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"The Haven" (3)


By david


At last, have got on top of the Ground Elder and other pernicious weeds choking the borders, and a mere 15mins or so each visit is all it takes now to keep them at bay.

The neglected clump of Kniphofia, which I cleared out, divided, and transplanted around, worked well, and produced 8 new flowering plants (pity they don’t stay, longer).

This is part of the original plant, which bloomed, despite being in rather deep shade under a Copper Beech. This hadn’t flowered for 2 years before my drastic intervention, so am pleased with the outcome.

The “Hostalry/Fernery/Woodland Walk to Nowhere” is also doing really well. This is the first of several new planting areas and projects, created from a corner of the garden which has, for long, been used as a dumping ground. When I first saw this, it was under 2 builders’ sacks of broken slate, which I managed to disperse and use as a decorative mulch. Then, used pruned apple branches to erect a trellis on 2 sides, which have since been planted up with various Clematis.

All the ferns were transplanted from elsewhere in the grounds, and I transplanted divisions of hostas, heucheras and primulas from elsewhere in the grounds, as well as from my own small garden. With dutiful daily watering by the owners, all are doing well!

The woody pathway was obtained, for free, from a few old telegraph poles in the next field, which had been sawn down and left by BT!!! And, we found an old roll of weed membrane in the garage, to put down first.

Have spent a lot of time trimming wild hedges and shrubs, which are now looking good, and manageable. This has resulted in exposing more of the area where we want to create an area with a bit of an Oriental theme, mainly on account of the huge Wisteria growing there.

This overgrown area is to be the site for a raised pond and water feature. I have already cut the wild hedge beyond down from over 10ft high and 5ft thick to half, and the light coming in now is amazing. You can also see that old caravan, which needs to be removed (from earlier blogs on this garden).

The caravan is filled to the gunwhales (and beyond) with rubbish – it became an extension of the attic, shed, garage, etc, for all the things “you don’t need now, but might, one day”. The caravan, I keep being told, will be emptied soon, and the van removed. It has become the main support for the Wisteria, but, as this has finished flowering, I have begun to prune hard back. My tactic here is to expose the old caravan to make it such a visble eyesore that it kick-starts its removal, lol!!!

Cow parsley, etc., in an adjacent field

More blog posts by david

Previous post: Captain's Blog (10) "Suntrap"

Next post: Captain's Blog (11) Our "Awfully Big Adventure"



Wonderful achievement David. You have a created so much interest and pleasing to the eye features. A real labour of love I am sure. Everyone happy all round? I do hope so and that they appreciate all the hard work. Carry on land lubber!

11 Jul, 2010


This is coming on nicely isn't it. I like the shady Fern and Hosta area. The Kniphofias are loved by the birds though, and even if they are short lived flowers I do like to have some around.

12 Jul, 2010


I think it must be the colour which first attracts the birds then they eat something on the flower spoiling it. We had woodpeckers visiting ours last year but have not seen them this year. You are making a tremendous difference to this once overgrown gardn. It is looking great already.

12 Jul, 2010


Great work, love those dry stone walls. Well done with your Kniphofias I divided mine last autumn and while they are now nice plants no flowers this year. Why dont you offer the caravan and contents on 'freecycle' - taker collects! it might just go?

12 Jul, 2010 have done brilliantly here ! Looks like the kind of project that would keep you going full time if that were possible ! Well done...

12 Jul, 2010


You have been working hard, David, but sounds like you are enjoying it too. Lovely to see the results of your labours :)

12 Jul, 2010


Many Thanks for the kind comments/

I am enjoying it, and more so since the owners have become interested enough to buy plants, helpw with watering, weeding, and grasscutting between my weekly visits. ;-))

Forgot how much sparrows, etc, are attracted to "Pokers" :-))

Drc, there may be asbestos in that caravan, as it is really quite old, so needing this investigated. Unable to offer it to anyone. :-((

12 Jul, 2010


I googled why do birds attack red hot pokers I found this on the Searles of Australia site
"Red Hot Pokers attract native birds which feed on their nectar."
and on freebase -
Nectar is a sugar-rich liquid produced by plants. It is produced either by the flowers, in which it attracts pollinating animals, or by extrafloral nectaries, which provide a nutrient source to animal mutualists providing anti-herbivore protection. It is produced in glands called nectaries. Common nectar-consuming pollinators include bees, butterflies and moths, hummingbirds and bats.

Nectar is an economically important item, the sugar source for honey. It is also useful in agriculture and horticulture because the adult stages of some predatory insects feed on nectar.

So now we know birds have a sweet tooth. RHP's are big lolly pops.

12 Jul, 2010


Wonderful info, Scotsgran - Many Thanks for this, and the trouble you have gone to, to search and replicate here. Wish that comments could be assigned to Goypedia pages - this would be under "botany".

Wonder if they teach/taught this very important part of horticulture at Suntrap?

Talking of "lolly pops", Guess what I found today in a local sweet shop? Real "Wonka Bars"!!!!!!! They have finally reached us, although a bit late for our previous garden theme. I bought one. You have the chance of finding a Golden Ticket inside, First Prize is a round-the-world trip, 1000s of other pirzes. it is in the 'fridge, unwrapped yet - LOL!!!

12 Jul, 2010


Could it go under bird feeders ? in Goypedia. No need to go out to refill it and it lasts a long time.

12 Jul, 2010


You are truly inspirational my man....absolutley fantastic what you have done and what you strive to achieve!

Keep up the good work and really enjoying the progression.......

13 Jul, 2010


keep up the good work and the even better job of sharing your progress with us. :o))

13 Jul, 2010


You have achieved so much already, David, I love the 'Woodland Walk' area.

16 Jul, 2010


its comeing on brill now david, just catching up on blogs. i did wot u surgested in a past mes bt making a trellis with the cable ties and have dun it in kitchen garden ,growing a montan clem on it now .and every 1 likes it. so thanks 4 that. ps using them 4 allsorts now.

6 Aug, 2010


gr8 idea, Scotsgran - natural bird feeders!!! :-)))

Will have great progress to share soon. Thanks, All! :-)))

Hope you are using black or green ones, Cristina, lol!! Will be off looking for pics of your arch now! you're very welcome! (wish I had invented cable ties - lol!) :-)))

7 Aug, 2010


they are black ,and it a kinder of sreen ,think there is a pic in my kichen garden . may have it on a blog bed behind the well.x

7 Aug, 2010


Will find! Many thanks!! :-)))) So glad you, and others, like your arch! :-)))

7 Aug, 2010


heron came to see my garden 2 day and he really liked it .1st thing he noticed. told him i gt the idea from you lol

8 Aug, 2010


Finally spotted your screen in your blog, Cristina!! It looks great and fits in beautifully!! Nice to hear that Heron visited you today. Did you give him some cherry pie? :-))

8 Aug, 2010


i gave him some cherrys wen i went to his garden and eggs as his hens arnt laying yet . wen he came here he went home wth apples and eggs again lol. i love getting pressies but i love to gv them as well. and am hooked on rustic trelis now. have dun rose arch in veg garden and a large sreen on the bak fence ,not sure wot to put on that yet. am thing grape vine, its the hotest part of garden . and have got lots of fruit down there, wot do you think .

15 Aug, 2010


Talk about "taking coals to Newcastle" - LOL!!! I love giving our surplus to our Grannies and Grandads, too! :-))

As long as you can keep the roots in shade, and the heads in the sun, grpes should be great!! You could also try the self-fertile kiwi "Jenny", which might do better where you are than where I am (I only get as far as the flowers). :-))

15 Aug, 2010


oooooooooooooo sumthing else lol ermmmmmm have to look in to that . thanks hun will go and put stones over the roots now . x

16 Aug, 2010


just gets better...

29 Sep, 2010


Hope all is thriving, Cristina. Did you get a kiwi vine? :-))

Glad to read that you are enjoying your "tour", Sandra. :-))

30 Sep, 2010

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