Posted: 11/07/2014 at 00:19
Thanks so much for the kind comment, Gardeningfantic! Really appreciate it (especially when I simply see everything that needs to be fixed!). I hope that your garden rejuvenates soon, too.
Just an update, I've just bought a bunch of July / August flowering perennials from Crocus (hard to resist when they're on sale). I got a couple of varieties of salvias, some penstemons, alstroemerias, and phlox. I'm also going to try and get some bedding plants.
But mulling everything over, it suddenly occurred to me that I have not seen any worm casts recently round my beds, nor many worms (at all) when I dug the soil recently. I think the compaction has become a real problem, and perhaps I didn't mulch / dig in as much homemade compost as I should have at the beginning of the year. So I've bought some Levington's farmyard manure and will mix it with my compost, and just mulch about 4 inches or so around the beds - I can't dig it in with so many plants in the beds.
Hopefully that'll do the trick...