The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

1000' up and going strong


By 2ndhand


I get bored with plain old gardening, and I like to introduce humour and unusual things into the mix. I know it creates more work, but hey that’s what gardening is all about.
I wanted a tin bath someone was throwing out, but I could only have it on the priviso I took a cast iron bath too. I’d already got one, but who can deny matching up a pair.
But what would I do with another bath? The OM was pulling his hair out. Here was he, trying to make it look ‘posh’ for the NGS, and I was filling my side up with Junk. Steptoes yard he said………….
But I can always use things. I wanted a mermaid so the 2 seemed to go together well.

My Gpo Mermaid, isn’t it usual to be in the bath and someone rings?
She’s made out of 2 Lonicera nitida and the bath is slowly filling with ivy. I’m training the ivy to cover her rather ugly bath and pedestal. I’m also training a Clem montana to cover the cast iron, which is part of the composting bays.
The bath is infront of a large common Spiraea bush, where dozens of sparrows meet every day. This caused me no end of probs. A few of them decided it would be nice to sit outside and chat. and mermaid became a look out point. I couldn’t understand for a while, why at such an early age, gravity had taken hold and she was getting saggy boobs, but this was the meeting point, (well points if you get my drift). Anyway, thankfully she has developed full size breasts covering and saggy they will be no more.

My version of the HP Basilisk was not intended for where it ended up. I have a small bank between the back yard and the rose garden, and he was going to be placed there. But having created his wire shape, I placed it on the lawn for safe keeping and the OM twisted my arm to position him where he was.
But I didn’t like the initial shape, too much like a snake, yukky things. So I gave him ears! He needs a couple of foamy plants around his bases, as he’s gotten quite leggy (if that’s the right word for a serpent), Maybe a few heuchera’s Palace purp.

Then I did a dolphin, well I wanted a dolphin, but a shark I created, he was s’posed to look like he was leaping into the pond, but nature has other ideas. He looks more like he’s had too much the night before.

When we moved here, There was a group of box, I suspect they were once a group of box balls, but years of neglect made them some strange shapes. I saw a pig in the clouds. (He’ll no doubt have wings one day). so I pruned him, and I must say he keeps his shape rather well.

Pumpkin head was just a huge shrub, evergreen with no flowers, another form of Box I suspect. But I thought it needed cheering up, so I put the face in and now he smiles all year round.

I have a thing about creating work for myself. I had help in placing the Laburnum tree we bought with us, in the centre of the square garden. But unfortunately I had no idea that the help was useless at centralising things. and being impulsive, I just dug the hole. Yeah right! then I looked, But it was all that was in that bit of the garden. When I decided to creat the rose garden around it, that’s when the trouble came. But I overcame the problem with my Pentacle bed solution.

I like to seperate sections of the garden, I don’t mean rooms, I don’t hold with those, No, more of sectioning off, but with views of the rest of the plot.
Anyway I discovered the ‘Moon gate’ on a farm, waiting to be screwed up and scrapped. A cattle feeding ring, makes for a lovely circular climbing frame. and what an entry from the front garden to the rose garden, even with a short lonicera hedge.

What is it with me and Lonicera? It takes less time to grow than Box, it needs trimming every 6wks but it was free, we have a section of it growing in the privet hedge at the front.

Now when I got bored at lunchtimes, whilst working for other folk, My imagination got to work. Anyhow with a scrap of paper I designed my maze.
I took loads of Lonicera cuttings that rooted. But the only place I could put it was in the OM’s field. So after smiling sweetly he agreed. I put the design on graph paper and out we went with some string, then wool and marked out the lines. Om took over. He planted out the cuttings. He mows the grass between the lines, replaces cuttings the ducks have broken and generally cares for it. He was pleased we only used small cuttings to start with and not 6’ shrubs, he’d never have got out.

Hubs is not a gardener, He likes gardening, but not maintenance, therefore his shrub borders are really groups of shrubs and plants in grassy areas. Which is fine, we garden differently, hence our own areas. (To explain a bit more. We bought our house from a couple who kept sheep and goats as pets. Flocks of them. But in the back paddock, there was a pile of rocks that we thought was maybe a goat tomb! Some of the rocks were too big to move.)

Hubs wanted a small pond in the garden. The only feature he felt he needed. So I duly allowed him, infact helped him to move some of the smaller rocks, and towed some of the medium sized stones with my landy. He dug a hole, lined it beautifully and we replaced some of the rocks, But between lining and replacing rocks, I’d been off somewhere, maybe Venus, but I wasn’t around to see what he used to build the sides and rockery basis up with. I just assumed it was soil from another area. Little did I know it was the spoils from the hole. I forgot he knew little about gardening. I’ve been paying for it for years. The backfill was the grassy lumps he’d removed in the first place. All dock and couch grass. I have fought with the couch grass for years, depressed and suicidle,

But now! this year I sorted the problem…….I planted short bamboo in his rockery around the pond, which can fight with the couch grass to it’s heart content,
I have a rubbery. (More tyres, more recycling) Oooh I’m a happy gardener, and I have planted all my little rockery plants in my rubbery. I put a few stones round and on the tyres, not to try and disguise the tyres, that’s not my aim, But I had a pile of rocks i’d dug out of borders and needed to put them somewhere…..

The aluminium pot behind the rubbery, was a necessity, I’d piled the rocks to place round the tyres and the grass died. Oh panic what can I do……..? Use the old tumble drier drum and put a pot suspended in the top and hey presto a “Contemporary pot placed beautifully in an entertaining garden” Well that’s what one visitor said and I’ll go with that!

More blog posts by 2ndhand

Previous post: One fine day. or was it wet?

Next post: Fascinating Fasciation



Just brilliant!!!!

12 Sep, 2010


fantastic i loved it.

12 Sep, 2010


Brilliant,a lot of though went into it.

12 Sep, 2010


Well I have to say ... the mermaid looks great ... tho' she could maybe do with a bit of Flash to clean round the bath! Trust the sparrows to choose the 2 best spots for chatting! Best excuse for saggy boobs I've ever heard!
Also the dolphin does look like a dolphin ... it has the right bottle nose shape ... not sharkish at all!
The obelisk reminds me of that famous photo of Nessie ... more serpentine than snake ... if you plant near his base it will look like the ripples in the water!!
Love the smiley face & the maze ... great stuff ... well done you!! :o))

12 Sep, 2010


Great read, and very clever topiary! :-))

13 Sep, 2010


Great Stuff !

13 Sep, 2010


Fascinating to see what you have achieved with a bit of imagination, hard work and talent. Well done, you. I love 'Nessie' and the smiley face is just brilliant, would cheer up the dullest day.

16 Sep, 2010



17 Sep, 2010


I'm glad you do all the work and we can enjoy it. It is wonderful what you have both achieved. Are you open for the NGS. I'm sure members would like to know when so that those living in the area can visit. Sptitzhenry opens down in Somerset and several others do too.

27 Apr, 2011


Yes I do, and this year I've taken on the added coach parties by appt.
Here's my website

28 Apr, 2011


Thank you.I will have a look.
I did try and failed with the link given but I did find you in the NGS site.
It would be helpful to members if you added your web site details and the fact that you are an NGS garden on your profile page.

28 Apr, 2011


I just checked, it is on my profile page but on the right of the page I think. I just checked, it's in the what else box. I will let the folk know nearer the time.

29 Apr, 2011


Thank you I got to it no bother clicking on My web. Lovely recipes, I never thought of doing meringues in the microwave. Can you buy Balsam seeds or do you have to grow the plants? I will need to try some of these.

29 Apr, 2011


I don't think the balsam seeds are available to munch on. You certainly can't buy them to propagate. This is the weed that is second to jap knotweed. It is very invasive and grows mostly along rivers, ditches etc. I collect my seeds from a clump growing in the wild along a ditch. They are ripe in july - aug. depending on where they are.

29 Apr, 2011


Thank you I will maybe pass on that then.

29 Apr, 2011


Don`t know how come I missed this but have to say I really enjoyed the tour of your garden even though I`m over a year late, lol...

9 Jun, 2012


I have enjoyed it again.

9 Jun, 2012


It's not looking quite so grand at the min. The last week has been wet so spent it on the plottie, so the lawn and some weeds are making abid to take over. But hey ho, it will be sorted in the next few days.

10 Jun, 2012

Add a comment

Recent posts by 2ndhand

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    16 Feb, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    27 Dec, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    7 Jul, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    14 Mar, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    24 Jun, 2007

  • Gardening with friends since
    18 Sep, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    10 Aug, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    29 Apr, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    22 Oct, 2008