Garden project Elton

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Project Elton is a medium term bit of work in the garden. You might remember that two years ago, I had the garden pared back to the bone. Those bones included some lovely old paving flags – uneven, with strange grooves and not what anyone would call child-friendly. Naturally, I love them. I planted some sedum and some other things to try to soften the edges. The sedum is good on low traffic areas but just didn’t do the trick elsewhere.

This spring I noticed that no only was there grass in some of the cracks, but grass seedlings kept sprouting in one of the beds. This, then, is Project Elton. I let the grass grow. I transplant it into the cracks. I keep the grass trimmed to prevent too much of it running to seed. I don’t fret about stubbed toes.

For example, these triangular gaps were bare earth a month ago:
Filled

Here’s the latest compare/contrast:
hard landscaping done June 2012

And as always there’s a slideshow:

Here comes the sun…

Sunday, 1 April 2012

As always, click through on the main image to see the notes on the plants.
spring 2012
GJ helped me plant the pansy and viola in the long narrow bed earlier this week, and is responsible for watering them each evening. And watering everything else in sight, including her own shoes. Her other garden skills include: brushing dirt off the beds onto the path; shouting “BEE!”; shouting “BIRDS!” and thus frightening them away; and standing on the bench shouting “hiya!” to the neighbours.

Not all of the lavender plants put in last year survived but as they were a cheap buy from a DIY store I’m neither surprised nor upset. I’m currently transplanting grass seedlings from the flower beds into the cracks in the paving, in an attempt to soften the edges.

Here’s a slideshow of the last 13 months in the garden. The two at the start are older photos still, showing it in its cat-friendly state.

spring is here…

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

…but the bike shed roof isn’t.

Here’s the photographic progress. Mid March (left) to Mid April (right). Click for notes.
mid march tidy April
Lots of things arrived and have gone in. Hebe, thyme and rudbeckia from J Parkers, lavender from B&Q. I’ve sown scabious and wallflowers, and had my red cornflower seedlings et. Lots of fencing has been painted and yet more is to be done just as soon as they get the blue paint back in stock.

Unfinished is a bike shed from gardenbuildingsdirect. It arrived a week ago last Monday and I was all set to build it last Wednesday. After six hours and only one call to the helpline, I was ready to put the roof on, make it rainproof and relax for the evening.

The roof panels were the wrong size. I’ve been waiting for the replacements agreed on Friday to show up, hoping they’d appear by this morning so I could sort things out before the first rain for 10 days was due. They didn’t. I daren’t go out and see the state of things.

I did manage to clean the oil – spilt when the evergreen was taken down – off the surface of the pond. After looking for solutions, eventually I just laid newspaper carefully over it. The oil stuck to the paper and lifted out with it. The oil hadn’t stopped the arrival of frogs in the garden (two doors down also has a pond) but I’m relieved they can use mine as well now.

Last week I noticed my acer was in bloom. It’s never done that before.
DSCN5297

where the wild things are

Saturday, 19 March 2011

I’ve started to take photos from the same spot in the house, so the garden progress can be more visible.

On the left is it after the shed removal but before the guys finished working on it. And on the right is how it was last week, when I got time to start sowing seeds etc. Click on an image for additional notes.

IMG_0935 IMG_1006

I’ve also found a rare shot of the shed as was, taken in the middle of a snowy night. And this is the garden a couple of summers ago.

Amongst the remains of the shed, I found some broken roof slates. So I’ve turned thouse into markers for the areas.

IMG_1004

I’d returned a pair of rubbish gardening gloves to the store last week and was coming back through the Sidwell St market when I spotted the plant stall had some sedum. So the refund was promptly spent and I’ve planted it in the paving cracks around the acer pot. It ought to fill the cracks, keeping other plants out, and we don’t walk much on that spot. I checked on it a few days ago and it’d started to settle in nicely.

IMG_1045

And the plants that weren’t taken out in the Great Cull are springing back to life, with the heavily lopped apple tree producing buds and the kerria starting to bloom.

IMG_1049

I want to plant foxgloves and alliums together in the butterfly bed. Ironically, some rogue foxglove seeds have done the job for me. Just in the wrong bed.

digital garden planning

Sunday, 27 February 2011

I’d hoped that, by now, you could get garden planning software that lets you view the elevation of a bed rather than the plan. But it seems most software/app developers are a bit literal minded.

I’ve a long list of butterfly attracting plants to put in the back bed, I want to get it right – or at least not badly wrong – so I wanted to see how they’d mix together in terms of height and shape. As I’ve not found any software that does that, I resorted to olioboard. This is an online app that lets you build moodboards.

More importantly, it lets you import your own images to the board, crop them, resize them and put them in layers.

butterfly bed

This is my first stab at it. The kerria at the back is pre-existing and is staying as it works like bamboo to hide things. Running clockwise from top left: phlox, scabious, aliums, foxgloves, heliotrope, lavender, hebe. And a front border of poached egg plants, growing into the paving cracks.

I suspect it’ll look gappy though – lots of things on stalks.

In terms of actual work on the garden, Big Magpie came over and helped dig two of the three beds. I say helped, I feel like she did the bulk of it and I supplied lunch and twix fingers. I still owe her some time on her garden in exchange.

The bare, turned earth is quite exciting, and I just went out and did a clear up of the untouched bed and a narrow strip by the path. I’m resisting digging over the untouched bed though as I’d lose too many small plants I love like sweet woodruff just to maybe rid myself of an annoying one.

Bare earth policy

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

I like chaotic gardens, ones that can be explored. This obviously suited my cats very well. They’re less ideal for a child. So I finally got some serious work done ready to start building a child-friendly back garden. It needs to still have a sense of exploration to it, whilst also being safer and having better lines of sight from the house.

Here’s a couple of photos of it pre-work. [click to enlarge]
when do I get offered turkish delight? After

Last year, I went halves with the neighbour to take down the ill cherry tree and fit new fences down the left side. Last week, the old shed (barely visible in the before photos because I am a master of in camera cropping) and evergreen column came out. The right hand fence was replaced, and the apple lopped. It’ll fruit a bit this year, then be much better in the future.

hard landscaping done

At the moment there’s lots more clearing out to do. The fern at the front had been growing either side of the fence. I’d ended up out in the garden in the dark, digging it out, the night before the new fence went up. There’s also a grass that appeared from nowhere and is gradually taking over the back bed. And the bare fences will be painted TARDIS blue, and the pond covered with something wildlife can still get through but curious children can’t.

It’s quite exciting to have a forced return to bare earth and the chance to build things up in a new way. I spent a whole evening looking up possible plants for the back bed. That bed is due to become a butterfly area, as GJ often seems fascinated by them. Happily, butterfly attracting plants are also often purple which is a colour I love.

Hopefully, I can keep updating here with progress.


Switch to our mobile site

google

google

asus