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front garden catchup 2014-2017


left side
September 2014

April 2017

Got rid of the Californian Lilac and Berberis via Freecycle, the people dug them out, as I couldn’t.

My idea was to put paving slabs at the top for a wheelie bin store – I can’t drag the full bins up the slope to put them kerbside for colelction. Though I have Assisted Collection from the Council, too often the greenbin was ignored – couldn’t do any serious gardneing for a month last year beacuse it sat there for six weeks before finally being empied. [The gardener actually climbed into the bin and trod the ocntents down to get more in, but then it was too full even for that.]

So I thought of parking them at the top of the slope to make it easier for them to be emptied- it’s just as far for me to walk, so no extra burden there.

Having probs with the HA on an actual store: can’t have anything permanant, but need something, cos they end up all over the place with the wind. Mind you, they do that even if they’re parked by the house.

[That’s what the bench was for, to try to make a “backstop”, but I had to jam one bin in between it and the hedge] to hold it still.

right side
September 2014

April 2017

Tje “lollipop” bush and the shrub in the corner also went via Freecycle, the corner shrub only a few weeks ago. It was overgrowing next door’s space and was a bit shaven at the back. I’ve now got a small geranium in there, and a load of Devil’s Tongue orange bulbs.

Laar year I dug the centre “lollipop bed” and plnated circles of poppy and sunflower seeds. Not sure what I’ll do with it long-term – given the “leave everything as you found it for the next tenant” I can’t have any permanant structure or raised bed there.

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Hi Fran .. Good idea to make use of Freecycle.

15 Apr, 2017


I would have hated to have dumped the shrubs: not their fault they're in my way! If I could have dug them up I'd have tried relocating them, but I couldn't even manage that. But at least [fingers crosed] they'll continue to thrive in their new homes.

15 Apr, 2017


yes... and they provided new space to redesign your garden.

15 Apr, 2017


oh, yes! I want to put raised or stepped beds along that side strip, maybe large planters or troughs on wooden "ladders", back and front, so I can get maybe three steps each side, more planting space and easier to ocntrol and access.

15 Apr, 2017


Nice to do the alterations a little at a time ... I never have a very set plan ... I usually make it up as I go along !

15 Apr, 2017


my main prob is worrying that if i start something, later I'll find that I need to move it or remove it because it's in the way of something that I want to do later. So I often don't get started.

But if I can get the wood cut, I can build the planters or steps, and as htey wo'nt be fixed to the ground, they can be moved around until I find the best place for them.

I do'nt really see the point of the front lawn - it's only a patch of weeds taht needs cutting! so I wouuld'nt mind covering the whole area with steps and tables. of course the grass would grow a bit underneath all that lot unless I had it all taken out!

15 Apr, 2017


I used to have two front garden lawn areas, but they needed an immense amount of work ... I had to drag the mower around from the back garden, and also clip all the lawn edges.

I prefer to spend that time with my dogs in my back garden, so I took up the front garden grass, and my current blog shows how I redesigned it all, using recycled pavings, and adding the pebble stream.

16 Apr, 2017


In one of the "Garden Expert" books, it says that a lawn is the most work-intensive area of a garden, so I was determined not to have one. Ha, and now I have two.

The gardener does the mowing, but all the same ...

Some houses down the road have total paving, or gravel, but I'm sure that both of those would be a lot of work and cost a fair bit. I think taht paving would be the best option: after all, it's easier to remove for "the next tenant"!

My early idea was to use the front garden mostly for growing veg, as I want to have a go, but don't want to "waste" any of the back garden: that's where I spend most of my outside time, and I have lots of plans for creating small "pockets" in various themes.

I'll check out your blog, thanks

ps: seen it and loved it. My prob is I need - or at least could very well do with - raised beds, which would take any "natural" look from the garden - and as I wanted planter troughs on legs [so as not to have a yard of null space to have to fill up before any planting depth was achieved] so there'd be room for grass to grow underneath. So it looks like paving is the option, at least where I have raised beds.

17 Apr, 2017


yes... you could try a small amount of paving in one section and see whether it suits you... the large size pavings are difficult to move ... smaller pavings give you more design options and are easier to lift.
My front garden beds have recycled pavings which I dotted around. They were large pavings which I smashed in half .. partly because I could not lift them whole, and also the small size gave more scope to the design.

Here is a link to my blog where I first took up the front garden grass ...

17 Apr, 2017


Fran .. this is another blog showing my front garden alterations...

19 Apr, 2017


Thanks, TT, I'll buzz on over and have a read

19 Apr, 2017

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