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Hard slog - digging up the front "lawn"....


Been wanting to get rid of the grass in front of the house for ages. Started last year when I paid a bloke to start digging it up for me. He got half way and then did not return. Result has been one half full of plantains and various little visitors such as dandelions. The remaining half I left unmown due to lack of motivation and it being a pain to get the mower up the patio steps, through the side gate and down the drive…always involves having to move loads of pots on the patio too..a right pain, hence wanting to get shot of it.

I was started on monday. Thinking it would be really hard, I was pleasantly surprised to realise that my lack of mowing had been the best thing to do. The long grass had weakened itself and was relatively easy to yank up after forking over. I carried on briefly yesterday and have now covered most of the area with weed barrier membrane (temporarily) until I can resume. This stops it becoming a horrible muddy mess…

My plan is to fill the area with lovely tulips (I have already bought far too many !) and wallflowers. Just thinking of the spring display is making me all of a dither! I have also got several “impulse-buy” plants that need to be planted so the new bed is ideal – a “Pallida” witch Hazel and a teeny flowering cherry.

Once the bulbs and wallflowers have finished, I will plant more grasses and daylilies.

I spent today planting bulbs for one of my lovely ladies – and now have a blister on the palm of my hand. “Ballerina” Tulips with “Purple Sensation” alliums and “Passionale” tulips planted with “Orange Emperor” …lush.

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So no more green sward at your house, Claire! Your plans sound lovely. I'll be waiting for the photos next year!

8 Oct, 2008


hi claire
look forward to pictures in the spring. i'm a selfemployed gardener/nurserywoman. today i was gardener no blisters but aching muscles for me today..cutting down leylandii and removing a rotten shed. but what a lovely day.

8 Oct, 2008


Deep purple tulips, wallflowers with Alliums-a great combination,and our favourites again! The tulips will look spectacular in big drifts.
'Queen of the night' tulips combined with Tulip 'LadyJane' (Ivory& pale pink) are also a lovely combination.We are about to plant masses of these for our spring colour combination for next year along with Bluebell bulbs and Muscari hyacinths to accompany our Fritillarias and Hellebores in our shady 'woodland' garden.

Good luck with your make-over. It sounds really exciting and far more interesting than the lawn. Do post up some photos if you can.
Best wishes,

8 Oct, 2008


Your idea sounds great Claire esp as grass mowing so problematic . Comes a time when the impractical outweighs the benefit and dont blame you for losing the lawn.

Sounds like you ve had a few issues with male gardeners in your time . You state that you paid a guy to start digging - he should have given you a quote and not been paid till he finished .

9 Oct, 2008


Claire, sounds like you have already done a great job, feel free to come over and do mine. half my front garden is dug up, need to find the time to finish it off.
look forward to seeing photos of your hard work

9 Oct, 2008


Sounds if your front garden is going to be great, look forwould to seeing your photo's in spring. have to admit i'm not a front garden person, keep it looking nice clean & tidy but give me back gardens any day.

9 Oct, 2008


Thanks for all your encouraging words! The sun is out again today so I would love to be carrying on but have to go and weed someone else's front garden...

Grenville, my front bed will be a bit less tateful than your's - loads of yellow tulips (including "Yokahama" and "Yellow Emperor") with a mass of deep red wallflowers and several clumps of the more exotic striped varieties of tulips (all variations of yellow and red). Eye-catching or eye-watering, depending on your point of view!

I am off to France with Hubby for a long weekend (leaving my lovely 10 year old behind with his grandmother). He is into "extreme" kiting (yes, there is such a thing!) so whilst he does that with the lads, us ladies will hit the supermarche and I will look for some bulb bargains! Got loads from LeClerc last year - all much cheaper than UK.

Just hope that I will be fit enough to plant things on monday...may have a teensy bit of a headache...

9 Oct, 2008


Good luck with your trip to France and hope there are lots of goodies to bring back!
Love the colour combination of red and yellow- Great!

9 Oct, 2008


enjoy your trip Claire, dont forget your camera

9 Oct, 2008


Hi, I am also in the process of improving my front garden, and initially dug up the lawn so that I could relay a new circular one. I hired a turf cutter, cost about £80 for the day, invaluable for relieving all the backache. The machine strips the lawn from the soil so that it can easily be rolled up and removed.
I had a tough piece of lawn under a very well established cherry tree, the roots were too near the surface and it was impossible to remove the grass, so I have planted some wild flowers and some different grasses and lots of bulbs for spring, hopefully it will look ok.
Good luck with yours!

9 Oct, 2008


Ooh Andrea, you were very good. Sadly I had no turf at all - just assorted weedy grasses looking very manky. NOT a good example when I call myself a "professional" gardener!

The wild flowers and grasses sound lovely. I am a big fan of grasses - just not the weedy sort!

We should both post some before and after pics.

BTW Irish, I will take my camera, but most of the pics will be of vast sandy beaches, sand dunes and loads of HUGE kites.

We will be on the North Coast, not far from Calais in an area called Les Hemmes, which is full of WWII pill boxes and sand dunes.Wild rocket really does grow wild along the sand dunes.

We went and in June and I took pics of all the amazing wild flowers growing along the edges of the fields - poppies were everywhere. Wonder what I will see at this time of year ?

9 Oct, 2008


Beautiful plants and bulbs. - Yes , much better then boring grass.

10 Oct, 2008

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