We’ve been pretty busy in the garden over the last couple of weeks, I say ‘we’ as when my OH offered to help sort out the compost area last weekend I nearly bit his hand off! He loves the garden, he just doesn’t particularly like gardening!
The area he wanted to work on used to be the chicken run, it has a raised rose hedge along the fence but the rest had just been dug over. As you can imagine from years of chicken poo, the soil is pretty good there! I used it as a temporary bed for plants I was moving round, but the weeds had started to encroach. Last year he built a pair of compost heaps from scrap wood we had lying around and we needed a proper path across the soil to get to it, not just a row of wobbly slabs which were gradually getting buried!.
My original plan was a path down the middle with split log rolls either side to edge the path, gravel underfoot and old stone slabs in front of the actual compost heap. We toddled off to the garden centre and bought 4 log rolls, two different heights as the rose side would need to be higher.
Last weekend we cleared all the weeds out, moved any plants I wanted to keep and rotavated the bed. I have a mini rotavator, I think it’s called a cultivator officially. I love it, it almost makes my soil look like a tilth… almost!!
This weekend I started trying to lay the path. I began moving the soil to either side but it didn’t look quite right. I then had a thought! In front of the rose hedge is a railway sleeper on top of a row of large stones, it actually makes a neat edge. I decided to have the path next to the rose hedge instead, it immediately felt right!
I leveled the area off and then my OH came and helped dig the trenches for the split log roll and position them. They have to be buried about 50% to be stable. The two larger rolls stretched round the compost area and half way down the path, we then swopped over to the shorter ones as height wasn’t quite as critical there. We’ve still got to put the last one in at the end, maybe next weekend! I still need to trim the membrane back and we’ll top up the gravel too but we’re getting there.
Today I put some plants in. I’ve been gradually collecting a few here and there over the last month. I’ve ordered two roses from David Austins, one is a large shrub called A Lark Ascending, it’s flowers are a beautiful soft shade of apricot. It grows to around 5′ so it’s going in the middle. The other one is a very pretty smaller apricot one called Sweet Dreams. They will hopefully help the bed to blend in with the Amber & Amethyst garden in front. I’m aiming to have the border mainly autumn and winter interest, so I’ve planted some evergreens, hellebores and erysimum. I’ve plenty of space to add more plants!
I had a good tidy up round the pond too, I’ve not finished this area yet but it is looking a lot neater. Hubert the Heron is standing a little straighter too, he looked like he was going to fall into the pond before!
I cut back the hellebore leaves, so the flowers stand out more now, there were a few touching the soil so I picked them and now I have a pretty vase of hellebores.
One of my new purchases was this gorgeous rhododendron, I just love the colour. I’m hoping it will contrast nicely with the lime green pieris behind. There’s a very pretty erysimum just infront which is almost the same colour. They are planted quite close but by the time the rhodie gets to any size the wall flower will have died off! The perennial wallflowers are great as they flower their socks off, often all year, but they are fairly short lived, especially in our soil. I think I’m doing well if they last three years.
These miniature daffs in a pot came from my mums garden, they look really pretty and cheerful.
I’ve a lot of work to do in the garden this month, I’ve to finish tidying up and prune all the roses, I did a rough count and I reckon we have about 25, not including the 30 odd foot of hedging! From a distance the garden is starting to show a bit of life, there’s a smattering of daffs round the patio with quite a lot still to flower. In the next few weeks the garden is going to change so quickly as the fresh, green growth appears, I love this time of year.