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Update on Norman's Garden


So for those of you that don’t know, I have never gardened before and I have been asked to suggest ways forward with a garden that belonged to Norman, before he died.

My boyfriend Guy bought the site off Norman’s family nearly two years ago now. We have been living in Norman’s bungalow now for a year. The garden was truly gorgeous this time last year and at some point, I’m not sure when, Guy asked me to help him with the gardens.

The bungalow is being demolished in July 2010. We are yet to find a new temporary abode, but that is not an issue at the mo. I say temporary, because once Norman’s bungalow goes, three houses are being built on the site of which one, the corner plot will be our new house. Its very exciting. I personally feel it’s right and I want to keep as much of Norman’s garden as we can, however because the gardens have not been touched for many years I guess, everything is overgrown, brambles have had a field day and I have been told I should have started thinking about all this in November 2009!

I joined GOY to get some help as I knew nothing about gardening or plants or trees! I have since had a tree surgeon round to look at the trees on the site, and a gardener to review what could be saved. The gardener agreed that everything was overgrown but thought I could tackle it myself.

I’ve cut down a big weed in the front left hand corner of the garden (which at the end of this, won’t be in my new garden when the land is split but hey ho!) and cut one out of what will be our front garden too. I’ve also had a man round to discuss moving azaleas which are pretty big!

I’ve been told to wait till after the azaleas flower before pruning and attempting to move…so I’m just waiting at the moment. I was digging some things out of the flowerbeds the other day and the flowerbeds are just compost heaps – loads of rotting leaves and ivy growing across. It’s such a mess.

Guy questions whether it would in fact be easier to start from scratch but that would mean losing all of Norman’s hard work. But perhaps some of these plants and shrubs can’t be saved purely due to their size. There is an amazing Pieris which I wish we could move – there is roughly 30 – 40% of the garden that will be a new driveway, so if we can’t move the flowers/plants/shrubs, they will be lost.

ANY help or advice, please help me. We have a limited budget and limited time due to day jobs etc, but I really want to save these plants if I can.

Will upload some photos now so you can see what we’re dealing with!


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It seems a pitty the bungalow and garden will be changed out of all recognition but it is nice that your new home will be on the site. You can make a lovely garden there.

27 Apr, 2010


When they come to dig the footings perhaps you could attempt a rescue of some of Normans azalias that appeal to you. They could,perhaps be dug up with the footings digger, after being labelled while in bloom, and placed in a memorial bed out of the way of building activity. If there is room. Then it would be done and dusted, and you could then get on with the exciting business of your 'grand designs' and even more exciting new garden. We shared an earth mover with neighbours, when we shared developement of a rubbish srewn extension to our gardens. Please be careful about your backs. My husband hurt his back just picking up a sheet of corrugated iron that was stuck under brambles. We are both agreed that the developement of that garden extension was a highlight in our lives. My husband is not a gardener, more a constructor. Hope it all goes well for you.

28 Apr, 2010


Thank you so much for your lovely words.

28 Apr, 2010

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