to have as a focal point with containers and perhaps a bench. I also have a couple of crabapples (one of which may find it’s way to allotment), a lovely young apple tree (cox’s orange pippin), another vigourous sage, a beautiful lavendula officianlis (smells gorgeous and detracts from the whiff of the occasional dog pile!!!), a wild and crazy winter flowering jasmine and a number of yet unidentified plants that aren’t bad but could definitely look better.

The plan is this:
– have a word with dog about destructive acitivities
– take down dog defenses and clear veg patch and all other straggly plants
– remove any rubbish to tip and take spare wood/wire etc to allotment for use or swops with neighbours
– weed mat and shingle old veg area
– Put in new anti dog planting strategy…wait for it….yes, thats right….car tyre planters!!

I know from experience that dog won’t dig in the car tyre planters as its too much like hard work for her. Plan is to plant them up in various areas of the garden and use in place of beds – to disguise the ugly rubber I intend to plant in a small area around them (again too small to be successfully demolished by canine companion). Alternatively I may paint some of them in natural colours to blend in once the garden becomes more established.

Hopefully this will work – it will still leave plenty of room for hound and give myself and my hubby something much better to look at!


As for the allotment – well that can be another blog…and there may be photos Woop Woop!

Thanks for reading and I’ll try and post some piccies in the near future ;)

xx Mustang

More blog posts by mustang

Next post: Other people's gardens!



Well that was really interesting Mustang. Until the end I thought, for some reason that you were a man. Should have known better though because of all the work you take on - and you are going to be a professional gardener.
You certainly showed some courage in so completely changing your occupation - good for you.
Looking forward now to seeing some photos. Good luck with your studies.

12 Oct, 2009


Like Mad till the end I assumed you were male - because of the Mustang and boys toys! You sound very organised and determined. Hope you enjoy the RHS course. No shortage of gardening work available normally around here but my neighbours gardener said that the demand has tailed off a bit due to money being tight. But that wont last.It takes courage and determination to change careers so well done and good luck. Look forward to more blogs and pics on your progress.

12 Oct, 2009


hahaha - well I am a bit of a tomboy - but my husband puts up with it!!! Bless you both! I'm usually happy to do any kind of gardening work as I just love being out in the fresh air...and I'm really nosey so love having a look around other people's gardens!!! lol! I'll take the work as it comes and if it doesn't come, well, hey ho, I'll just have to wait until Spring :)

The RHS course has been brilliant so far and my tutor is really inspirational which helps! I would recommend anyone with an interest to indulge in a course.

x Mustang (the name is an old nickname that has stuck!)

12 Oct, 2009


Well done mustang keep up the good work.

12 Oct, 2009


I think you're very brave to change tack and do what YOU want to! Good on you! I do wish you luck with it all.

I'm looking forward to seeing your photos.

12 Oct, 2009


Well done you Mustang...follow your heart. Not sure your dog is going to listen to you when you have a cats turn a deaf ear when I shoo them off next door's rockery!
Your 2 gardens sound like they have everything squeezed in that you could need so good luck with all your hard work.

12 Oct, 2009


good for you mustang, nice to be living at least part of your dream becoming a profesional gardener, i wish you all the best for your future, :o) welcome to GOY from me

13 Oct, 2009


Gosh - this professional word is scaring me!!! nowhere near that yet...gotta do some serious study first!! lol! Cheers for the welcome Sanbaz


13 Oct, 2009


Hi Mustang hope you achieve a lovely garden for yourself and hubby to look out upon and good luck with your Rhs course, will you be growing fruit too on your allotment I see you have a coxs pippen already. I grow fruit in my small garden in containers mostly, I have rhubarb in tub with a logan berry, raspberries in the garden along with yellow berry guji berry, gooseberry, strawberries I grow in pots along with apple coxs , pear tree, plum and cherry which is for jam.

14 Oct, 2009


Wow - you certainly have a fruity garden :) It sounds delicious! I have never tried fruit in containers but it sounds like it works really well. (I'm rubbish with them as they always seem to dry out really quickly) My rhubarb has been middling along and not really doing well in my garden so I will transport it to the allotment next year and give it a nice pile of compost and manure to live in. Hopefully this will do the trick! My apple tree is still very young and we only had 6 apples from it this year, however, they were very tasty, so with some careful pruning I hope to achieve a better crop next year. I have just bought some gooseberry, raspberry and cultivated blackberry plants which will go on the allotment next year. Other than that I'm likely to grow some strawbs. Plenty of jam making for me too next year!! hahahaha


14 Oct, 2009


Thats good to hear your growing fruit, my cherry's I get loads, and I only have had 2 apples this year one last, gooseberries I get loads of and strawberries too, you can get apple trees that grow specially for pots and rhubarb, I always found it grew best at the bottom of the hill on my allotment.

14 Oct, 2009

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