A new garden from the start
This is the story of the building of a new garden. It shows what goes into the landscaping and planting.
First, how the garden looked when we first visited in October 2010:
This is the passage at the side of the house. We aimed to transform it to create an inviting glimpse of the garden beyond and a practical space for bins and compost bays.
The patio is too small for outside entertaining. We will make it bigger, surround it with flowers and add a breakfast patio down the garden to catch the morning sun.
We will open up and frame the lovely long view out over the farmland beyond.
The borders are too narrow and overwhelmed by plants that have got too big. We will remove or prune these and increase the amount of space for ornamental plants. We will create all-year-round interest in the garden, without also creating too much work. We will make the garden look more spacious.
The groundwork - the first step in the transformation
It’s January 2011 and the New Year weather is just about good enough to make a start.
To create access to the back garden, we have cleared the passageway and lifted off the old patio slabs. Right now, it hardly looks like an improvement! That comes later!
We've taken out or pruned some shrubs on the left and removed the hedge across the garden. We are also replacing the cattle fence at the bottom of the garden.
It’s a scene of devastation. It’s hard to believe this muddy mess will become a beautiful garden in the spring. Exactly when depends on the weather. It's far too wet now to work on. Fortunately, the clients are seeing the positives, thank goodness – they say the garden already looks much bigger.
The soil has a high clay content, so consequently the water-retaining property of clay (often a good thing) has been working against us. It has taken about ten days for the soil to be just about workable.
Our first task has been to lay a concrete foundation for the wall at the end of the garden. The first picture shows the partially built wall, made of random limestone wallstone, set against a block background. (The latter being invisible from the garden - we don't know what the livestock in the field behind think of it.)
After a few more days, Nathan, our landscaper, has made good progress. The centrepiece of the wall is in and the smooth sitting slabs are on the top too. He has moved on to the "breakfast circle", so called because it's positioned to catch the morning sun
Cut to the finished result!
Next we had the dry spring. To cut a too long story short, a project that could have taken about four to six weeks was not finally finished until May. We could plant the borders, but not the lay the llawn until the rain came again.
Here is the side passage - very different now.
And here is the garden itself, showing the 'breakfast patio' and the 'sitting wall'.
The planting is complete and, in due course, will give year-round interest and pleasure.
Here is the larger patio in June:
We will see how the planting is coming along some time in August.