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What we have been doing for the last 2 weeks or so.


By anget


Anyone who has read my recent blogs or responses will know that I had become more than a little disillusioned with the state of my garden. It was cram-packed with plants and although OK when viewed from a distance, less than satisfactory when viewed close-up. Here are a few examples:

The weeds were all through it and there were self-seedlings all over (and usually in the wrong place). So we have girded our loins and are making good progress in a thorough clear-out, no sentimentality allowed!

We began by removing quite a number of roses: ‘Westerland’, ‘Arthur Bell’, climbing ‘Lady Hillingdon’, ‘Scarborough Fair’ have all gone. If it was overcrowding or very prone to blackspot then we have hauled it out. I’ve decided I still love a lot of their flowers but I can’t put up with the way they suffer by the year’s end. And OH was always being attacked by them, so he has got his own back. We may put back a few but not so many as before.

I’ve also learned my lesson about some planting from seed. A number have very bad habits of seeding all over, particularly some of the campanulas, aquilegias and potentillas. I’m sick of digging them out. The latter throw their arms all over and tangle themselves up with the other herbaceous and are a real nuisance. So off with their heads!

The runners can be a real pest, too. So we have chopped back alstromerias and asters. Here are the results after an average of 2-3 hours per day (each). You get some idea of the scale of the problem:

We have done a little replanting as well, but have decided to leave most of it until all the borders are cleared as many of the plants left in will need to be repositioned.

The last straw this season has been the pests! Slugs, snails, vine weevils and now a mole, damn it! The recurring cyles of drought, rain and wind have been enough to make anyone want to throw in the towel.

We have quite an area still to work on:

So there you have it, my garden warts and all! I thought by this stage of life I would be snipping daintily, trug in hand, not hauling and heaving. But the Boss keeps an eye on us:

and ensures our noses are kept to the grindstone. Even after all these years of gardening it’s chastening to think we can still make so many errors, but I suppose we never stop learning. If nothing else it’s giving us both a Good Workout!

More blog posts by anget

Previous post: Clearing the borders: Part 2

Next post: If you started a new garden....



You deserve a pat on the back,both of you for all the work you have done....infact a hug,if we are able to do this safely now....I can't wait to see how the garden responds to your alterations...

13 Aug, 2021


Thank you for the virtual hug, Meadow! I hope by the Autumn we will be able to replant and that it will be easier to manage next year. And look better.

13 Aug, 2021


I’m sure you’re doing the right thing … and I also feel sure that you will both be glad when it’s all finished 🙂. Good luck with that pesky mole!

13 Aug, 2021


Sheila, I know I am my own worst enemy with overplanting so.... The muddle has been niggling all year, so I'm glad OH has applied his strength to digging out hefty shrubs. I hope I can keep restraint in mind from now on..

13 Aug, 2021


Don't worry Ang,my OH calls me a nag at times..
I can remind you!!!

13 Aug, 2021


A very brave move Anget and one that I sense you had to make to feel happy about your garden once again.

It is the first major step to sorting it exactly as you want it.

Wishing you the very best of luck with it all and I have a feeling that this time all will be well.

13 Aug, 2021


I have to do the same, the garden is never static is it. First year it looks ok, second yr nice, 3rd year yes! then 5th yr onwards OMG! Need to dig and revamp.

I am at that stage with a few areas now. I will take inspiration from you Ange.

14 Aug, 2021


Meadow, I'm sure my OH calls me all sorts sometimes (under his breath!)..

Paul, the clear-through is kind of therapeutic, when you're in the mood. The difficulty will be in rearranging what's left to make it into a more pleasing whole.

Thanks, Rose. A garden isn't much to delight when you feel fed-up every time you look at it!

I was saying the same thing, SBG. The roses, for instance, were lovely at the start but some grew far too big and others didn't thrive. We took out 2 climbers and 8 shrubs and teas in the last few months. Now, once we're finished, all we have to do is work round existing shrubs. Easier said than done.

14 Aug, 2021


I sometimes feel like that about my front garden Anget! It was such a mess when we came here and all sorts of plants growing over each other. I do have to have plants close together as I have had to gravel all the borders thickly because of that b... fox digging it up.
I would sooner have borders with space so that I can see the soil.
You both have worked so hard and you can see where you have been! It's looking good!

14 Aug, 2021


Rose, I watched 'GW' this week on tv. and for once found it interesting. They had some envy-inducing stunning gardens on there and a wonderful front garden with architectural pond. I wouldn't have minded any of the ones featured. Such vision - which I can't seem to muster!!

14 Aug, 2021


It's nice to have a revamp sometimes, and it makes things easier. It will nook much better now :)

15 Aug, 2021


Glad you think so, Hywel.

15 Aug, 2021


I agree with what you say about “vision” Ange … where does it come from?! and it certainly was an inspiring programme this time 🙂.

15 Aug, 2021


I'm fed up with 'Monty digs a hole', Sheila :-) I know it's for beginners too, but I wish they'd get away from Elephant Garlic and chillis occasionally! I do enjoy seeing other peoples' gardens, as was the case this week.

15 Aug, 2021


Well done on your arduous task!!!! It’s a real achievement, Ange. Sometimes we do need to have a good overhaul.
My garden isn’t so big at the back, the front is fairly self sufficient…
I’ve removed lots of things over the years, I don’t really go for bedding plants. I love seeing other people’s dahlias, hebes, Daylily plants etc..but, I don’t have a lot of space. I have mostly evergreens: ferns, euonymus, rockery plants, acers, grasses, etc..I get my flowers from a lilac, some hydrangeas, a solanum, some rockery flowers, hostas and geraniums/sedums…

17 Aug, 2021


Well, Kate, we filled up the green bin each week and the compost areas with our extractions. But I'm finding it equally difficult to work out how to arrange a new layout!
Your garden sounds ideal. I am coming from the opposite angle, trying to add more evergreen and shrubs..

17 Aug, 2021

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