I started the garden facelift by ignoring the main problems in the garden and only changing the things that I had a chance to change in the short time I could fit in around Uni and other activities that I had arranged.
The main beds in the garden are quite overgrown and the ones that are not overgrown are so solidly compacted that there are not even weeds growing in them. The bed outside the kitchen/dining room doors is bounded on one side by a small conifer hedge, on another by a well established lavender bush, the garden fence on another and the front of the bed is the raised wall holding the bed in place. It also has a tree in the front fence side corner. This bed has nothing else in it except a fairly sickly looking honeysuckle that has nothing to climb up so it laying on the ground.
To alter the bed would have taken too much time so I have resorted currently to using it as a support (and a location providing shade) for a series of potted plants. Some of these have been trusted to me by my mother and others have been gained from shopping trips and one or two are actually grown from seed by myself.
I have had much luck growing a 'ground covering' succulent which was originally transferred from my mothers garden, this has also produced 'cuttings' very very easily much to my pleasure, though the main plant needs to go into the ground soon before it envelops the pot it is in entirely! But most of my early plant acquisition was based around gaining herbs for use in the kitchen since I am a keen cook and like to be able to use fresh herbs in my cooking. So far I have managed to gain mint, chives, parsley, rosemary, lemon balm and feverfew. My mother is one of the only people I know of who can kill mint, she is so successful at this that she cannot grow it even if she is trying to, luckily it seems that I have not fallen foul of this trait much to my appreciation.
Over the early summer keeping the pots alive was a hard job since the heat that we had required getting up extra early every morning to water the plants before heading to Uni for the day and then watering them again when returning in the evening. Since over the main part of the summer I travel back to my parents house so that I can work for their company, my pots came on a road trip back home with me so that they could be watered and would survive the summer. This plan seems to have proved fruitful and the plants have returned with me in time for the start of a new Uni year and who knows this year some of them may even be being moved up out of the pots into the ground! In preparation for this the tree has been cut back considerably (it is less than a third of its initial size) and the bed has been forked and some compost (donated by my nan) has been added to put some nutrients back into the soil. The compost was fairly acidic so it will be a while till the herbs actually get put into the bed but at least the ground work has been started :P (excuse the pun)...