Thursday, 16 January 2014


Yes, welcome to the garden of disorganised thought. R thinks we need to call in a designer. She has decided she likes gardens with structure, with organisation. She has decided that our garden is uncoordinated (a bit like my mind) and needs sorting out.
She likes the woodland area and the beds around the house.

Beyond that all is bitty - a bit here and a bit there. This is true though creating what she wants will take money and TIME.

R wants instant garden (as we are getting older) and waiting ten years for something is not on her menu. This is tough as trees and hedges take a long time.
However, I have to agree that the lower garden is a bit of a shambles with a stream wandering through a bog and two silted ponds to the bottom corner.
I know she does not like the willow tunnel and the veg beds (which should be moved out of sight).

So, let me start with what we keep - the upper banking and woodland, though she wants a big tall hedge to keep us private from the field - snag - the soil there is poor, people ride by on horses (so the hedge needs to be HIGH!), there is competition from nearby mature trees.
We also keep the flowerbeds around the house, more or less, and, perhaps the path leading down the garden and, perhaps, the path to the Wendy House.

So, what have we left?
We have the lawns, veg and fruit beds, cold frame and all the far and lower garden plus the big banking. At the far end is a dry stone wall and along then lower side is a ditch backed by a field hedge. From the septic tank located just beyond the flowerbeds runs a long pipe and soak away. It goes under the blackcurrants and fruit trees to the stream where it turns sharp left (had problems with the stream disappearing into the soak away pipe at one time) and continues down to the hedge ditch. The water running out of the pipe feeds the ponds.

So what is permanent in the affected area?
Firstly the big eucalyptus - an R favourite, perhaps the six white birches and definitely the Wendy House (R's writing shed). The stream will have to stay in some form or other somewhere and the soak away pipe mud be considered.
The problem with the big banking is that it is a huge heap of hardcore tipped when the house was built to extend the platform on which the house stands. The photo shows it when I decided to clear the grass by burning it - a decision I regretted and I only just saved the plantings by bashing the grass with shovel. It has a thinnish skim of soil - a foot or so thick and is alkaline. This means rhododendrons, azaleas and heathers are out. R dose not like heathers anyway. When we first moved in I asked the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) for ideas and there reply was mainly unhelpful. Since then I have planted shrubs and small trees in a rather haphazard fashion. (R hates haphazard, she says.)

Alternatives might appeal - what about concrete? Really ungreen, hideous to look at but very very low maintenance - at least in my lifetime. Then there is the let it go thought, allow it to become jungle, do not weed. Possibly a path could be mown through the middle so the mess could be admired.
A BMX track, artificial ski slope, a beach, a children's playground, drive-in cinema all spring to mind.

So, rather than calling it The Garden of Disorganised Thought it could be The Disorganised Garden of Thought?

Or we could move house.
Or we could get planning permission on the bottom garden and sell it off.
Or we could keep looking at it and what to do.
Or we (R) could get in a garden designer and I could grumble and mutter.
Or we could spend thousands building steps and walls, buying mature eight foot hedges and then, realising the amount of work needed to keep all okay, get a gardener as well as a designer.
Or . . . . . .

My raspberries have virus. Time to dig them up and burn them. Perhaps I have virus too. Perhaps I need a designer?
Come to think of it I needed that a long time ago.

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