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2014 - spring makeover (s) part 1

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I’ve been keeping myself busy this last couple of months – the first project, which kind of was unplanned meant moving my shed, which was having water leaking in on the floor. Before it got worse and rotted the base of my shed, I thought it best to move it. It’s a large 10′ × 10′ (that’s around 3m x 3m in new money) so rather costly to replace. I decided that moving it up onto the decking was probably the best idea. The decking really is under used and was a project I under took when I moved here in 2007 – it passed the time whilst the builders got on with the kitchen extension.
No one liked using it as they felt like they were in a ‘goldfish bowl’, that included me too!

The shed and decking just prior to the shed being moved the week before Christmas.

A collage of images taken at the end of December, January and February. The area that was originally behind the shed had a couple of shrubs planted in it. For no other reason than they were bought for else where and I changed my mind about them. My plan had just been to let them do their own thing and would probably benefit the birds by providing an evergreen haven for them. They have now been moved but are still ‘behind’ the shed, doing their own thing. The soil in that area was a good bit higher, so I edged the length with some log edging. Keeping that area raised would not only aid with drainage (should flooding ever be an issue again) it would save me the time and effort of having to level it off.

New trellis was fixed to the boundary fence and shrubs were brought from elsewhere in the garden. I’ve used a Pyracantha as fence cover – it will be trained onto the trellis and kept as tight to the fence as possible. Sambucus nigra Black Lace is central to the top tier of this bed and to the left Cotinus Golden Spirit should add a nice contrast. My Coral Bark Maple (Acer palmatum Eddisbury) to the right – this Japanese maple is similar to Sango Kaku but will tolerate full sun. Shelter from the wind is by way of the new positioning of shed, fingers crossed! There is also a climbing rose and Clematis montana and another Clematis growing through the rose thrown in up there ‘just for luck’ or should that be ‘coz I had nowhere else to put them’?

Down on the lower level – Viburnum sargentii Onondaga, Deutzia Strawbery Fields and Hydrangea paniculata Pinky Winky are added along the line of the fence. The Photinia Red Robin is presently remaining where it is but I’m not terribly fond of it there – it’s days are numbered, I’ve just not found a replacement yet!

I reshaped the whole border down the entire length of the garden using natural stone (from nearby quarry). I wanted to create an edge that the lawn mower could just fly over. Some of those stones were rather large and as you can imagine burying them flush with the surface was in itself hard work. Come the end of April, plants had been added here and there. I even had the ‘nerve’ to move 2 peonies that were already well into growth and had a few tiny buds forming. I bought some Alliums, Oriental poppies and Helianthus Lemon Queen, there were at that time the only new purchases and I was going to make and I would make do with others from around the garden (like that was ever going to happen!)

At the end of March/beginning of April is was looking at it’s worst. I had really compacted the ground so much from working – where the puddles are is where the lawn was to be seeded. I had to wait until it dried out and give it a good turn over and then prepare it for seeding the lawn.

Come the end of April things were looking so much better – the grass seed had just started to germinate and more plants had been added or moved here. I’m sure as day turns to night, I will have ‘over planted’ and be needing to thin this out sooner rather than later! Why can’t I break that habit?

The same shot just before the sun goes down behind the roof tops this evening.

A few things have disappointed me – namely – the red lupins. The first to flower turns out to be purple – the other plants have buds but no colour yet! Oriental Poppies have just not settled in and are looking rather dire and lastly the Red Robin and Hydrangea paniculata are just not ‘doing it for me’ therefore will need replacing but they can wait now until Autumn.

If we do a wee quarter turn – it takes us to the area that flooded back in 2012. I lost a Cotinus, Lupins and a few more plants that year. The area was restocked with plants that should cope if it reoccurs. I thought I had removed the mushy rhizome of the a bearded Iris – I must have missed a bit, look what has recovered – it has no name, scented and is totally smothered by a large Persicaria, Trollius and Astilbe. This Iris just doesn’t read the books, does it? It’s managed to flower against all odds!

Back up to the top tier, the Acer is looking great and has been filled in round about with a selection of perennials that pick out the colours of the foliage on the Acer.

Oh and before I forget, speaking of plants that just don’t read the books – here are both Peonies having been moved mid March (picture taken yesterday) – I have been very strict with watering and it seems to have done the trick. I pleased my risk paid off!

Thank you for reading thus far, there is more to come – Project Privacy is well and truly finished and I’ll be blogging about that next time.

More blog posts by scottish

Previous post: In the garden today

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Comments

 

What a great job you've done in this area, it looks lovely. It's amazing what will move and survive against the odds when the so called 'tough as old boots' plants that you would practically guarantee to transplant without problems wilt and pop their clogs. You have worked so hard on this and it's a credit to you. I love it.

1 Jun, 2014

 

Well done, your hard work has paid off. It looks great.

1 Jun, 2014

 

It's been a lot of work for you but it looks lovely now.
I'm glad your Peonies survived. Some plants are tougher than we think and will defy all the books :)

1 Jun, 2014

 

what a tranformation! It looks like a ton of work and careful planning paid off, that corner looks lovely. Can't wait for part 2 :D

1 Jun, 2014

 

Yes, I'm looking forward to part two as well! You've done a fantastic job there, and as for the over planting...well, we all do it don't we!? You'll have fun thinning g it out if necessary later. I love the way you picked out the colours in the Acer and used them in the under-planting. It's very stylish!

1 Jun, 2014

 

Snoop - you flatter me :) Glad you like it.
HB - thank you very much. I do take too many chances in moving my plants - I find so long as I'm willing to put in the effort of watering them I don't loose too much.
Your compliments are much appreciated.
Cinders, I'm glad I can sit back and enjoy it all now - it took me a while but got there in the end!
Hywel - I took on too much this spring and I was feeling really down for a good couple of weeks, still got there in the end and my mood has lifted! As I said above, I take chances in moving plants, I know I'm not alone and it would probably make experienced gardeners toes curl!
Jagienka - thank you so much, I'm not so sure I'd call it planning though. More like 'suck it and see' kind of gardener me!
Karen - What a lovely compliment. I occasionally get it right, mind you I'd not show the ones I don't on here! Yes, the thinning out - I'll be pleased if I can get 2 years without having to fiddle with it all!

1 Jun, 2014

 

I'm a terror for moving stuff. Been at it today, shifting all sorts around in that golden border! It usually works as you say...a big big rootball and lots of watering! Like you, I even moved a paeony in bud with no I'll effects. Sometimes I think "should really wait until the autumn" ...but I never do!

1 Jun, 2014

 

You know Karen, I've been staring at the area at the back for a couple of weeks now and how Sambucus is lost with the fence in the background. I bought a Hawthorn tree today - guess what I'm moving tomorrow. Mind you, where the Sambucus is going to go now is any bodies business!
That's 3 trees in 3 weeks! I'm getting a habit! Hope the stuff you moved today does well for you. That golden border is going to be wonderful

1 Jun, 2014

 

Lol! Thanks! I love Sambucus...all of them. I bought a new one last week, it's variegated...'Madonna'. But my favourites are the black feathery one and The Golden one with red berries. s. racemosa... I don't have it here...yet! Good luck with the shifting...I loved my Hawthorn tree....perfect for a small garden, and the insects love hawthorn. It supports a lot of biodiversity.

1 Jun, 2014

 

You have been a busy girl! How much you've achieved since Christmas! I share your 'bad habits' of moving things when in full bloom and overplanting. Late last Summer, I moved a rose which was about 5ft tall and very bushy. I pruned some of it back (a bit) to give it a fighting chance, but I probably shouldn't have done that really, and then watered, watered, watered and it's as lovely as ever. I've also done the unforgivable and moved a peony before now. Like you, I have a shed to move, except in this case it will be disposed of. It is well and truly falling apart and I want the space for a small veg plot with an arbour or some such behind and maybe even the water feature which I was promised some 17 years ago!!
Looking forward to Part 2, Angie.

1 Jun, 2014

 

You have been hard at work Scottish. Your planting looks very expert and well thought out. Nice to start with a clean slate in a section of the garden every so often. I try to do this on a smaller scale when I lose control of part of my border. I am just having a try out of Erysimums to avoid planting the front of the border twice a year as I get older. Sorry to hear your garden flooded and hope this is the last time it happens.

2 Jun, 2014

 

I love that planting, well done Scottish, it is coming along so nicely. You will get things right and get some things wrong, that is the fun of gardening, never a dull moment. It looks so lush and colourful now. Keep up the good work I look forward to the next episode. Great pictures of lots of hard work with excellent results. :O)

2 Jun, 2014

 

TB - your plans for a veg patch sound great as does the arbour. Good luck with your makeover. I bought an arbour for mum a couple of years back and since doing this makeover I've not worked out where to put it yet! She's been having a wee moan about it almost every day since April!
Dorjac - thank you. It's often better to start with a clean slate, as I'm learning. My trouble is I have too many ideas mid summer and don't have the patience to wait until it's practical to do things. If the flooding reoccurs everything I've planted there should cope I will move the Iris at some point. I was given a couple of Erysimum cuttings by someone on GOY last year - they are doing well in my front garden. I think your idea to use instead of annuals is a good one and much less work.
Oliveoil - thank you for all the encouragement, it truly is appreciated. Now I know 'what' I like, it's only taken me 3 years - I can concentrate on trying to achieve that look.
I've just a wee bit tidying up to do and get some pictures of the rest of my changes.

2 Jun, 2014

 

Angie, What a fabulous job you have made of this. Grass looks great so the "cat deterrent" worked. I think, next dry day, you need to get that deckchair out of the shed and take a break.

2 Jun, 2014

 

Hi Angia...
your garden is looking lovely ..
hard work showing great results :o)

3 Jun, 2014

 

You'll be glad to know I had a good sit down in the garden today Alan - once the weather improved after lunch it was marvellous!
Thanks TT - nice to see you again. You're always missed :)

3 Jun, 2014

 

Thanks Angie :o)

3 Jun, 2014

 

I love your new garden design,Scottish,and I'm glad you are pleased with it too..I quite like your Red Robin there,but if you don't ,you won't be happy..What a big job you undertook,but it's all paid off..enjoy sitting in your chair now,and enjoy 'all your own work' :o)

4 Jun, 2014

 

Thanks Bloomer - now the red robin is dying down, in colour that is - it's not catching my eye so much. It has a reprieve for now! Thanks for the lovely comments. Much appreciated :)

6 Jun, 2014

 

What can I say that hasn't been said already Angie? It's looking great, love your re-design and change of planting ... pat yourself on the back! :o)

9 Jun, 2014

 

Thanks Shirley - needs a bit of tweeking here and there but that can wait til Autumn. It would be great if the Erysimum would like it up there but it's too moist I think. I might take some cuttings myself for next year and give it a go. You know, I completely forgot about the sunflower seeds, found them this morning!! I suspect it's too late! Do you think they would keep til next year?

9 Jun, 2014

 

Definitely ... I have seeds of annuals that never got sown this year ... they'll be fine for next year ... stored in a tin :o) The slugs have already nibbled the bottom leaves off the Sunflower stems ... grrr!

9 Jun, 2014

 

Thanks Shirley - what a shame about your sunflowers. I hope they don't get too damaged.
I was bragging earlier in the year that I had been relatively slug/snail clear - not now - they are back with a vengeance!

10 Jun, 2014

 

Same here, the old SAS were relatively quiet earlier but now making up for lost time.

10 Jun, 2014

 

I resorted to laying a few slug pellets down yesterday ... disgusted to find about 30 of the SAS this morning ... mostly snails ... they took a trip in the brown bin today!

10 Jun, 2014

 

What a shame Shirley_t, they're lovely fried with a bit of home grown garlic and a drop of olive oil, perhaps not after ingesting slug pellets though.

I am only joking ... "PLEASE DONT TRY THIS AT HOME".

11 Jun, 2014

 

Angie, just edited this to comment, to remove a duplicate, Alan.

11 Jun, 2014

 

Yuk, yuk, yuk Alan !!!

11 Jun, 2014

 

You trying to make me heave Alan - Shirley is right - YUK! You been taking tips from Myron?
Had to put pellets down myself - oddly enough it seems to be snails rather than slugs. That's what I do with mine Shirley.
I noticed Margaret next door was weeding her garden this evening, I asked her what she was putting in, she hasn't made her mind up. Hopefully she will soon, then I'll see the back of the SAS.

11 Jun, 2014

 

Dream on Angie ... lol!

12 Jun, 2014

 

Shirley and Angie, I guess "Escargot" is not a favourite with you then. :-(

12 Jun, 2014

 

Correct ... gagging at the thought of eating one!

13 Jun, 2014

 

Boak!! That's the Scottish slang for gagging!

13 Jun, 2014

 

I worked in Scotland Angie, for many years, Fort William, Inverurie, Aberdeen, Denny, Glenrothes, Irvine and never ever heard that expression. That's what I like about the GoY site, you learn something new every day.

13 Jun, 2014

 

Wait until you see the size of a snail in my garden today Alan!

14 Jun, 2014

 

Shirley_t, looking forward to seeing your photo.

14 Jun, 2014

 

It's posted now ...

15 Jun, 2014

 

Fabulous Shirley_t, plenty of meat on that rascal.

15 Jun, 2014

 

Just stop it now!!! :o)

16 Jun, 2014

 

OK, Enough is enough..... Ever tried Frogs Legs?

16 Jun, 2014

 

No - and there is not a chance of my ever, ever doing so!

16 Jun, 2014

 

Ok, Shirley, so I now know you're not keen on French Cuisine. Would you be OK with a Spanish omelette?

16 Jun, 2014

 

I remember once looking in the freezer department in a supermarket in the Philippines and seeing whole frogs for sale!
Alan - you seem to be a 'man of tastes' Have you ever tried Balut? If not give it a google and tell us what you think?
If Junna sees this she'll say it is gorgeous! Mind you she's not been on for ages, so probably won't!
BTW, the Spanish omelette, I could handle, what about you Shirley?

16 Jun, 2014

 

No thanks Angie, save that for the celebrities in Australia, they can pop it on the same plate as the Kangeroo's "what nots".

PS How did we get here, from your lovely blog ? :~))

17 Jun, 2014

 

The mere mention of the words Slugs and Snails brings the worst out in us Alan :)

17 Jun, 2014

 

<]:~))

17 Jun, 2014

 

Just catching up Scottish. This looks great. Hawthorn is a great choice. Apparently it has a root that goes straight down and no problems in underplanting it. Cut off this years growth from your red robin to encourage new red growth. It can be kept reasonably small doing that too. I'll give the haute cuisine the go by too. Haggis, neeps and tatties sounds positively divine compared to those French delicacies although my daughter assures me frogs legs taste like chicken.

18 Jun, 2014

 

Scotsgran, I just love Haggis ! Not so keen on Irn bru though. The Irn Bru adverts are just brilliant. <]:~))

19 Jun, 2014

 

Sorry for late reply, had a busy few days recently! Yes Alan, a Spanish omelette would be palatable, but only if authentic and eaten in Spain! :o)))

20 Jun, 2014

 

Shirley_t, I've Just got back from Australia (topiary course) with Bloomer and Pansypotter, so I need to save up for a few months. I could probably manage Spain in August.... How does that sound, you, Angie, and me to carry the bags ? .... lol

20 Jun, 2014

 

Only if you carry the bags Alan - I'm just recovering from my sore back :)

20 Jun, 2014

 

Alan, you survived a journey with those two? You need a holiday to get over that ... I know what they get up to!!!

20 Jun, 2014

 

Angie, Shirley, .........LOVL <]:~))

20 Jun, 2014

 

LOVL ??? De-code for me please!

21 Jun, 2014

 

Laughing Out Very Loud :~))

21 Jun, 2014

 

Of course! Thanks Alan .....

22 Jun, 2014

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