Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Come And See The Garden, pt 1

Before we start, I'd better mention that the photos were taken a couple of weeks ago when I first intended to write this post and things have come on since then. I can't take any new ones today, or for the foreseeable future, as a) my camera has gone for a service and b) it's pouring with rain.

We'll start in the space behind the garage.

Believe it or not (as I'm having difficulty believing it myself!) I actually assembled the wooden compost bin without any help - that sounds so easy. However, I'd completely underestimated the effort this build required, but repeated bouts of fighting with the wooden pieces together with a few rests and lots of coffee and cake and somehow it's finished and shows no signs of collapsing. I chose this one because of the simple (!) slot together build, but I hadn't considered that the strength and rigidity of the structure was achieved by the tight fit of the individual pieces and I struggled with the final slot on each level. It's in use and if it collapses now, I'm buying a plastic one!

Next to the compost bin are the wheelie bins and the water butt. The green bin will be returned to the council as I don't pay for the green collection and the other two wheelie bins (once they've been cleaned) will be kept in the garage as this will be a lovely place to sit, but that can't happen until I get rid of the gravel that's currently bagged and stored in the garage. One idea is to train a plant to grow against the garage wall and along the side fence, and to have the bench in front of it. That's for the future though. The water butt still needs some attention. It was right in the corner before the paving was installed and now that it's been moved the connection from the drainpipe keeps breaking. It's decision time before I invest in getting it sorted as it may be best to replace it with a bigger one.

The bed you can see in the photo has now been planted with donated cosmos plants, courtesy of one of my pupil's grandma, which will provide some colour for this year. In the front of the bed I've planted some phlox (pink flowers), and over on the other side there is a camellia (white flowers). I plan to throw some perennial seed mix in this bed to fill up the space at the back and then sit back and see what happens!

I arranged for a friend of a friend who specialises in trees to have a look at the crab apple tree and it is now staked to try to straighten the trunk. I think it looks a bit extreme but he is confident that it will be effective so, although I ignored the other gardener's advice about the clematis (more about that later!), I'll heed his advice about the tree. For now!  

In the bed with the tree are some grasses (planted in their pots, following a suggestion by Laydkis) - carex 'ice dance' and scirpus cernus for now, although I think it unlikely I'll need any more once these have grown. There are also snowdrops and crocosmia bulbs planted around the stones. I just have to put the bark down to finish this bed for now, but will be adding more bulbs in the future. Amy suggested that I use gravel but I want a change and also thought that it might be too much stone all around.

There are also a couple of pink phlox plants and two different varieties of thyme. The phlox isn't doing too well in this bed so I bought the pinks you can see in the photo and which are now planted near the back fence so that the (eventual) sweep of colour across the garden won't be broken if the poorly plants don't recover.

I've now settled on reusing the pebbles to fill the gap around the edge of the paving.  I've done half of it but have to wait until I can get to the rest of the pebbles which are still in bags in the garage. The rain is doing a good job of cleaning them and they look a lot better.

We're going to have a working garden party to sort out the gravel, currently packed in rubble sacks that are way too heavy for me, or any of us feeble females, to move without hurting ourselves - they were packed and stacked by my young, strong nephew! Anyway, the plan is to split the contents of each bag between two or more sacks and move them out of the garage. I need some to finish off the front garden and two friends and a neighbour are taking what they want. The rest will be advertised free to collector - there's no point trying to sell it as there have been quite a few adverts for gravel lately, all free to collector. 

That's it for today ... part 2 to follow later in the week.


  1. They say that the bones of any garden are the most critical ... it looks like your bones are shaping up very nicely. Free is sometimes the best price to get the results you want.

  2. Looking really fantastic - very promising, Eileen.
    J x

  3. Yes, this is great. It must be wonderfully liberating to plan a garden from scratch!