Monday, 6 June 2016

Colouring a corner, renewing a neglected area

It's been a month since my last blog post. With the busyness of life there has been limited time in the garden, and the time I have had, it's been spent gardening, rather than writing about gardening ... Lol. So, over the coming weeks I'll let you know what's happening in the various areas. Today though, let me share with you an area I've been working on over the past week. This corner of the back garden is one that has needed attention for quite some time. Over the past two winters, it's been used as a place to store wood for the stove, and in the spring I've had temporary cold frames and similar. A functional area, with not a lot to it really.

What is the thinking behind redoing it? Well this area had become unsightly, and I wanted to create an area to sit and relax during the summer, and allow the senses to be stimulated a little with scent, the sound of flowing water and movement.

Firstly though, the area had to be cleared of grass and dug over. Now any hard work like this does require some determination and an eye on the end picture you're creating, otherwise one would give up as soon as the spade hits the first stone, or in my case the mattocks hits the first bit of subsoil. Yes, as with many gardens where soil hasn't been dug before, there is only a thin layer of topsoil and then the marley subsoil appears. This is no surprise, as each bed I have dug in this garden is almost exactly the same. 

And then it's on to planting ...

My remedy for this is two fold. I dig down as far as the subsoil level, loosening the soil so it's workable, and then add in as much compost and other organic material I can get my hands on. In this case I emptied the contents of one section of my garden compost. Typically at this point I add plenty of fish, blood and bone meal. Apart from putting in the bed, I also cleared away a lot of the rubbish, re-stained the bench, and stained and recycled a piece of old super-lap fencing, that had some of the panels broken away, creating a window effect. I already had the water feature, which simply needed to be cleaned out and plugged in to give the sound of running water.

And then it's on to planting ... in this case I've created a structure for the sweet pea to grow on, and planted ones I grew from seed, that have been patiently waiting for the past month. These will create a lovely wall of colour and fragrance.

As you might know, I have plenty of plants in pots, so clothing the area with foliage wasn't hard. The Delphiniums and Clematis are about to flower, so these will these will provide some colour while we wait for the sweet-pea to come on. The other side of the bed still has to be planted too. Although I was originally thinking of planting some of my Hemerocallis collection here, now I am more inclined to plant some cosmos, sweet william, and anthurinums, all of which I've grown from seed during the Spring. I've also got a couple of white Dahlias, which will work well too. 

Finally, I want to move in a pot or two of higher foliage on the near side of the bench, to give a sense of privacy. 

I'll post up more pictures when the planting is finished and as the bed evolves. 

In the meantime, happy gardening.