Living a shady life

CoverWhen you think gardens, you think often of sunny, light bathed areas, filled with bright flowers, all the colours of the rainbow.

My garden does have these spots, but the vast majority of it is shady, and over the years in this house I’ve struggled to figure out how to bring colour into a shady garden.

Of course the library was the first place I headed. There must be plants who love the shade but also love showing off their colourful flowers or variegated leaves.

This book caught my eye, Success with Shade Loving Plants – success was what I wanted! Then, browsing the catalogue, I spotted this title and thought, ” this is a must”. Making the Most of Shade had an intriguing subtitle, ‘Growing a Fabulous Garden that Lightens up the Shadows’. I also checked out 200 tips for Gardening in the Shade , The Shady Border and I had a wee poke around an online library gardening resource via The Source , called Gardening, Landscape and Horticulture.

Until I started looking I didn’t realise there were so many books and other resources about shady gardens out there.

I felt I was really onto something now. So armed with new found knowledge, I’m planning a few changes, plotting through the colder months but nothing radical, just trying to inject some colour and interest, so that come spring and summer, the garden will be transformed into a place where it looks like someone cares.

Here’s hoping. I’m also going to try an idea I’ve had of growing sun-loving plants in pots, then moving them about into shady spots for a week or two, then back to the sun, just to see what happens.

Do you have favourite plants, garden styles, colours you love in your garden, or maybe plant combinations? Do share!

How DIY and flappy arms have hurt me

So I have decided this summer since I am poor but still reasonably able-bodied to do the exterior painting on my wee house. Luckily for me most of the house is brick  but the eaves and the barge boards (new word for today) were looking grim.

The problem with this is that I only have a two step ladder and  ‘tuck shop lady arms’ which do nothing to help sustain the movements of a  paint brush above my head! After six odd hours of this I was losing the will to live.  Today I am at work – and I ache. Don’t ask me to wave at you – I can not.  A grimace is all you get.

If you like myself are undertaking projects in Christchurch this summer then the library does have resources to help. It does pay to do your homework as there is nothing worse than being stuck in Bunnings trying to describe that you need paint for  “those woodie bits that your gutter are stuck to” to a bemused tradie!

We have the Home Improvement Collection that you can access 24/7 and print resources all on DIY.  Also of use upon reflection are items on weight training to make us all stronger –  personally I think I have done enough for one weekend – or at least until the second coat! Sigh.