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When a whole area looks dismal

last month

such as my gravel garden. This was the first space I planted on my allotment and is, in fact, a sort of microcosm of my entire garden strategy (ho ho). I generally sow or propagate most of my plants, which can take years. I may well have had a (vague)plan when I first decided to grow these plants, but by the time I have a bunch of stuff for planting, I have forgotten what it was. Plus, once a little plant is released into the wild, I have often had enough of them and have moved on to other things. A bit like teenagers. Anyway, even at the start, the gravel garden was a mish-mash and years later, it is honestly a mess of self-seeding thugs (acanthus, euphorbias, knautia), inappropriate or gigantic plants - an absolutely savage Scharlachglut rose which has also been colonised by honeysuckle on one side and a bloody massive cistus on the other, plus too many, badly placed salvias. Loads of other plants have come (and gone) but it is more like a sort of dreary shrubbery with weedy bits (although there are a couple of months when it looks OK).

I know I should take a picture but I am too mortified (plus, I have spent at least the last 4 years or so rushing past, head averted). Worse, I put a membrane down when I first planted it up and it is now a horrible shredded mess of unravelling plastic (it was that woven stuff) and is a nightmare to dig. I sort of know that carnage is re.quired but am going to have to lean on my fellow forum mates I was clueless when I planted it, 20 years ago and appear to be basically still clueless, 20 years on.

So yeah, photo promised. I am more or less just whining (although I do have a new 'dry garden' area which has potential). And much smaller, mannerly plants (so far) I am not invested in another gravel garden. However, it is now an unspeakable mess and I need help.

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