K's Garden

Building a large garden on a budget

Cross Court Lawn Monday 28 November 2011


Cross Court Lawn – 2007-2015

At the end of the old Tennis Court, now renamed “Centre Court”, is an area the width of the garden where we had intended to have a pergola. We changed our minds and planted grass, surrounded it with a hedge with curved ends, and each of the three main avenues up the garden – the Red Border to the East, then Centre Court in the middle and the Blue & White Shrubbery on the West now feeds into Cross Court. This provides an opportunity for the continuing paths to be deliberately not lined up, so once within Cross Court visitors can choose a different onward route.

Cross Court – Ploughed – Mar 2007

We had the area ploughed and then rotavated it in Autumn 2007 …

July 2008

… but by Summer 2008 the weeds had grown back of course. I sprayed them periodically with Glyphosate.

Cross Court – East – Jul 2008

We had used the area for a nursery bed of Yews, but they were bought and planted very late in the Spring of 2008, and they looked brown and unhappy during the Summer.

Cross Court – East – Aug 2008

Nonetheless many of them survived, but we weren’t really on top of managing the grass around them:

Cross Court – West – Jun 2009

April 2010

By 2010 we have moved the yews to their final position in other, permanent, hedges, although this area still have “tufts” where they had been!

Cross Court – East – Apr 2010

October 2011

We planted the crescent yews at the end in the Spring of 2011. Sadly we lost many of them; I’m not sure why. It was extremely dry, and as that was not anticipated we were late starting irrigation assuming that rain would arrive any day! I think Moles may also have contributed to disrupting the roots and allowing them to dry out, we had not noticed that treading them back down the soil sunk considerably – I’ll remember that in future. And finally I did wonder if it might be foxes, as we had used quite a lot of bonemeal in the planting, and maybe they got scent of that.

The area was also used for piles of soil etc. during the conversion of the Tennis Court into the topiary “Centre Court” garden, and these were levelled and reseeded in Autumn 2011. Also visible is the blue irrigation pipeline that we laid up the length of the garden.

Cross Court – West – Oct 2011

April 2012

In Spring 2012 we rearranged the shape of the hedge along the rabbit fence (left of picture):

Cross Court – West – Apr 2012

Extending Hornbeam Hedge - May 2012

Extending Hornbeam Hedge – East – May 2012

The grass is still rough, and needs levelling off, and the hedges need to put on some growth before it will start to look more “complete”

Cross Court – West – May 2012


East - Apr 2013

East – Apr 2013

We levelled the lawn in April 2013. Looking back on this time it is disappointing how slow the Yews were to get cracking. Back then we didn’t focus enough on using weed suppressing membrane and on installing irrigation to make sure that young plants received adequate water; that probably added two or three years, over the course of a decade, before the hedge reached 8 feet tall.

West - Apr 2013

West – Apr 2013

East - May 2013

East – May 2013

West - Oct 2013

West – Oct 2013


West - May 2014

West – May 2014

East - Jun 2014

East – Jun 2014


East - Jun 2015

East – Jun 2015

The yew hedge is still a bit patchy but, at last, it is now getting a move on.

West - Jun 2015

West – Jun 2015

Next page (Bulb Planting 2016-2017)

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