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in Garden design
Over the last two or three years I Have been busy transforming a very neglected and overgrown mess into something different.
To me many gardens are very stale and boring and you often have a job picking out one from another. Quite why people are afraid to think outside the box a bit, is a bit of a mystery to me.
A garden should in my opinion hold interest and fun to all ages. A happy child equals a happy adult. A garden should also where and when possible be accessible to people of any ability or disability.
Those ideals have helped to form the back bone of what I am trying to achieve, and in some ways whilst the garden is a long way from being finished, I am close to my goal as I have now been approached by a local school with the view to the children's gardening club coming to visit.
Sculpture is forming a large part and main framework of my garden, and all pieces are being made by myself. Plants are kind of secondary, but are also going to form a crucial element. The soil is very acidic and the garden is quiet wooded and shade covered. It is also sadly North facing.
Another key element and something that was last years project, is the vegetable garden. My personal design brief for this was quite simple. I wanted to keep it as easy to look after as possible!
If you wish, I can post up photos of the various stages, various sculptures and various features, and here is a quick and small glimpse.
Also a quick couple of before shots!
Oh, my goodness, what a lot of work1 Well done and do let us see some more. So glad you are sharing it with us and your local school. Your vegetable garden is splendid.
Thank you for the kind words.
I constructed the veg plot the year before last (loosing track of time) It again had been very very neglected and I had start completely from scratch. Time was on my side in 2011 to really give it the commitment that I should have, and the very dry May didn't do me any favours either as the irrigation tanks hadn't filled, and what water we did have went on the newly planted shrubs.
View from above.
I constructed the runner bean frames so that they can just be lifted, folded up and then stored away for winter.
Work bench made from wood that I pulled from a bonfire.
The IBC tanks are filled from the guttering, and the water is then taken from a sunken animal water trough. It works very well, but it would be lovely to pressurize the system.
A couple more before shots of the veg plot.
And here are a few bits and pieces that I have made for the garden.
I cut an oak tree down and decided to make the stump into a seat. The tree is now growing again, and I'm training the new growth up to form a canopy over the seat.
A bird table made from some of the rest of the oak tree.
A deer made from somemore of the tree.
And yet another simple project made using the wood from the oak tree.
This is one of my favourite projects. 'Mega Swing'
I'll add some more projects a little later.
I love it .I could definetly learn alot from you .please keep posting pics,it is a great pleasure to see something amazing as this.I was fit and healthy when I established my front garden.Ive recently been diagnosed with an hernia which I am poorly with most days this restricts me,but I am managing to keep it neat and tidy.I have a back garden that would make an excellent veg plot,the problem is I cant dig anymore so Ive had to settle for a few veg bags,do you have any suggestions.
Hi Sal3, many thanks for the kind words.
I am afraid that when it comes to advice about veg growing, I am probably not really the best person to ask. I am new to veg growing, but my observations of what hinders others are that very often the bed size is too big to be manageable. To me a 4' wide bed is ample. It can just about be reached from both sides, which makes maintenance very much simpler, and avoids the need to trample on anything. Planting up too much of one variety at the same time also seems to be a common mistake. Last year I decided to just have a play with a couple of the beds, and simply mixed all the seeds up that I had left over from packets, and scattered them at weekly intervals over different sections of bed. Attack from insect and pigeons appeared to be less, and it lead to a far less regimented design. I'll probably do the same again this year.
I'm also only going to grow one type of potato this year. Organic Cosmos, which I can't speak highly enough of. They are good for boling, chip, roasting and salad. The taste is also superb.
Back onto my other projects to help make this garden a little different, here are a few more photos.
One of two fun bird nest boxes.
A contemporary bird bath. ( I have just given this to a charity fundraising evening)
Another feature log stack. This one isn't finished yet, as I still need to make some wooden bees to fix to it. Size wise, it is approx 7' in diameter and the same in height.
Note that the wood gets smaller and smaller as the structure rises.
A closer look at the circle spiral. This was about one weeks work!
Also a bird bath which gave me the idea for the project above.
More to follow.
Thanks for the advise,absolutley love your pictures,please keep posting!
Thanks Lorelei, but I can't lay claim to the garden being mine. It's my mum-in-laws and I just get to play, share and develop it just how I like.
Anther project that I carried out last summer was the construction of this wall. I need to wait for the spring before I can finish the soil and planting works.
Again all my own work.
A neighbours daughter helped me with the stone pathway. She set the stones out and I laid them. It's good to get children involved with projects.
Just before I had finished building the wall, I came up with the idea of fitting a time capsule into it.
The wall is finished in these two shots and the plate is being fitted by my daughter.
Even the time capsule was fun to do. My daughter and the neighbours daughter decided what to put inside of it, and this is what they each wrote.
For some reason the top is missing from this one. I'll have to try and find the original photo and try again.
And a few more photos of the woodwork in the garden.
Again, there is more to follow.
A very grubby bit of oak that I found laying against a bank on the side of a road. I thought that it had great potential to become a seat, and whilst not yet finished, you can get the idea.
A little mouse.
Another simple bird table.
A snake made from pine cones.
And finally for this evening some nicely finished oak gate posts.
Hello Eddie. Many thanks for taking the time to upload these photographs. What an achievement, and an extraordinary amount of work. I love the log stacks, the spiral and bird bath in particular.
Hi Daniel. Thank you for the kind words.
I can't deny that it hasn't been and isn't hard work, but the main hard landscaping aspect of the garden is now drawing to a close.
Oddly despite all that I have achieved, I am still disappointed in the result so far. I actually prefer smaller gardens, the smaller the better. Some of the best designs have been achieved in areas as small as a balcony on a flat for example.
I love the intimacy and vibrancy that can be created in a small space. Sadly unless you have a bottomless pit of money, and a 100 year time slot spare to create it, you just don't get that effect with large gardens. Visually, I'm sure that in many respects you can spend more time looking at a small garden than a big one.
Part of the problem with this garden is the time to create it and the time to maintain it. I can't do both, so currently the shrub and flower boarders around the lawn areas are very tight and straight. Once I have finished the hard work, I can then start to create wider beds that meander and flow. Sadly it currently an unbalanced compromise.
The large logstack with the arched seat would probably not have been started had I known how long that it took to build. There is approx 18 cubic metres of logs in it, and I spent nearly three months of winter Sunday mornings building it.
Even the Honey Pot one took a week to make. Having said that, it did collapse and I had to start all over again! I quiet enjoyed making that one though, and found it a very good way to just relax and clear the mind. I have a big problem with being indoors during day light hours, I just can't do it and need to be outside doing something, no matter what it is.
Anyway, that is enough rambling from me!!
One collapsed logstack.
Commiserations about the log stack, Eddie! That must have been very galling. You're quite right that there are never enough hours in the day for gardening, and this can be true of plots much smaller than your own. Don't be discouraged, though, by your amazing achievements so far. And don't feel that you have to tackle it all at once - you can always call uncultivated areas your 'wildlife garden'!
You might find our video on wave planting, featuring Carol Klein, useful when planning how to fill large spaces. Keep up the good work!
Wow Eddie what a busy man you are, great achievment and love your sculptures.
i know what you mean about wanting to be outside whenever you can, when i am not at work i am itching to be out in my new garden or down my allotment, my mother used to say when i was little "if there was dirt about i would be playing in it" and she was right, even at my age i see it as going out to play, there is something calming about being hands on with nature and the elements, keep playing and enjoying your creations, look forward to seeing those to come.
Hi Eddie, what area is your garden?, have you thought of joining the open garden scheme? my little garden is only about 10 square yards, we have an area for the family to sit and eat outside, and my grandchildren to play, and for the first time I grew most of our vegetables last year, some in raised beds made out of old pallets, and I dug up most of the shrubs, keeping 3 roses and a hydranger. I grow lots of herbs, and keep the cottage garden character with hardy geraniums, pansies etc around the edges. I d love a bigger garden, but could nt cope with one the size of yours, and could nt design or build the wonderful structures you have made.
Wow what an awesome Garden !! .... Such an inspiration ..... You are very talented indeed ! My partner and i are starting our own little Utopia this year and looking forward to it ... Will definately be watching more of your progress , thanks for sharing
Inspiration is right! well done and thanks for sharing, clearly have a very creative vision and interest in the garden is something that encourages increased participation.
sal3 why not get someone to make you some raised beds for your veg or else you can buy them in garden centres. Veg bags are not deep enough fpr alot of veg. You can also use large pots. Runner & dwarf beans do well in lg pots but will need alot of water.
Love your sculptures Eddie.
I loved looking at all your photos and they make me want to do things with all the bits of pear and apple tree that are knocking around my garden after a mega pruning session... I don't think I could reach your standards, but it makes me think it would be fun to see what what can be done. Lovely stuff! Thanks for sharing.