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Starting Over

Discussion in 'Garden Projects and DIY' started by Enfield Steve, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. Enfield Steve

    Enfield Steve Gardener

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    Hello again GC, it has been a long time and a lot of things have changed since I was last an active member of this lovely community you have here. I am so happy to be back amongst you. And I am so happy to have rediscovered my love for gardening and gardens.

    To cut a long story short, my marriage ended after 24 years, I moved away from my home and garden that I had worked for over 12 years to Luton. It was a convenient move as I worked in Luton. I rented a small house that does have a bit of garden side and front, but as it's not mine I just keep it tidy. That's all i have to say about that.

    Not long after, I met someone who shared my other passion, Music. We got on really well and fell in love.

    That was 4 years ago, 3 years ago, we were sitting in the garden in Enfield and discussion came around that it needed some work. It had paving that created a central grass area that led down to the river at the bottom, a tiny border against the fence to the neighbour, some lovely Beech hedges that hid the other side neighbours space. The grassed area was, well.... mostly perennial weeds and grass 'tufts'.

    My partner wanted to keep a nice lawn, and paid for those Lawn Care people to look after it for a year. Complete failure. During this time, I helped do a little work on the tiny border. A few plants had to go and some new ones added. I don't have pictures of this early part, but will add some of what it is now when I go back weekend.

    Fast forward to last November, decision made. My partner decides it has to be flower beds, the grass has to go. Turf cutter hired, it is stripped in 5 hours, the turf was stacked upside down at the river end to try and bulk up down there. The area was covered with tarpaulins to suppress the weeds, it worked for the most part, but some of the devils had been in there years.

    Tarpaulins came off in middle of March. 2 days of digging and weeding then followed, raking over and riddling took another weekend. We planned the layout of the new gravel pathway and where the beds would be and the rough shape. Beds were prepared and my partner couldn't resist and bought some plants from the GdnCtr that had to be planted by request!

    20190420_203154.jpg Almost ready for weed suppressor, the nets keep the 3 cats off ;-)

    My partner wanted to start with the shady bed, as you can see.


    20190421_132126.jpg
    Gravel is done, 2 tons of it. Thankfully we have some younger male children to lend muscle.



    I have probably gone on long enough for now. I will post another instalment tomorrow if time allows.

    Steve.
     
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    • CarolineL

      CarolineL Super Gardener

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      Hi @Enfield Steve - looks like you're doing a grand job there - even if your partner is planting practically before you've finished! How hard is one of those turf cutters to use? I have been trying to get rid of my lawn by spade and lifting whole spits of grass + soil, but it's slow going. Does the turf cutter leave an easy surface to garden or is it still very 'rooty'?
       
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      • Enfield Steve

        Enfield Steve Gardener

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        Hi @CarolineL

        The cutter is great, just set the depth of the blade and it takes it all up. Very little root, it takes up big 'spits' if you set right. Ours was very uneven, so took more effort.

        I suggest suitable plants for the location, my partner decides which ( I do get to choose too tho'), colours etc.. I do the planting :yes:
         
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        • JWK

          JWK Gardener

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          Very interesting Steve, have bookmarked your thread to follow your progress
           
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          • Enfield Steve

            Enfield Steve Gardener

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            Part 2.

            About the same time that the tarps came off I sowed some annual seeds in cell trays and germinated them in the front porch (it's almost like a heated conservatory), nothing glam, just Sunflowers, Clary, Nigella, Calendula, Comos, and a few perennials. We also had a few trips to a couple of really good Nurseries and made a few purchases, the most expensive being a Tree Fern (Dicsonia Antartica)! I have never grown these before, just ordinary ferns. :rolleyespink:

            Work continued and a couple of weeks later, the rest of the gravel was laid down to what will become the Wild Flower Garden at the River end. We also watched the resident Coots have their first clutch of young 'uns. They did the same last year, they had 4 chicks, but within a few weeks the chicks were no more (there are pike along the stretch), this year they had 5, sadly only 2 have made it through.:sad:

            With all the gravel down, all the liner trimmed, it was taking shape.

            My Partner has become a Plant-a-holic20190519_175116.jpg


            20190519_175119.jpg
            This one shows the lovely multi-coloured Beech hedge that hides the neighbours space.
            20190519_175125.jpg
            The other neighbours side, showing the very narrow border.
            20190519_175322.jpg
            The annuals were almost ready to go in, and being mid-May, and the location, I took the plunge. They filled in most of the gaps (as had my partner with more plants, some annual, some perennial).

            That is more or less where we are, I'll put up some photos of how it's looking a month on, over the weekend as that last photo was 19th May. I'll be in Enfield from tomorrow morning until I go to work on Monday. Mr Weather man has said I should be able to get a few hours in :yes:.

            I'll leave it there for now, I will do a plant list in the next couple of posts.

            Thanks for looking in :dbgrtmb:
             

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              Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
            • Sheal

              Sheal Total Gardener

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              You've worked hard on your garden and it's paid off Steve. I like the lay-out you've chosen too. :dbgrtmb:
               
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              • Enfield Steve

                Enfield Steve Gardener

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                Thank you.

                there will be another post tonight when I get home from work, it sure has grown since that last photo.
                 
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                • wiseowl

                  wiseowl Friendly Owl ADMIN Staff Member

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                  Good morning @Enfield Steve my friend you have done a grand job ,I shall follow your progress,well done:smile:
                   
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                  • Enfield Steve

                    Enfield Steve Gardener

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                    Part 3

                    As you will see, the annuals have taken well to their home. The Shady bed has the most perennials, but the other 2 also have some, I will do a plant list after I get back from Belgium.

                    This last weekend, after a quick look around a Nursery (:thud:) that my Partner felt they needed, purchases in hand ( Dahlietta's and some very nice (and cheap) Dianthus ), we took to the weeding and deadheading as we are going to be away for 5 days. We also had some left over annuals that we could squeeze in, and the rest of the Perennials that had been purchased a week or so earlier that the rain had prevented being planted out. I say we, but I do the planting. Lesley my partner says she thinks it best as she hasn't had a lot of luck planting previously, and my stuff seems to live and grow :dbgrtmb:

                    This photo was taken on Saturday 15th June, almost 1 month after the last one in Part 2.
                    20190615_122450.jpg

                    And this.

                    20190615_122505.jpg

                    1 More

                    20190615_122515.jpg

                    There are still a couple of gaps, but we have plants in mind.

                    This year has been about a quick garden, we do have a fair few perennials, but over the next year or 2 we will add more. Also planning Spring Bulbs already, and eventually all 3 beds will take us through the 4 seasons.

                    I'll go through the plans for other areas of the garden, in following posts, but I do have to mention the long narrow border.

                    2 years ago, I don't know where the idea came from, but Lesley decided she liked Heucheras. The border (I use this term loosely as it is only about 12inches deep from edge of paving to the wooden fence, but is about 5m long (15ft in old money). So a hunting we went, cut a long story, you can see in the photo....

                    20190615_122609.jpg
                    We has Huecheras....

                    I'll go through this border, when I've finished up with the beds plant list etc....

                    Just to finish off, these were taken yesterday, after all plants were planted.

                    20190616_183816.jpg

                    20190616_183938.jpg

                    20190616_184047.jpg

                    Finally 6am this morning (17/06/19)

                    20190617_060158.jpg

                    I hope you are enjoying this little journey, I certainly am. It's great to be back gardening again.

                    Thanks for looking in.
                     
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                    • Upsydaisy

                      Upsydaisy Total Gardener

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                      You're creating a fabulous garden there Steve !!! It's amazing how quickly everything has grown ,looks very healthy and lush.

                      I too will be following this thread.:awesome:
                       
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                      • Enfield Steve

                        Enfield Steve Gardener

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                        Thank you, I think sometimes you can almost see the plants growing ;)
                         
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                        • CanadianLori

                          CanadianLori Total Gardener

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                          Very impressive! I love the gentle curves and colours. :)
                           
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                          • Enfield Steve

                            Enfield Steve Gardener

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                            Thank you. Lesley picks most of the colours, she has a good eye. Me I would just sling them anywhere, but I am learning from her :)
                             
                          • Sheal

                            Sheal Total Gardener

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                            May I ask the name of the river please Steve? My better half was born in Enfield.
                             
                          • Enfield Steve

                            Enfield Steve Gardener

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                            It's the Lea, flows through Luton too :)

                            The canal out the front is Lea Navigation.
                             
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