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So you think you know your garden?


By lily2


Well, I’ve looked after my plot for 11 years now and you’d think after all that time a rear garden measuring about 40′ × 45′ would have little scope for secrets wouldn’t you?
Here it is last summer

Last year fruit flies in the kitchen were driving me nuts. They were coming from a compost bin which, for want of anywhere else to site it, was just outside the back door. Off I went round the garden hoping to find somewhere else for it. I’d almost given up when I turned right under the arch, as this leads nowhere and is just an access path for trimming the conifers, it’s not somewhere I often go. It’s getting a bit of a tight squeeze now so breathe in!

Last year we had the height of the hedge reduced by several feet which means that there is now light shining down through it in places.
See the gap where the hedge is sparse down in the far corner…..

I pushed through and couldn’t believe my eyes! A huge space which had been created by the way the conifers curved slightly round the corner and had grown out across it. Once cleared there would be room here for all 3 compost bins plus wheelbarrow plus bagged compost etc. etc., my mind was working overtime!!
How could I not have known all this space was here??

Bearing in mind that my plans involved the removal of 4 hefty conifers, I realised I’d need to choose my moment to suggest it to OH. I obviously chose well as he immediately got out the loppers and saw and removed all the branches. The trunks were a different matter and needed assistance from some younger muscles and a chainsaw!

Some of the trunks were very large…..

Now we can see how large the area really is, about 10′ × 8′

That’s my neighbours junk in the background!

and here is the Clerk of Works!

The onset of Winter and snow called a halt to any further progress for a while but at last work resumed. Trellis at the back and side to grow some evergreen climbers up and the bins sitting very conveniently over 3 of the stumps.

There was so much else going on indoors as well as outside that progress was slow. Still fence and trellis to be painted….

……..but at last it was done and some plants to detract from the bareness of it all

Ceanothus ‘Concha’ which I’ve transplanted, I hope it survives and grows as large as it does elsewhere. It’s in a huge bottomless pot as the soil below is full of conifer roots and rubble.

Trachelospermum ‘Jasminoides’ to clad the trellis

So here it is, finished at long last – “Compost Corner”

Sweet peas growing up the trellis in front of the area to help screen it off until I decide on more permanent planting.

The new access to it is across the flower bed. I planned to make a path with some pavings but as it got so well trodden with all the foot traffic, I’m tempted to leave it as it is, more natural looking.

I’m so pleased to have a designated area for all those
mundane but essential items, it makes life so much
easier and composting a pleasure! It’s in a real hotspot
so I hope my compost will ‘cook’ really quickly.

More blog posts by lily2

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Great idea, nice to have it all out of the way. Funny what goes on when your back is turned, isn't it - you didn't notice that area because you just never went down the passageway to it I suppose. As for the path through the border, I would put stepping stone slabs in there - won't be very nice trudging through the gap to add kitchen scraps in winter without them...

8 Jun, 2011


What a wonderful idea you had Lily, a perfect use of space.
Anyone visiting your garden would never know it was there. Incidently, you garden looks fantastic! :o)

8 Jun, 2011


Well done Lily, now you have the best of both without any unsightly bins being in your face when looking around the garden, also a grand space to work in when neccessary to turn the compost, I have mine hidden away like that and its worked for years. I love your clerk of the works and have the same here, very cheeky aren`t they, lol, sometimes even complain when we`re not working fast enough for them.
Lovely pic of your garden, hope the Ceanotus does well for you.......

8 Jun, 2011


What a great idea, it all looks really good Lily, your garden is beautiful.

8 Jun, 2011


Interesting blog, it is always useful to have a 'utility' area in the garden -its amazing how much room conifers actually take up -well done you.

8 Jun, 2011


great blog, its great to see the progession photo's

8 Jun, 2011


What a great idea. The one picture that caught my eye was the little robin. It always amazes me how they can stand on those pins for legs.

8 Jun, 2011


Oh Lily what a find, space you didn't know you had, and what a great job you've made of turning into a secluded area for compost and other stuff. Your garden looks wonderful.

8 Jun, 2011


I expect you're right Bamboo, you usually are! lol The slabs will have to wait for now as there are too many other jobs stacking up in the garden at the moment. I think it's the light flooding down through the conifers now which enabled me to see within them.
Thank you Sandra but that was last summer, the garden isn't quite as good as that yet. It is a little bare in that corner now but the Ceanothus should grow tall.
Thanks Sue, it's such a treat to have a dedicated area but I'm afraid the clerk of works has gone AWOL lately, maybe he's got domestic matters to attend to! lol
Glad you like the garden Cinders, I hope it's as good this year.
Those conifers are huge kfunsters. If I had my way they'd all be gone, to be replaced with a mixed hedge of tall evergreen shrubs........maybe one day :o))
Thanks Mad, I like them too as well as before and after shots.
Oh yes Alex..... those spindly robin legs, I always wonder how they don't freeze in winter!
Hi Ginellie, when I designed the garden our Council were taking away our green stuff and letting us collect it as compost for free so I put the compost bins into retirement. Needless to say, that was too good to last for very long! :o(

8 Jun, 2011


Lily - if you use a shredder, then the output from that makes a great woodland path - saves having to get paving slabs and you can top it up as necessary

8 Jun, 2011


Well done Lily, fancy having that much space and not knowing it, and it all looks nice and secrecy. The trellis sets it off lovely.
I must admit conifers are not my favourites and I too would be glad to see the back of them, you will have to work your charm on OH. LOL.
A good job done by all who worked on it and as they say oop north, I bet you are chuffed to little mintballs !
Very nice garden by the way. x

8 Jun, 2011


What a wonderful find, so easy to miss all you would see would be the conifers and not what space they were hiding. A great job accomplished.

8 Jun, 2011


No Andrew, not had a shredder for many years. The early ones left much to be desired, well ours did, kept jamming up. I could use bark I suppose for a natural look although I fear the local cats would use it too :o(
Hi Val, there is no chance of my charming OH. I've suggested it before but agreement comes with unacceptable strings......lets just say it involves a model railway! lol My 'mintballs' are indeed chuffed to the limit!
Thanks Stroller, it's amazing how wide these conifers get but it's so gradual you don't realise it.

8 Jun, 2011


Genius idea, Lily! You'll be muck-spreading before you know it ... chipped bark ... or are they bark chips .. whichever ... they are loved by Blackbirds and make a horrible mess everywhere! Try your local Freecycle for free pavers or stepping stones ... amazing what people want to get rid of. We got eleven pavers for the allotment a couple of weeks ago through our local Freecycle. Love the pic of the Robin ... he'll return before too long. : o ))

8 Jun, 2011


Gosh Lily! It's like a whole other garden! That's staggering the amount of space those conifers took up. Just as you say, they encroach on the garden so slowly you just don't notice they're gobbling up your garden! Great blog, really interesting!

8 Jun, 2011


You lucky thing to have found a spot like that!

9 Jun, 2011


Nice one Lily ..... finding a new space for my compost area is something that has to happen soon. Unfortunately, i don't have a lurking conifer hedge to cut down but i'm sure something will come to mind soon. I'm even thinking of using the space just outside of my back fence ... as it is woodland and tree covered i doubt anyone would even notice it. It will be nice to see the photo's once the planting has established.

9 Jun, 2011


Forgot to add, I love your Clerk of Works with his spindly legs....... now who does he remind me of ? ;0)))

9 Jun, 2011


Hmm...well maybe I'll pass on the bark chips then Shirley. I've used Freecycle to pass some things on but not got anything from them yet. Hopefully I've got enough spare slabs from our patio to make some stepping stones, I need to get up close and personal with the spiders behind the shed to check! :o((((
Glad you found it interesting Libet, the conifers are steadily garden grabbing in spite of being cut back as hard as possible every year :o(
I couldn't believe my eyes when I discovered it Donna.
Hi Tony, glad you enjoyed the blog. That sounds an ideal spot for your compost area, I'm sure no one will notice. I might plant another climber or two although the soil is very inhospitable in most of the area, hope it won't be too long before these two get going.
......and finally, Val. He's FAR too handsome to look like anyone of our acquaintance! lol

9 Jun, 2011


When we collected our Freecycle pavers, I wore thick gardening gloves and gingerly moved each slab in case of spiders! I know it's pathetic but I can't bear them!

9 Jun, 2011


It is amazing how conifers creep up on you Lily....they are so sneaky about the space they take up. As you have shown. There are so many other ways of smoothing over blank walls, wire fences or gaining privacy, than those dark green space gobbling monsters. We must have clobbered about 20 on our property since we took over! Your refurbishments are looking great. When they have matured your already lovely garden will be much enhanced.

11 Jun, 2011


Thank you Dorjac and yes I agree about huge conifers, we inherited our monster and had it's height reduced by about 5' last year. Unfortunately I'm stuck with it for now. Your garden must be so much lighter and bigger now you've removed all those, all that space for prettier things :o)

11 Jun, 2011


enjoyed reading this lily, wish i could find a spare spot in my garden lol, great idea and a usefull area now :o))

12 Jun, 2011


Hi Sandra. It's lovely to hear from you, glad you liked the blog. I can't wait for the plants to grow big now to make it look more green, it's rather bare for now but so very useful :o) Hope you're OK

13 Jun, 2011


I have just found your site and the compost area you have done is brilliant.You should be proud of yourselves.Does that area get much sun as i have always wanted a trachlesphermum but don't know if it would get enough sun in our garden.

23 Jul, 2011


I'm so pleased with my compost corner Rose, it's SO useful. Yes it's south facing and a real sun trap so my compost seems to 'cook' very quickly. I hope the trachelospermum will be OK over winter, it's probably a bit warmer down here than where you are but why not give it a go? I can't wait for mine to cover the trellis :o)

25 Jul, 2011

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