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Back garden, the beginnings


This is a s good a time as any for doing the hard labour and clearing of your garden if you are going to do it, so last week I started to clear a part of the hedge between the back of the house and a large Winter cherry

Then I asked my husband to give me a hand and thankfully he agreed!

It’s not so much the cutting down but the clearing up afterwards and cutting the branches and brambles into sizes that can be easy to compost, bag up, burn or shred.

There are some evergreen shrubs which I haven’t cut down, but will try and transplant to a different part of the garden where I need a hedge, these are a Laurel, 2 Bays and a Euonymous

They will be planted at the top of the garden along this make shift boundary

It is unfortunate, but the Winter Cherry doesn’t have that much life left in it, it has rotted nearly all the way through, but we have already chopped another one down which was dead and a rotten old apple tree also had to go. I don’t want to be the one to take all the mature trees out of the garden.

I do have other things to replace it. I bought this beautiful Mexican Weeping Pine,

I also have a Ginko, Monkey Puzzle, Paulownia and Victoria Plum

We did hire someone to do a bit of clearing last Summer particularly at the top of the garden, it was totally overgrown and you couldn’t walk to the boundary
I am planning a woodland area with another couple of trees, ferns and some naturalised bulbs. I have plenty of logs and they will play a part as well to encourage wildlife.

We did start the clearing and for Christmas we put up the shed. This is not somewhere I can store my tools or boil a pot of tea, but it is for my 4yr old daughter. There was method behind this madness, I would be out in the garden so much that she needed something to do and Father Christmas filled it with art and craft stuff and somewhere she can sit with friends

I’ll be able to encourage her to do a bit of gardening with a few pots dotted around the shed. I may even get a wormery so she has got something vile/fascinating to look through!

The more I look around this garden, the more I discover. We moved in during July 2008 so I have missed the Spring and I have no idea what bulbs/perennials have been planted by previous owners and what I can use in my garden scheme.
I have noticed plenty of bulbs popping their heads up. Cyclamen, Arums, daffodils and I think snowdrops or blubells. I am planning on lifting them all and replanting them in the woodland area so they will naturalise

I have of course been buying and collecting plants to put in the garden when all of the landscaping has been done and the greenhouse which I have inherited with the house (which hasn’t got a door) is full. There are
Abutilons (climbing variety) x 2
Rambling Rose
Chlorodendron bungii x 2
Centrum Elegans x 1
Acacia baileyana purpurea x 3
Magnolia Grandiflora x 1
Ricinus Communaris x 3 (yes I know it is a deadly plant, but it is going where no-one can reach it)
ferns large varieties x 6
Dracunculus Vulgaris x 6
Bamboo……………………………well the list goes on and ther are more on the way, the freestanding plastic coldframe/greenhouse is packed full of perennials Eryngiums, Physalis, Verbena, Pulsatilla, ajuga, geranuims and other bits and bobs.

The Pieris japonica ‘Little Heath’ is a miniature shrub and will probably replace the Coprosma in the front garden. There are 3 Berberis Red Pillar there as well so they will be evenly placed along the hedge to provide a size difference which is what I originally wanted to do with the Phormiums interplanted with the Coprosmas, but they were Tenax not Cookianums and would have grown too big.

This is the biggest garden I have ever taken on and there really isn’t that much of a plan which has been left by other owners so it is a blank canvas for me to develop.
There are some barriers which are really frustrating like this 20ft bloody leylandii which I won’t be able to plant in front of!! An ideal place for a patio or path me thinks.

There are beds which are already insitu and have plants already in them. I am going to clear them out and improve the soil and probably make them bigger.

On my way around the garden taking pictures I cam across this beautiful Camelia, the only one out at the moment! I don’t think there will be any for a few weeks as it started snowing really heavily which is really unusual for the Isle of Wight

Whilst taking this last picture, I noticed my naughty little pyromaniac up to no good at the top of the garden
First the petrol,

then the fire

then the joy, tut, tut!!

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My goodness, Andrea! What a huge task you have to get the garden as you have planned it!
Please may we have the wood from the trees for our log-burner? LOL.

I know you did a make-over in the front, so now it's the turn for the back...are you going to do anything about the end fence?

BTW - do I understand from the purchase of the little Pieris shrubs that you lost your Copromas as well?

1 Feb, 2009


The big logs are going to be part of a log pile feature in the woodland area and my little pyromaniac will need some wood to burn in the metal bin!
The end corrugated iron fence belongs to the Local Authority it separates us from a privet hedge which is a surround for the Park which is on the other side. I will cover it with something, not too sure what yet.
I have lost some of the Coprosmas, they do not bode well in their current situation so I am going to interplant the ones I have left in the beds I am going to create in the back garden

1 Feb, 2009


Glad you haven't lost ALL of them, Andrea! I am going to replace mine, if I can track them down, and plant them in bottomless pots, then take them into the greenhouse for the winter.(Andrew's suggestion) I did love my Coprosma collection! :-(

Pity that 'fence' belongs to the council! Didn't I see a few sharp pieces sticking out - with my binoculars? H&S should be told - at once! Maybe they would replace it witha nice wooden one for you??? Maybe? Just possibly?

1 Feb, 2009


Wow. You have a big job ahead Andrea. It will be lovely when you are finished. I really like the shed you put in for your daughter. I'm sure she will have many hours of fun in there. What a great idea.

2 Feb, 2009


You have a big garden. It will be lovely . The shed for your daughter is a wonderful idea. I think I could join your husband with that fire. I love to burn things in the garden. I always used to do it.

2 Feb, 2009


I am finding it all a bit daunting really as I've never taken on anything this big. I am planning on doing a level 3 diploma in September which is a 2 year full time course in horticulture, I think I'll offer my garden as a project for the course!!!
I am going to start at the top and work my way forward. But there is thick snow this morning so I'm staying in today!!

2 Feb, 2009


That sounds wonderful - I wish i'd done something like it when I had the chance. Good luck.

2 Feb, 2009


You've got a big project there Andrea, good luck! I once bought a house on a quarter acre field that had never been cultivated. It was a lot of work but we got there, everything grew wonderfully as no goodness had ever been taken out of the soil. Look forward to your photo's as you progress!

2 Feb, 2009

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