Tuesday 3 June 2014

Now I remember why I love succulents

Today I am fondly remembering the days when my gardening consisted of  pulling up the odd weed, and removing dead leaves.  Planting was easy in the gravel and most importantly there was NO DIGGING!

You may have guessed that the digging and levelling at the side of the patio has progressed with mixed fortunes, surely it shouldn't take that long to double dig such a small area, should it? I'm not sure what hurt more the repetitive lifting or the judder every time the fork hit a bit of concrete (of which there was lots). I obviously jinxed it mentioning yesterday that it was not too bad. I should probably have had a day off from digging. However most of it has now been dug, except along the edge of the patio where it is too tough to get a fork through.

The garden end is softer, so after a rest I will try again from this end and see how far I get. It would be nice to have the whole lot dug, but if we can't the plans should be ok with minimal soil on that side.

I was too sore to try this evening, so instead spent a bit of time playing with the layout for the paths and flower beds.  Those bricks from the old patio came in handy.

The first go wasn't quite right, so some fine tuning.

A couple of changes and a bigger curve to the path seemed to work better, it should make the end more private. The aim is to have a little shady seating area with a cafe style table and two chairs. The flower beds on the left will be filled with bamboo and tree ferns to make it nice and green.  The area on the right will be more spikey, with a raised rockery to home the large cycad among other things.

Hopefully when sitting there we won't be overlooked from the houses in the cul-de-sac. Currently the greenhouse hides them a bit (although this will be moved at some point), but it will look much nicer when there is a lush green screen instead.

Apart from giving somewhere more shady to sit, it will bring a bit of variation in planting to the garden. To tie everything together there will be a lot of rock with almost the whole garden being a rockery of some form or another.  This will give me a chance to try a little moss garden, that is if I can keep it damp, watering not being my strong point.

Then it was on to test a run of vertical posts that will continue through the garden (somehow). I saw this somewhere and it looked great to provide different views as you move through the garden. We set up a few to see what they would look like. The actual ones will be taller and will vary in height but have to decide what size and type of board to use. I like the effect though.

It's a little strange to be doing all this for non-spikey plants. Don't worry though, this is just to get me started, I will move around onto the succulent bank once my thoughts have developed a bit on that area. There may be a post on that one soon, to help with the decision on which way to go with the design.

Now all I need if for the weather to hold so the work can continue.


  1. Your full of great ideas and I love how this is shaping up!

    1. Thank you. I've had this in my head for so long now it is weird to see it physically starting to take shape and to get comments on what other people think. There is always a worry that what you think looks good actually doesn't.

  2. Hello Chris , i have bean following your blog for some time now. I bet you're glad to finally get started. It all looks good so far, nice layout. I look forward to see it progress. We have similar taste in plants especially the spiky stuff. I built my dream garden last year, a very hard five months . keep up the good work. Roll on summer, all the best Julian.

    1. Thank you. Yes it is amazing to be able to finally get on with the garden. By the sounds of it, you know exactly how I feel and must be great to have yours built