Trunky's New Garden

Discussion in 'Members Gallery' started by Trunky, Jan 27, 2018.

  1. Gail_68

    Gail_68 Guest

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    Hello @Trunky I hope all is going well with you mate? and hows your garden coming along :)
     
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    • Trunky

      Trunky ...who nose about gardening

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      Hello all, just another quick update. I haven't had much time for posting on GC this summer, what with the upheaval of having a whole new heating system installed in the house, looking after Mrs Trunky after her recent feet operation and, of course, the almost constant watering needed to keep things going this summer.

      The new bed which we created in April has thrived and has surpassed my expectations. I crammed in plenty of plants and they've all established well.

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      As always in gardening, nature has added a few finishing touches to our work. Several sunflowers have popped up in and around the bed, (presumably from bird seed) which I've left in place.

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      The best surprise though was this Nicotiana which popped up from nowhere at the edge of the bed and has put on a lovely display of deep red flowers, which have the most gorgeous scent in the evenings. No idea where it came from, but a most welcome addition.

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      My little selectioin of plants in containers by the front door is doing fine, these all came with us from our last garden and they seem quite happy in their new home.

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      Down at the end of the garden, my small raised bed made from scrap timber is providing us with plenty of lettuce and spring onions for salads. As an added bonus, a couple of New Zealand spinach plants popped up, probably from seed in the compost I used to improve the soil, they're thriving and providing some welcome fresh greenery. I now have two pallet compost bins on the go nearby, so I should be producing my own compost soon.

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      Last weekend was spent emptying and dismantling the raised pond, which sat near the back of the house in a rather awkward position. I've kept the rigid liner, with a view to sinking it in the ground elsewhere in the garden at a later date. The 'wall' of the pond was made from broken up concrete slabs. I've re-used some of these to make a 'rustic' low retaining wall on a small piece
      of ground near the house where our new boiler now sits.

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      There's now a patch of bare ground where the pond formerly stood, I somehow managed to dismantle the whole thing without disturbing the two sunflowers which had grown there over the summer. :)

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        Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
      • shiney

        shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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        That's a really good display, @Trunky :blue thumb: and a good reward for all your hard work :yay:. We're really struggling to find much colour in the garden.
         
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        • Cassie

          Cassie Gardener

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          Looking good! The nicotiniana is beautiful, and retaining wall looks great - what are you going to plant at the top?
           
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          • Verdun

            Verdun Passionate gardener

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            Excellent there Trunky.....some lovely plants. You must be delighted with what you have achieved :)
             
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            • Trunky

              Trunky ...who nose about gardening

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              The area where the new boiler sits is slightly higher than the path which runs alongside it, so I built the retaining wall to make sure there's no chance of the soil gradually eroding onto the path.

              It needs some low growing ground cover which will stabilize the soil while still allowing access to the boiler, so I'm going for Cotoneaster dammeri, an excellent evergreen ground cover plant which roots freely and spreads over the ground quite quickly, while being quite tolerant of occasionally being stood on.

              As luck would have it, I was pruning a bed of the very same at work last week, so I 'saved' a few shoots which had rooted themselves and I've brought them home and potted them up. :biggrin:
               
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              • Trunky

                Trunky ...who nose about gardening

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                A little more progress this weekend, I've erected some trellis to screen our new 'garden feature' - the oil tank.

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                Given my lack of DIY skills, the job went fairly well and I'm happy with the end result. There was one moment of panic when the oil tank alarm went off just after I'd finished putting the last supporting post in. For a few horrible moments I thought I'd damaged the underground oil pipe which feeds the boiler, but it turned out it was just the vibrations caused by me tamping in the rubble I used for backfilling around the post. Panic over. :phew: :rolleyespink:

                As for planting, I'm thinking a mix of evergreen climbers will look best, a combination of Tracheospermum, Japanese Honeysuckle and winter Jasmine maybe.

                Elsewhere in the garden, the new bed continues to thrive, the Rudbeckias in particular are putting on a great show and still going strong.

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                There's a mix of annual and perennial Rudbeckias in this photo. Those in the foreground are the annual variety 'Rustic Dwarf' and at the back are some perennial 'Goldsturm'. Definitely my 'plant of the year' for 2018.
                 
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                • Redwing

                  Redwing Wild Gardener

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                  Love the rudbeckia and sunflowers together!:):blue thumb:
                   
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                  • Trunky

                    Trunky ...who nose about gardening

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                    Well, we've been here in our new home for a year now.

                    Although there's still plenty to do around the new garden, it's beginning to take shape. I took some photos a few days after we moved in last year so we could look back in time and see what progress we've made, yesterday I took more photos for a 'before and after' comparison.

                    An overall view of the garden from the upstairs window.

                    Before
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                    After. The rickety old tree house which sat on top of the beech hedge is gone. We spent an 'interesting' Saturday afternoon dismantling it last winter, some of the timber I've re-used to build a log store, the rest will provide plenty of kindling. :biggrin: The beech hedge has been tidied up and shaped and has responded well to having some growth taken off the top.

                    The ugly conifer and pampas at bottom left of the first photo is gone too, that area is now occupied by the oil tank which I've screened using trellis which will support some evergreen climbers.

                    At the bottom right of the photo is our first new border, created in the spring.
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                    This is the area where we chose to create the first new border.
                    Before.
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                    After.
                    We got rid of the ugly doughnut shaped conifer and created the bed around the existing holly and what was a rather sickly looking Arbutus, deciding to give it a chance.

                    After digging over the area, incorporating the turf into the soil as it's very sandy and free draining here, we planted it up with a mixture of small shrubs, herbaceous plants and annuals. We crammed plenty of plants in, most of which I'd raised from division and cuttings and brought with us from our previous garden.

                    I must say it has surpassed our expectations. During the hot dry weather in early summer I gave the bed a good soaking every evening and everything established well and romped away. The Rudbeckia 'Rustic Dwarfs', grown from half a packet of leftover seed in the spring, have been particularly successful, providing a blaze of colour all summer. The Arbutus has responded well and has staged a dramatic recovery, producing plenty of flower buds which promise a fine autumn display.

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                    At the bottom of the garden is an area of grass and small trees. I'm going to keep this mostly as a wildlife area with long grass and wild flowers in amongst the trees. I got rid of the small yew tree which rather dominated the area and I've managed to grow a few salad plants and veg there this year, some of them in a small raised bed made from scrap timber.

                    Before
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                    After
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                    As you walk through the gate leading from the front of the house into the back garden, the view is now quite different to this time last year. The ugly conifer is gone, Mrs Trunky has repainted the gate and I've used some old broken slabs which previously housed a small raised pond to make a small retaining wall alongside the path. Still plenty of work to do in this area, but an improvement on last year.

                    Before.
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                    After.
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                    • Phil A

                      Phil A Gardener

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                      You'm done well Trunk :thumbsup:
                       
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                      • alana

                        alana Super Gardener

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                        It's amazing what can be achieved in just a year. Your garden is really taking shape and you're putting your mark on it. I would have got rid of the conifer too - they can be very boring. There is so much more light too. Your flower bed looks colourful and flourishing - a great improvement:smile:

                        How are you enjoying sunny Suffolk? I'm from the north and I found it really difficult when I moved here as a teenager. I don't think I'll ever be accepted as a local but after marrying a Suffolk man and having three "local" children I'm not such an alien now:)
                         
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                        • Trunky

                          Trunky ...who nose about gardening

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                          Thanks for your kind comments alana. :blue thumb:

                          It's a bit different for me, I'm Suffolk born and bred and we only moved a few miles. After just over 30 years living in Ipswich, we moved back out to the village where I grew up, just a mile or so from my childhood home, so it felt like something of a 'homecoming' for me.

                          I know we natives can be a bit reserved to start with, but we're quite friendly once you get to know us. At least you married a good owd local boy, so you probably qualify as an honorary local by now. :biggrin:
                           
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                          • ARMANDII

                            ARMANDII Low Flying Administrator Staff Member

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                            What, already???:doh::snorky:
                             
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                            • shiney

                              shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                              You've done a brilliant job there, Trunky. :yay:
                               
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                              • shiney

                                shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                                We had difficulty being accepted as 'locals' when we moved into the village. So we got involved in local things and it became much easier. Mrs Shiney joined the local gardening club and that made an enormous difference. I volunteered to help run the village hall and then set up a club in the hall as well. That way I got to know a lot of people. Nowadays, when I walk to the village (we're a mile outside) everyone I pass says hello and we sometimes stop and chat.

                                Mind you, we have been here 46 years! :lunapic 130165696578242 5:
                                 
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