K's Garden

Building a large garden on a budget

Shrubbery Sunday 30 December 2012


To the side of the house is a long, thin, stretch of land. Our aim is to have an area of rough grass by the house, with paths cut through it, which lead to a Herbaceous border (left), a Sunken garden (middle – with topiary and a knot garden) and a Shrubbery (on the right)

September 2007

The local farmer ploughed the area for the bed in the spring, I rotavated it, and its getting ready for planting.

Rotavating Shrubbery 2007

The “path” I have cut with the mower is far too narrow; I’m trying to create a curve so that the eye is drawn around the corner and into the distance, so that the narrowness of the plot is less obvious.

Shrubbery – Sep 2007

The left over sheds and dog enclosure need a drop of petrol and a match! but first we need to build some decent replacement sheds, and in a more appropriate location. Update: This was taken care of in Summer 2009 with the Barn Project.

March 2008

Well, one thing and another its now March. An autumn planting would have been far better, but we need to get going so as not to lose another year.

The plants are got ready:

and laid out in their planting positions

and planted!

it took most of the day – finished at 6:20 pm, as you can see the light is fading already

19 April 2008

Part of the shrubbery is a path to the Sunken Garden, which will be flanked by a Lavender hedge. I bought some plug plants:

which I potted on to 9CM pots – all 126 of them! (these plant holder trays are a huge time saver when moving things around en masse)

28 April 2008

A yew hedge was planted behind the Shrubbery, on the left (there is a photograph in the Herbaceous section where another yew hedge separated the Herbaceous area from the Sunken garden). This will form the barrier with the sunken garden. Late April is scarily late to be planting a bare rooted hedge, and we had some pretty warm weather afterwards, it was a gamble. I planted a hornbeam hedge at the front of this photograph too – to separate the lawn from the shrubbery.

06 June 2008

The hedge behind the shrubbery is not looking good – but it faces the prevailing wind (whereas the one on the herbaceous side is a bit more sheltered)

(this is from the far end looking back towards the lawn – shrubbery on left, sunken-garden-to-be on right)

10 June 2008

Here is another view. The weeds are getting a hold too, but that’s to be expected, and this part of the garden isn’t going to be on-show for some years yet, plus there is lots going on elsewhere that needs my attention. I will Roundup between the plants when I have time. I should have planted the hedge through some mulching-sheet though, that’s going to be more of a problem to weed.

10 July 2008

My small Chinese Tractor is bust, so I cannot cut the long grass. No real rush though, it looks a bit unsightly at the moment, but the hay will compost down well and give the kids an activity during the Summer holls!

I increased the path to 4 mower widths (4 x 24″), and I still didn’t think it was wide enough, so I’ve cut two more widths (on the left). The grass will take a little while to recover.

The actual path through the shrubbery was only seeded to 4-mower-widths, but when I planted the shrubs I allowed a bit more on the left, so I’ll need to seed that this autumn – it will be harder to get the finished levels right, and I am reminded of a lesson I was told as a youngster – “plant a grass path twice as wide as you need, much easier to make it narrower”

I’ve cut a clean edge on the right, and you can see the space on the left where I will widen the path. Plenty of weeds to do battle with; my Wife put a bit of carpet to smother some, which is great but we don’t have all the carpet left over from a QE2 re-fit to smother the rest!

The weather has been pretty wet, so far, and that will have helped the plants get started.

31 July 2008

I have hired a rotavtor to make the bits of bare earth more presentable. The weeds have been tackled with Roundup, but the dead stalks looked a mess.

Shrubbery rotavated

Shrubbery rotavated

Still a lot of weed to be dealt with. However … the stalks got wound round the rotavator and we spent more time unwinding them than rotavating. So Tom got the flame-thrower out!

Flame thrower to remove dead weed stalks

Flame thrower to remove dead weed stalks

The rough grass has got out of hand, so I hired a mini tractor to take a “hay crop

Grass getting long!

Grass getting long!

We’re raking it up to make a compost heap – should be plenty of soil-enriching-compost by next year.

Hay crop

Hay crop

Something to keep the kids busy with during the Summer holls. Must remember not to cut the hay before the school holidays in future years!

I managed to stick the pitch fork through the trailer tyre whilst loading the hay. Good job my dear wife didn’t do that – I would have been livid!

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One Response to “Shrubbery”

  1. Again, everything is looking wonderful. It just requires time and lots of patience (and tons of hard work too!) Just how big is your garden anyway?

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