K's Garden

Building a large garden on a budget

Long Walk and Folly Sunday 30 December 2012


As part of the Garden Extension in Autumn 2010 we planted Hornbeam to make a long walk stretching beyond Centre Court and Cross Court.

The idea being that Centre Court and the Long Walk, the main vista from the house, will just be lawn and clipped hedges, and thus will always look smart. If the individual garden rooms are not presentable, either because we haven’t been able to weed them, or they are not in their best season, then there will be no need for visitors to see them!

The idea for the Long Walk, as an extension to a topiary garden, came from East Ruston Old Vicarage

East Ruston Old Vicarage – Kings Walk – Topiary and walk in the distance

and when I was there last year I took a tape measure and found that the far end was a metre narrower; this exaggerated the perspective, and is something I would never have thought of, so I have copied the idea.

I’m also thinking that we should maybe have some alcoves along the walk, into which we can put a statue or similar.

October 2010

Originally we planned to have a path to the very end of the “spit”. This was slightly curved to the left to accommodate the shape of the plot.

Long Walk – Original Plan – Jun 2009

In the re-think we decided to have a straight vista instead, which has a focal point a bit to the right of the path above, and this is what we laid out in Autumn 2010

Long Walk – Oct 2010 – Marking out

I started by mowing a wide-ish strip where the path would be, and a narrow strip for the hedge on each side, to get a feel for how it would look, and check how having it 1 Metre narrower at the far end exaggerated the perspective.

Long Walk – Oct 2010 – Soil preparation

While we had a JCB on-site in Autumn 2010 I dug the trench – enabling me to loosen up the soil, and then we rotavated it (with a mini-tractor and PTO-driven rotavator – walk-behind machines are hopeless for this size of job on our heavy clay soil)

March 2011

Long Walk – Mar 2011 – Hedge planted

It was getting a bit late for bare root planting, but the Hornbeam were planted in March, and leaky-pipe laid for irrigation.

Long Walk – Mar 2011

All planted! I’ve added a strip across the near-end to narrow the gap, based on how a similar feature looks at East Ruston Old Vicarage

East Ruston Old Vicarage- Gateway

Long Walk – Apr 2011 – Weed suppressing membrane

I tried planting through the weed suppressing membrane, but it was too tricky, so instead I have spent several hours in the Spring sunshine cutting slits in the membrane and sliding it over the plants.

Long Walk – May 2011

Membrane in place. Subsequently covered with wood chippings that we had from some felled-trees – although weeds have grown in that (but it still keeps the moisture in)

>September 2011

Long Walk – Sep 2011

Looking quite smart in September 2011

Next page (2012 Season)

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One Response to “Long Walk and Folly”

  1. Ziggy Says:

    Like the perspective idea.

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