Monday, 1 August 2011

A long standing project

I don't post much about my the non spiky parts of my garden. This is partly due to my spiky focus and partly due to the fact that it is not worth posting about. This weekend I finally got around to trying to finish off a seating area that has been an ongoing project for years.  My garden is a very odd shape; being an end plot in an  A shaped estate, it is a triangle.  So not only is it not very long (only 12m) but is is also half the size of a normal rectangular garden the same length. This means the bottom third of the garden is very narrow and it was basically a  choice between making it one large plant bed, or using it for something else.

My OH and I are both big fans of Morocco and so we thought it would make a good inspiration for a seating area.  A few years back I built a walled area, with a raised bed and two seats.  I found this photo which shows the areas and the rest of the garden.

The garden has changed a lot since then, not least the slow change from more fluffy plants to my spiky friends. One thing that hasn't changed is that neither of the gardens either side are used. You can imagine my thoughts as I look at these long gardens, both rectangular, and only left unloved.

Anyway the original idea for the seating area,  was to tile the walls and floor using bright coloured tiles and to build a pergola over the top from which we could hang a sail or tent to provide shade. The pergola went up last year, but we were still struggling to find decent tiles for the rest.  As well as tiling the floor of the actual seating area, we needed to do a path into it.  The narrow part of the grass has been destroyed by our dog, who charges up and down this bit to defend her territory. Here it was a few months back, looking at its all time worst.

It was now obvious the area needed to be sorted, but at the same time we have decided to move. Knowing we are going to sell the house, made me think that I would probably have to re-do the garden to make it more suitable; for a start I was going to have to dig up the dry bed and replace all my prized plants with something anyone can care for.  Plus I am not leaving them behind when I move, no doubt  this will be the topic of a future post. So I have been slowly working my way around the back replanting the beds in a way that hopefully will be good for the future residents.

Part of this re-vamp has been to decide what to do with the seating area. I needed to come up with a cheaper way of finishing it, as the tiles were now not going to happen.  So in the end with the limited budget we decided to deck the area and that's what I spent the weekend doing.

I had hoped to have the decking finished and the seat put back in again. It was all going so well until we got to three boards from the end.  There I was thinking I had planned it perfectly,  the offcuts were the perfect length to finish the job, until we went to measure the 3rd from last board and found it was 2cm to short!  Looking around I realized that was it, we could put the other boards in place but would have to return to the shop to get one more board and couldn't do that until next week. 

While it was a shame not to finish, at least most of the work has been done.  I used the rest of the time  to start the edging that will run the whole way around the flowerbeds and to clear the last bed ready for planting.

The cycad is another one of my prize plants.  It is about half way through its latest flush, so can't be moved until the leaves harden.  Once that has happened, the pot will be moved so that last bit of bed can be planted up.  I also have to re-seed the top part of the lawn, to get it back into shape, hopefully stopping the dog from ruining it again.

While the new planting may not be spiky, I will make the most of the posts and batons on the fence to hang pots from.  With all that extra space I may be able to move the pots off the raised bed I posted about earlier.  I know one person that would be very happy if there were no pots perched on walls ready to be knocked off!.


  1. Oh the word that strikes fear in my heart....MOVE...scary. Do you know where you will go?

  2. Ah, music to my ears: no pots perched on walls.

    Pots in our garden are much like lemmings (and about as numerous), they seem to have an uncontrollable urge to jump to their death, resulting in smashed terracotta and plant innards smeared across the patio.

  3. DG: I will do a full post on the planned move, but I had never thought about the implication my spiky obsession may have on the logistics of moving house!

    Titchy: I had to laugh at the description of the pots of lemmings! But not the plant innards being smeared across the patio. Who knows there may even be less pots on the walls by now!