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All change at La Fontaine


So what do you do when you come back after seven months to a garden disaster?

Why, take on far too much in too short a time and try to change the whole garden – all at once, of course!

Some of you will already know what it looked like and what I lost…but just to remind you…this was the front garden two weeks ago…

So, I decided to scrap the tropical look here, and be a bit more sensible…berry garden and some shade for the pond.

First job – try to create some interest around the pond…there was a weeping willow in waiting, after all…

But, when? It rained every day…until…Tuesday!

Where to start, then?

Turf lifting…!

And after five hours work, this is how it looked…

I actually felt quite pleased with myself – I was almost half-way there (on this part, at least), although I ached in places I didn’t even know I had. So on Wednesday I went back to work.

But, after seven months, in which my only form of excercise was flicking the page button on my kindle, energy supplies ran out…

…pathetic…you’ll agree…

So, much though it went against the grain, I realised, ’I need a man!!!!

But, I found a strapping young lad, instead, who set about the task like a hot knife through butter!

And while he was doing that, I lifted all the tropicals – live ones went to pot…and the dead ones to the worms…

Meanwhile, he moved on to the other ‘lawn’…well, I did say the ‘whole garden’! (but more about that later lol)…whilst I got on with the other stuff.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, he finished all the work – except the removal of the turf…

Which I spent all day, yesterday, barrowing sods over to the chicken garden…

… and coming back with rocks to put around the pond…
…there were times when I didn’t know whether I was coming or going…

But, today! Down to the good bit – planting at last!

Berry garden in the raised bed…kilmarnock willow strategically placed for shade…things ‘pinched’ from other parts of the garden planted in the new beds…

I know that it has still got a way to go – lots of spaces there for new arrivals! lol!…

Unfortunately, the pond now looks like a french p√Ętisserie…but I do have more plans for that…

I also know that the little walls still need facing (although, it has only been just over a year since they were built)…

…and the pergola and paths need tiling…

…and the lawn needs serious attention…

…but Rome wasn’t built in a day (they had the wrong project managers! lol!)…and maybe I have to admit that I do need some help (occasionally!!)

But, I did say that I started on the whole garden…

Whilst I engaged with the yuccas in mortal combat, ‘strapping young lad’ tackled this…

He worked hard…

…and this is how it looked this morning…as seen from the pergola…

I’m planning to have an archway with climbers…roses, I think…

…and, in the meantime…
…the choisyas and campanula have been relocated…

So! Don’t hate me – but I’m praying for rain tonight!

…And another good day tomorrow so that I can move the fatsia out of what’s going to be the kitchen garden…

…and plant the tomatoes…and all those heucheras…yatta, yatta, yatta…

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Gosh I feel tired just reading this!!!. He,s a really good lad you,ve found such a helpfor you well done!

5 May, 2012


Good work, Karen ..
Please may I borrow him ? ;o)

5 May, 2012


Like Pam, I feel tired just thinking about it all, but hey isnt that going to look good when all your hard work is done. 'More power to your elbow' as they say. Well done on what you have done so far.

5 May, 2012


wow Karen, what a transformation ~ you must be really good at imagining what will look good

i love what you are doing with the pond and its surrounds, looks so good already

i also really like the new lawn shape and rose arch will be fabulous.

5 May, 2012


I bet you feel a whole lot better about your garden now though Karen, it must have been really upsetting when you first got back but its coming on in leaps and bounds already, in a few weeks you'll be relaxing and admiring once again...
Hang on to your strapping young helper, lol....

5 May, 2012


I'm two months behind...and that's not including the fact that I left before the growing season was over...twitch, twitch!!

and, and, and... multiple twitches!! lol!

And...of course you can, TT...well, maybe not him...but, I'm sure he has an English cousin... ;))

5 May, 2012


I also feel tired thinking of all the hard work you've done, plus your helper, well done you.

5 May, 2012


Wow, you have been busy! What a difference you've made already... and I love your linked circular lawns. They remind me of crop circles! Well done....go and put your feet up and have a nice glass of something 'reviving' ready for tomorrow! :))

5 May, 2012


Oh, Sticki and Lincs, thank you for your encouragement! :))

I'd love it to be 'stuffed with plants' but, I'm just moving things around now, because OH has put me on a budget!!!

I really, really, hated not being able to look after my baby...!

5 May, 2012


blimey you've worked hard there, it absolutely excellent Karen. such a big difference...

5 May, 2012


Thank you, Clarice :))

but, we all do it......just not as often, perhaps! lol!

5 May, 2012


great blog karen and so much done to, love the pond area very much, its hard to decide what to use for shade isnt it, also love the shape of the lawn and that will be great with an arch there, well done, looking great :o))

5 May, 2012


Help ma boab!!

Cannae keep up!!!!

Feet already up, Karen...enough...until tomorrow! lol!
-you know what I mean ;)

SL...I can honestly say that I will never manage it ever again!! I'm cream crackered!!

Let's hope I got it (nearly) right this time..... ;)))

5 May, 2012


Thanks San!

The pond was there since last bare!!!

I have a plan for the arch...but, it's still under wraps! :)))

5 May, 2012


Fabulous,K!! He must have been fed on Mars bars!!!! What a lot of work.......You have now achieved your goal with the lawn layout.Everything else will slowly fall into place.

5 May, 2012


Its all looking great. I love the way lots of Goyers are reducing lawn size & increasing planting space.

5 May, 2012


Thanks SL - it has not been without pain!!!! lol! :))

...but I'm not happy with slowly, J!!
And I do realise that I have a problem...!!!!!

...btw - it was Lion Bars... ;)

5 May, 2012


Oh,no wonder he was "roaring" to go!!!! No I know what you mean.Slow is not us,is it? By the way the Pixi was disappointed!

5 May, 2012


Ooooh! How come, J??

Hi Willinilli! This could only have been laughingly called a 'lawn' anyway...

...long story...pallets of blocks...bindweed...etc.!!

5 May, 2012


Oh dear, I'm exhausted just reading about it lol ;o))
But it will all come together one day, and you'll be glad you did it ...

5 May, 2012


Coming along nicely Karen - it is a killer of a job!!!!

5 May, 2012


I was? ????
Great job hen! Is that yer toyboy? ;)

5 May, 2012


Well hun you are most probably asleep by now but that all looks amazing! Love the new lawn shape and the boy/ help/gardener Lol!!

5 May, 2012


Oh Wow...what a difference! Like the shape you have made with the lawn. The pond will look less bare as the months go on. Lifting turf is not an easy job - at least you were able to get a wee hand!
We won't tell your OH about the arch yet!!!!

5 May, 2012


I was waiting for someone to comment on the 'young man'..thought it might be you Pixi ! Lol...looks fit though,doesn't he ? :o))

5 May, 2012


Lol!! Thanks Annie - and you were right...I fell asleep on the sofa and had to drag myself upstairs at about 2am...!

Pixi and Bloomer - he's a lovely boy (emphasis on boy)!!!!! LOL! He's my friend's son...he looked like a wee cherub when he was younger. ;)))

Thanks Hywel - it's the 'one day' bit that I'm not good at waiting! ;)))

Thanks,'re so forearms don't feel like they belong to me this morning!! ;)))

Thanks Scottish...I really don't think that I would have managed it at all without help! I'm having something made for the top of the source at the moment...and OH doesn't know about that it's a case of 'softly softly' at the moment! lol!

And, if I ever EVER come on here, saying that I'm thinking of changing it again...PLEASE STOP ME!!! LOL!

6 May, 2012


I'm sure i commented on this yesterday but I must have forgotten to click on add comment. Senior moments taking over again. You have done a huge amount in a short space of time and it looks very promising. With the shrubs in place at the neck your lawn looks like a scotch thistle. I'm looking forward to seeing it develop. Does OH have to stay in Nigeria for the five year contract or will he want to come back when he sees the transformation taking place at home.

6 May, 2012


I've done a bit more today because the weather is not to be good this week...lots of plants moved and some sitting in bags waiting for inspiration about where to put them... OH is in Scotland on business and will manage a few days here next week (I don't think he'll ever break his contract though, Sg)...and his son and friend are arriving next weekend to spend a week with me.

So, I have to get it finished in the next couple of days.

I'm running out of steam and ideas, though.

I've got some big spaces to fill before I can start putting back the smaller stuff.

6 May, 2012


Take one space at a time and put up a question to get suggestions Karen. You might get some suggestions that you would never have thought of.

6 May, 2012


Very imaginative, especially the round lawns - they will look fantastic joined with a rose arch. Gosh you have worked so hard no wonder you are tired! Give yourself a treat now, you deserve it.

6 May, 2012


Thanks have! I'm going to see what I can find today at the market.

Thank you, Steragram! It was a very long, very boring but very major part of the garden...

Now, what should my treat be, I wonder?? The roses perhaps?!! ;)

7 May, 2012


bet he's not so angelic now! lol

7 May, 2012


You have a wicked mind, Pixi! lol! ;)))

7 May, 2012


Pixi...behave yourself...time for a cold shower!:-) Karen it's going to look wonderful when it all settles down and I love your round lawns:-)

7 May, 2012


Thank you, problem is, I'm too impatient to wait for it to settle in.

I will be out there at it again tomorrow - weather permitting! lol! :)

7 May, 2012


Yes,naughty Pixi..I would edit your last sentence if I were you ! Lol..

7 May, 2012


She needs telling Bloomer, now you're her adopted mum....I blame the parents:-)

7 May, 2012


I had the same problem 2010 Karen after my makeover I couldn't wait either:-)

7 May, 2012


You are right ,Ba..I'm not being firm enough with her...right,young lady,no going out to the Youth club this week,..are you listening to me Pixi?...come back,I haven't finished ! .....Is that strict enough,Ba ? somehow I don't think,eh ? now in my day......

7 May, 2012


Karen , hon , lots of good work there ! Tranquillo !
I was waiting for the comment on the "young man ".
Those girls , they need to get out into the garden to expend their energy a bit !
How is the battle of the knott-weed going ? Progress report please .

7 May, 2012


It's a terrible responsibility you've taken on there, you know what you've taken on?? lol!

And, it's a terrible affliction having to see everything finished and perfect all at once, is it not, Ba? lol :/

Thanks Driad! :))
The neighbour came to see me...he's going to have professionals in at some time over the growing period. So, I'm going to dig up the shoots which are approaching me. I should really have done that before I started everything else, really...but, I keep thinking, 'Just another day or two and I'll be finished all this'!!!

7 May, 2012


Oh Karen...I didn't know you had the dreaded knotweed:-( Do you have to report it in France too? :-)

8 May, 2012


Hi Ba!
Although some departments are beginning to wake up to the problem, they haven't gone nearly as far down the road to eradication as the UK...probably just more space here, so it hasn't caused enough damage, yet. :(

8 May, 2012


I wish you luck, it is quite an attractive plant it was growing on a filled in railway behind my old house, what a rate it grew at! I believe it is possible to erradicate though:-)

8 May, 2012


It is very nice to look at, Ba - especially when it's in flower. My neighbour bought and planted it a number of years ago...and now regrets it as it's marching up towards his house too.

I have faith that he'll do whatever's possible! :)

8 May, 2012


apparently it was brought here as an everyone regrets it lol:-)

8 May, 2012


I neighbour bought it from a shop!! \O/

8 May, 2012


Well what a difference a boy can has come on in leaps and bounds, love all the new shapes, look forward to the next update....

9 May, 2012


Thank you very much, Dd2. :)
Strapping young lad was a godsend. If not for him, I would probably still be at it...and wishing that I hadn't started!

10 May, 2012


Homebird !
He's still lurking there somewhere .

12 May, 2012


Lol, Driad...does that go for all of them...? ;))

Thank you Hb! Archway now in and roses planted...just waiting for OH to cut what I laughingly refer to as the 'lawn'...I reckon that's his definitely his job!!... ;))

12 May, 2012


I suspect as much , Karen !
Hope all goes well with the visit , give them all a garden task to do .

15 May, 2012


Already on to that Driad! ;)))

17 May, 2012

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