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By samjp


Hi everyone, it’s been a while since I last posted a blog. Last year (well 2014 – it was 2015 when I started writing this lol) I got a bit fed up with digging I think. After the lawn went in in July it took months to finish digging the borders ready for planting. Got there eventually though.

This year (2015) I’ve mostly watched how it’s grown, to see what gaps I’ve got, and how the plants all work together. There’s been plenty of weeding to do of course – saying that we obviously did a good job digging the mares tail out as it wasn’t too bad. I didn’t get out the in the garden half as much as I wanted to, partly as we only seemed to get dry weather when I was at work and partly due to the several months of refitting the kitchen, utility and downstairs loo (it was worth it though, I love my new kitchen – all done for a dishwasher lol).

I’m quite pleased with how the garden has turned out, although the borders need a bit of work. Thought it might be good to see a few before and after photos to see how it’s changed. So here goes

Before – a view showing the back door to the house and looking across from the back door along the house

After July 2015 – the corner by the back door to the house – I love this spot now, its a lovely space to sit (when its actually dry)

After July 2015 – the corner at the far side of the house. Annoyingly I don’t seem to have taken any photos of the rest of the house patio, either that or I managed to delete them.

Before -

After July 2015 – not quite the same views, photos taken from the patio by the house

Before – the side garden (as I refer to it) by the garage

After June 2015 – looking back towards the point the before photo was taken

Just a few other after photos:
Rockery April 2015

July 2015:

Patio by the garage July 2015

Shade border by the house July 2015

I’ve been quite pleased with how the garden has worked out. It’s so much nicer than it was before (lol wasn’t hard to be really) although the planting definately needs work. I’m currently working on redesigning the planting in the White section. It’s looked really pretty once or twice this year, but then was a bit lacking. Chances are good a follow up blog will appear requesting opinions and suggestions on this one. Planting plans are not my strong point lol.

We’ve also had a new addition to the family just over 12 months ago. He’s been a great help in the garden, digging up the weeds by the back gate (also known as a ground cover plant lol), dead (well live) heading the tulips and scarifying the grass. His name is Sunny and he’s a 3 year old (roughly – he’s a rescue dog) Alaskan Malamute

For 2016 I’m currently contemplating ripping out the front garden and getting that sorted out. Only thing is finances are a bit tight, considering my car needs replacing. Its spent more time in the garage than the road in the last 12 months. Plus point I’ve got to know the lads in the garage really well, we’re on first name basis now lol. Fingers crossed eh.

I have been lurking in the background over the last 12 months, thoroughly enjoying seeing how your gardens have grown. I’ll do my best to post more often now, hopefully things will be a bit quieter this year and I’ll have more time to spend on here.

Anyway I’ll stop rambling and boring you senseless and will simply say I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and I hope that 2016 is a great year for you. Happy new year.

More blog posts by samjp

Previous post: My poor Eucalyptus

Next post: Gardening injuries vol. 4



Welcome back! 'What a great job you have done'. Unrecognisable. Well done it!

3 Jan, 2016


Wonderful transformation Samjp. It must be very satisfying when you look back at the "before" photos, compared to your garden now. Nice one, well done. Happy New Year ?

3 Jan, 2016


Blimey. What a transformation. Your hard work has certainly paid off. Well done.

4 Jan, 2016


Welcome back Sam, and a big welcome to Sunny even if he is a garden helper of the wrong kind, lol, I am lucky with mine neither dig holes but Brynner is a dab hand at the pruning of the Buddhlia, your garden has certainly changed, it looks amazing and so much bigger now, you must love being out there now, well done ....

4 Jan, 2016


You must be very happy with the results of your hard work.

4 Jan, 2016


Happy new year Sam :)
Your garden is lovely now. You should be proud of yourself !
Sunny is beautiful. He'll bring you much pleasure and company too ...
All the best for 2016. Hope you'll show us more photos of your garden through the year :o)

5 Jan, 2016


Sunny looks very happy, and your garden improvements are wonderful. I like the path .. added to GoYpedia. :o)

5 Jan, 2016


Wow, what a marvellous improvement you've made, I love the pathway. Sunny is a beauty and I can imagine how helpful he's been! Best wishes to you for 2016.

5 Jan, 2016


Hi Michaella, thanks am so glad to see the back of the old garden. glad to see your still on GoY, hope everything is ok with you.

Hi Alan, thank you. Yes it is very satisfying. When it was first done I'd just stand and grin at it lol, still do to be honest.

Hi digginfit, thank you. It's safe to say it was hard work, still can't get over how much mates tail root we dug out.

Hi Lincs, thank you. Much more pleasant out there now, well would be if it would be if it would stop raining lol. Lol I seem to have stopped the digging with a garden of canes lol. Sunny is lovely, he's got a fantastic temperament we just don't always see eye to eye lol. At least he hasn't tried his paw at pruning yet lol.

Hi peter I am pleased thank you, still needs some work on the borders to spruce them up though.

Hi Hywel, thank you. Lol Sunnys company is far more welcome now he's stopped eating my gloves. I'll do my best with more photos - managed to delete a load last year :-(. Glad to see your still on GoY. Think of you every time I see your hardy geraniums at my moms - they've been lovely. Hope everything is

Hi Terra good to see your still on GoY, hope everything's ok with you and your guys. I love that photo of Sunny, he does look so happy. We'd only had him about a month then. He seems to be fairly happy with is, I hopehe is anyway. Previous owners apparently abandoned him in a back garden - who could do that to him?

Hi Gee, thanks. The path didn't go quite as I envisioned but I think it works - always makes me think of abandoned train track :-) lol thank Gee not sure helpful is quite term is apply to Sunny. He's very good at rescuing his toys from the box when I'm vacuuming lol

Thank you for such lovely comments., certainly makes me wonder why I stayed away from posting for so long. it's great seeing so many of the people I remember. I hope your all ok. Looking forward to catching up a bit more.

5 Jan, 2016


Did I send some Geraniums to your mother ... ? I can't remember (old age creeping up ! lol)
Anyway, I'm pleased to know they're doing well :)

6 Jan, 2016


Yes you split your geraniums and sent me 4 I think when I was doing my moms garden about 4 years ago I think. They really brightened up the shade border.

6 Jan, 2016


I can empathise about the mares/horses tail. My garden was full of the damned stuff when we moved in here. I'm on top of it but it certainly hasn't been eradicated.

7 Jan, 2016


You have my deepest sympathies there. It's awful stuff isn't it. My mom managed to get rid of it in her garden. Unfortunately it's starting to make a come back - got to have been 10 years without it though. Doubt we'll ever manage it, we're surrounded on all sides :-(

Will be happy if we can at least keep it under control

7 Jan, 2016


Fantastic changes to your garden, Sam, no wonder you're pleased with it! I'm about a fortnight behind on GoY, hence the comment being late. Handsome dog too ... :o)

17 Jan, 2016


Thanks Shirley. He is a lovely looking dog, we often have people comment when we take him out - thing is he knows it lol.

24 Jan, 2016


A huge improvement Samjp. The path is very well done and so is your new patio.

6 Feb, 2016


Thanks Dorjac. It still makes me smile :-)

24 Feb, 2016


Hello Samjp, I do admire the work that you have done on your garden, you can be rightly proud of what you have achieved. Now, in winter is the time to evaluate how you want your garden to evolve, but take time to see if the Mares' tails reappear in any of the bare patches before the plants really get going again. Good Luck and good gardening.

25 Feb, 2016


Hello Samjp
You can be rightly proud of the improvement that you have done to your garden, it is looking good. Now is the time to look at how your garden might evolve and any tweeking needing doing, but watch for emerging Mares'tails and deal with them Asap. Good Luck and good gardening.

25 Feb, 2016


Hi Siris. Thank you, it's just a tad different isn't it lol. I'm still playing about with a planting plan for the White border - definately not my strong point lol. I tend to be more of a let loose in the garden centre type lol.

I can all but guarantee the mates tail will be back. It was weaker last year, but we're surrounded by it here so it comes in under the fence. Whenever I weed I dig through plant foliage looking for the blasted stuff.

26 Feb, 2016


I know Convolvulus (bindweed) is a less invasive than Marestail, but I got rid of it by digging down the stems as far as I could wrapping polythene around the offending root and green bits then putting a total weed killer on it in the 'bag', when died back dug down deeper and pulled as much of the root out as possible. Did this each time any green showed above the ground - gone now. Keep pets away. Also used this method on Acanthus, with success.

26 Feb, 2016


We spent months digging out roots from the ground. Where it started to grow back we were crushing and spraying it as well with weed killer. Mares tail has a very tough outer layer that stops weed killer penetrating. With the problem being large scale crushing individual stems is a huge job. Even then it typically takes several goes at it (so I understand) before it kills it.

I'm working on the grounds of controlling it by regularly pulling it up. Yes roots will still be there but so long as you pull it early the mares tail will eventually die. We'll never be free of it, there's too much in the neighbours gardens. So long as I can keep ours reasonably under control I'm happy lol.

Well done for getting rid of bind weed by the way. Thanks for the tips as well.

27 Feb, 2016


Just found your garden make-over and been reading your blogs. What a difference, an awful lot of hard graft but it's such a nice garden now, and it will get better and better once it all starts filling out.. I imagine you are still grinning?? Lovely use of slate btw

2 Mar, 2016


Thank you Resi. Lol yep still grinning, can't imagine stopping that any time soon.

Thanks, I do love the slate such a gorgeous colour.

2 Mar, 2016


What a difference you have made, it is great size, love what you have done, well done, impressed!!

27 Feb, 2017


Thanks Angela. It is a good size garden, I was amazed how big when it was cleared.

27 Feb, 2017


Adore Sunny, how are you getting on with him? has he settled down now?

27 Feb, 2017


I have to say Sunny is a great dog, he's got such a lovely temperament. He seems to have settled down and is calmer than when we first had him. Although he can still get dippy lol. When we first had him he didn't know what to do with his toys. Now he has favourites that he takes from room to room. Seems silly but it's so good to see him play with toys on his own (although that's still rare)

Saying all that the little so and so dived across me a couple weeks ago when I was out running with him and sent me flying. The bruise on my knee was quite impressive.

27 Feb, 2017


Hope your garden is really amazing in 2017 after all that work. Shame about the bruised knee. Never had a dog only cats and you can trip over them too! He looks lovely, like a dog that pulls a sledge.

2 Mar, 2017


Thanks Dorjac.

Pets are remarkably good at lying in awkward places. When I went for a shower this morning Sunny was lying at the bottom of our bed. When I came out he was lying full length across the bathroom door. Our furry trip hazard lol. Yet when he goes to mother in laws (who is a bit unsteady) he'll lie in awkward spots but then moves his legs out of her way so she can walk past.

Malamutes were bred as sled dogs. But they pull heavy sleds. I always use the analogy that huskies are like thoroughbred horses and malamutes are like shire horses. They say a healthy Mal on his own can pull up to a ton! We've never tried Sunny with a sled, hate to think where we'd end up lol.

3 Mar, 2017

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