Arlandria's Long-Term Garden Renovation Thread

Discussion in 'Garden Projects and DIY' started by Arlandria, May 31, 2020.

  1. Arlandria

    Arlandria Gardener

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    Since we have so very many jobs to do in the garden, I thought it'd be nice to have a thread where I can update as progress is made.

    I shared a few pics of the work we were doing to demolish the shed on my Hello thread, which is here.

    Another weekend of manual labour is done and it's looking much clearer and tidier now!

    Here's where we are:

    [​IMG]

    The next big job is to get a pneumatic drill and break up most of that hardstanding. We won't do that until our daughter's back at school though, so there's a pin in that job for a few months at least.

    The boring job we're carrying on with while we wait is digging a trench to bury the electricity cable we're running to the new shed down the bottom.

    The fun job is planning - deciding how big our beds should be along the edges and what should be planted where.

    I've made a scale diagram to start filling in some decisions / ideas:

    [​IMG]

    The beds in Lawn Area 2 already have plants in them - mostly evergreen bushes, a couple of them flower. There's a weigela japonica with dark pink flowers and a pretty white frans spirea. They were here when we moved in and we're happy enough with them to leave them be for now.

    Things I'm thinking about:

    - Whether I'm happy with the planned stepping stone route
    - What plants might go in the beds in Lawn Area 1 between the rhododendron (pencilled in) and the DA roses (already there), and how deep this bed should be
    - What plants might go in the Shade Area to make it a bit nicer
    - Whether the Shade Area needs a little bench
    - What support Rosie will need, given that she grew to 8ft tall in her current position but we need access to the fence panels behind her
    - How on earth we level and re-turn the lawn without spending all our savings
    - What fencing / gates will go either side of the shed

    I love a cottage garden but need it to be relatively low maintenance. I love colour in the garden and would like more curves. We need to keep a lot of lawn and it's really important that we have places to sit with clear visibility of whatever our daughter's up to.
     
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    • Sheal

      Sheal Total Gardener

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      It looks so much better with the old shed gone Arlandria. :) I would suggest leaving the stepping stones until the rest of the garden is laid out. Quite often they are laid and then need to be moved. Also consider if you would stick to using the route planned with them. Again, they are often laid but ignored because it's easier to take a short cut across the lawn.

      I would leave thoughts of plants and garden furniture until the garden plan is finished.

      For the rose you might consider an arch or substantial trellis, necessary because of its weight.

      Is it possible to have better shots of the lawns please to help plan what work is necessary on them?

      There aren't any pictures of the area around the shed so it's difficult to suggest fencing/gates.
       
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      • Mike Allen

        Mike Allen Total Gardener

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        I really like the idea of sharing and in a sense working with you on this project. Please keep us upto date and ask all the questions you have.

        PS. Please. Don't overdo it.
         
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        • Arlandria

          Arlandria Gardener

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          Thanks! Yes I agree, the decision will probably be made right at the end.

          I'm a project manager by trade so it's in my nature to plan everything, even if it means things are pencilled in and we know they'll probably change, as it helps to manage dependencies and make informed decisions.

          What do you think needs to be planned before thinking about plants and furniture?

          There's no more substantial changes planned to the layout, other than removing most of the shed base and turfing it. We will likely alter the depth of the bed in Lawn Area 1, as there aren't any plants between the tree and the DA roses at the moment, but our choice of plants will inform how deep those beds are.

          The furniture is mostly for the patio, which is complete and has been for a few years. The only other thing is the bench under the apple tree, which we definitely want as it's a beautifully shady spot with good visibility that looks lovely in photos.

          I absolutely love the idea of an arch, or maybe an arbour bench, but I thought both of these needed one rose on each side rather than just one rose?

          We have no idea what this rose is, so the chance of finding a matching pair for it is basically zero.

          I'm also aware that it might not survive the move, which would be heartbreaking. (We're quite attached, Rosie and I.)

          Yes, but there's not much point sharing them now as it's going to change before the lawn needs to be done. We're still digging the trench for the power cable, so that's affecting it, and once the shed base is (mostly) removed, that part will need to be turfed too. We're also likely to be altering the perimeter beds at least a little bit which might affect the lawn.

          Basically it's not level and there are some dead patches where things have been stored or placed while we're working on it.

          No need for suggestions there, I have since worked out exactly what I want! It'll be something like this, stained the same colour as the shed. The gates will be as discreet as possible to enhance the secret garden feeling:

          [​IMG]

          Thanks Mike! As I said I do love planning things, so it's nice to have somewhere to talk about it.

          Haha, there is NO risk of that! :biggrin:
           
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          • ARMANDII

            ARMANDII Low Flying Administrator Staff Member

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            Hi Ariandria, since you're making this thread a long term account of your garden projects I have made it into a "Sticky" Thread, which will keep it at the top the Garden Projects Forum, and make it easier for you and any members to find.
             
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            • Arlandria

              Arlandria Gardener

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              Ooh blimey, no pressure there! :blue thumb:
               
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              • 2nd_bassoon

                2nd_bassoon Super Gardener

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                I love a project thread :biggrin:

                If you're keen on an arch or arbour for the climbing rose, don't let the lack of a matching pair dissuade you - two different contrasting roses up each side, crossing and mingling at the top, could be very striking. Or have a completely different plant on the opposite side; I've got an arch with a climber up one side/across the top and a clematis snaking up the other. It's not quite the traditional look but I think it works well, especially as the two plants seem to take it in turns to flower so there's always something interesting!
                 
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                • Arlandria

                  Arlandria Gardener

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                  Ooh, have you got a pic? I'm usually a very matchy-matchy kind of person but you've piqued my interest there!
                   
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                  • Sheal

                    Sheal Total Gardener

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                    Ah sorry, I should have worded that differently. I meant to say plants and garden bench would be better left until the garden layout from the plan has been completed.

                    There are no rules as to what should be planted together unless it was to be a formal garden, or you feel the need to have the sides of the arch the same. From what I can see your rose is a climber and there's every possibility it would cover the arch on it's own. Admin member 'Wiseowl' is very good at identifying roses but he will need information about the rose. Have a look at the Rose forum and you will find a thread specifically for this. :)
                     
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                    • Arlandria

                      Arlandria Gardener

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                      No worries! I was sitting here fretting about what I'd overlooked :loll: You can take the PM out of the office, but you can't stop her having anxiety about mishaps :)

                      Thanks! I've already posted in there, no luck so far but I suspect because I know so little about it, it'll be hard to ID. It's definitely a rambling rose, it doesn't have a strong scent, and we bought it at Homebase about 8 years ago. Sadly that's all I've got.

                      She might cover the arch on its own - she's certainly big enough to right now, but after cutting back this winter before moving her, I don't know. The space is so different now the shed's gone, it's difficult for me to imagine how she'll want to grow, and I am worried she won't survive the move.

                      I am a huge lover of roses though - at the moment I'm besotted with David Austin's Spirit of Freedom. Not a climber, but I suspect one will work its way into my garden somehow!

                      [​IMG]
                       
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                      • Sheal

                        Sheal Total Gardener

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                        Gardening is supposed to be relaxing??? :biggrin:

                        Wiseowl doesn't join us every day, but if you tag him (mention) he will reply when he's available.

                        Roses are tougher than many realise. If you prune it well, move it when it's dormant and mix some fertiliser with the soil when replanting, there's no reason why it shouldn't survive and thrive. It will take a few years to get back to it's former self of course. :)
                         
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                        • Arlandria

                          Arlandria Gardener

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                          HAH! None of my hobbies are entirely relaxing. They're all creative (gardening, knitting, sewing) and come with a certain amount of stress over things not coming out right. All part of it though - if there's no risk, there's no reward.

                          I'll give that a go, thanks!

                          And now we're back to that anxiety I mentioned :loll:
                           
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                          • Sheal

                            Sheal Total Gardener

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                            The rose will be fine - and you will be fine. :) Gardens like Rome aren't/weren't built in a day, so relax and enjoy the process. My last garden hardly had a blade of grass out of place. My current one of now 2 1/2 years, is a whole different venture. It's 300 miles further north and being rural I'm retrieving it from nature after years of being unattended.
                             
                          • 2nd_bassoon

                            2nd_bassoon Super Gardener

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                            Not a great picture - I wish I'd thought to take one a couple of weeks ago, when the first flush of clematis was fading and the roses were taking over - but this is the side where the rose and clematis meet. The rose goes all the way up the other side in relatively deep shade so doesn't really flower there, then flowers all over the top and on the downwards bend of the arch. The clematis is in it's third year and starting to really fill the lower part of that side - I suspect another year and it will be completely joined.

                            2020-06-02 15.59.34.jpg

                            Regarding recovery from a hard prune, again I wouldn't worry too much - we moved in here in the winter of 2016/17, and our landlady had pruned the rose back to basically a stump. The first year it grew a bit but didn't flower at all; I put the arch in (a cheap £4 job from Wilko) mainly as a temporary way to stop the trailing rose branches hitting me in the face every time I came up the steps. I nearly pulled the rose out that year due to the lack of flowers, but never got round to it - then next year it did this, so obviously had to stay! (You can just see the baby clematis also flowering in this photo too)

                            61743512_10157456278477948_8187799862092234752_o.jpg
                             
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                            • Arlandria

                              Arlandria Gardener

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                              Oh gosh @2nd_bassoon, it's beautiful. Really lovely. I'm quite set on an arch now! We had one like yours for Rosie a couple of years ago but it didn't survive, it fell apart quite quickly. I think we'll need something robust, as if she does grow back to this size, she's a big girl.
                               
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