Garden re-design part four: Re-cap of the work so far

As I mentioned in part one of my garden re-design series, the garden I inherited when we moved into our house last year is largely an uninspiring blank canvas.

Blank canvas garden

It’s a small garden (though not as small as this photo makes it look) dominated by a very ugly 1950s garage. It’s got a lumpy, uneven lawn and, until recently, had narrow borders along either side, with a few shrubs and herbaceous perennials and a rampant cherry laurel hedge.

Last summer, when we moved in, I dug up a few bits of turf to plant some dahlias and verbenas to add a bit of colour, but I didn’t get chance to do much more as we were focused on the house.

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When I came to start gardening again back in March, this is what the garden looked like. This is after taking about 8 feet of growth off from the the hedge in October, hence the top of it looking messy.File_001 (2).jpeg

Pretty sad!

In late March, with a lot of help from my parents, the form-work and then the concrete base for the greenhouse went in.

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Next I took out the messy patio in the corner.

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Then in early April the greenhouse was installed. My parents had helped with the concrete base, but I paid for installation of the greenhouse; I didn’t fancy handling large panes of glass that I’d paid a lot of money for. There’s more on my choice of greenhouse in this post.

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Next I re-laid some of the slabs I’d taken up, using some of the leftover aggregate and cement from installing the greenhouse base to lay them. Having this path here is more about practicality than aesthetics; it’s there to give access to cut the hedge, because the cherry laurel grows very quickly and will need cutting at least twice a year. I also took out some turf to create a bigger area for planting into.

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April is my birthday month, which meant some birthday money to be spent on new plants. Combined with some I already had, I started to create a mixed border. The plants in the border include:

  • Hebe ‘Midnight Sky’
  • Euphorbia characias ‘Silver Edge’
  • Viburnum tinus ‘Eve Price’
  • Two Euonymous (unknown varieties, inherited with the garden)
  • Buddleja davidii ‘Pixie Blue’
  • Cistus x purpureus ‘Corbariensis’
  • Camassia caerulea
  • Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’
  • Geraniums ‘Azure Rush’ and ‘Rise and Shine’
  • Hibiscus syriacus ‘Marina’
  • Centaurea cyanus (Cornflower) ‘Blue Boy’ (grown from seed)
  • Lathyrus odoratus (Sweetpea) ‘Mammoth’ (grown from seed)
  • Liatris spicata
  • Convolvulus cneorum
  • Various Aqulegia vulgaris moved from other parts of the garden
  • Lythrum salicaria (Purple Loosestrife)
  • Echinacea ‘Pink Parasol’

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I then turned my attention to the other side of the garden, where I created a raised bed edged with some logs I cadged from my parents.

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Plants in here include:

  • Lysimachia barystachys
  • Sambucus nigra f. porphyrophilla ‘Black Lace’
  • Hebe ‘Midnight Sky’
  • Lonicera periclymenum
  • Centaurea cyanus (Cornflower) ‘Blue Boy’ (grown from seed)
  • Erigeron ‘Stallone’
  • Cerinthe major ‘Purparescens’ (grown from seed)

And then I took out yet more turf and created an island border.

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This border has lots of things I’ve grown from seed this year:

  • Cerinthe major ‘Purparescens’
  • Ammi majus
  • Malva moschata ‘Snow White’
  • Polemonium boreale ‘Heavenly Habit’
  • Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Double Click Cranberries’
  • Lathyrus odoratus (sweet pea)

Plus a Cercis Canadensis, three Delphinium, a Clematis ‘General Sikorski’ and a Senettti I bought.

Much of what I’ve done so far is temporary, because we have building work (including removal of the eyesore garage) planned, and this will need to be done before I can get the major landscaping done. But I wanted to enjoy the garden this summer, and hopefully the work so far will give plenty of colour for the next few months. Gardening isn’t about achieving a ‘finished’ product- because a garden is never finished, with plants that will always grow bigger, change and eventually die. So, just because I can’t yet have the garden layout I eventually want, it doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the process of creating a garden now – even if it will all change soon.

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