Latest posts by Blueboots

Very large garden - where to start

Posted: 06/05/2013 at 10:14

That looks great fairygirl. Can you post a pic when it's all in bloom, it look s gorgeous!

Thanks Gina, I like the idea of being able to change things when we get it in some kind of order. Slash and burn is still the order of the day, but I'm a bit more optimistic after reading all your comments.

Friends cautioned us not to buy the house because the garden was too big and would drive us mad. We'd always wanted a sea view though and couldn't turn the opportutunity down....and how scary can a garden be?

Very large garden - where to start

Posted: 03/05/2013 at 09:56

We're very lucky to be here, and the possibilities are huge The jungle is in pics 2,3 and 4. 2 is looking down from the lawn on the left of the garden. 3 is looking back up from a little further down, 4 is looking up from a spot on the RH side.

I thought I was good at photography, but taking pics of the garden that actually mean something was very difficult.

I didn't post pictures of the front Fairygirl - that isn't so outrageous, and it is looking better now. I know what you mean about tackling the stuff you can see. Luckily the jungle is out of sight - but we want to keep it under some sort of control so it doesnt't annoy the neighbours (or frighten us into not going back).

A couple of weeks ago we took out some 30ft high privet from the front. It was so big we got some sizeable logs for the woodburner out of it! My herb patch was nice, but couch grass has taken over and I'm all set to dig the whole thing out.

Weird cavity wall flower bed problem

Posted: 03/05/2013 at 09:47

I like both of those ideas thanks.  I will dig everything out - the narrow bits are pretty solid, though if you hadn't said that I might have been tempted to leave that bit. I like herbs, so I will put in some thyme, and I'll look up other mediterranean herbs.  The bees will be in for a good time with thyme as well. The bush in the picture has magnificent blue flowers and the bees flock to it (or whatever it is that bees do).

I've bought some bags of compost for another herb patch from the local DIY centre. I'm going to need a heap of "soil" for various mangy areas of the garden. What sort of places should I look for larger quantities?  And what would I ask for?  Soil? compost?

Weird cavity wall flower bed problem

Posted: 02/05/2013 at 16:27

I have a long walled flower bed at the side of the patio. At first view it looks quite nice, but it's built in "cavity wall" fashion and I could really use some advice on how to make it look tidy.

It's just over 10m long, with an overall width of about 95cm. The central planting area is 35cm wide, this is surrounded by breeze block, then another 7 to 10 cm of planting area, surrounded by bradstone. The centre woudln't be too bad, but the 7-10cm strip all around seems only to be good for growing weeds.

I've been her 2 years and left some of the original plants and added geraniums and a fushia. Last year I put some saxifrage in the thin border and that's looking good. The whole thing is very weedy and I'm thinking of putting new compost in the whole thing and starting again.

What do you think I should do with it so it looks good - and is fairly tidy? I'm going to leave a small shrubby rose under the bird feeder as is hides the mess they make, but the rest is up for grabs.

Should I put saxifrage all around the border strip? Would you plant annuals every year? I'm very fond of dianthus. Might a mass planting of them look good or be over the top? You might gather that I haven't done a lot of gardening (and I'm having to get to grips with it fast ).




Very large garden - where to start

Posted: 02/05/2013 at 16:01

Here are some views of the back garden. Behind the house there is a terrace and flower bed. Below that is a steep lawn, a row of trees/ big shrubs, then the jungle and the sea beyond.





This is my first time loading pictures and they look sort of squished - I hope that's just the editor window


Posted: 01/05/2013 at 11:26

Hi Ziggycat, I tried to send the recipe but the system says you don't receive Messages. Message me when you've set that up and I'll try again.

Very large garden - where to start

Posted: 26/04/2013 at 10:25

Fantastic advice, thank you everyone. You make me feel rather better about it all Rosie31, there is so much to do!

I don't think I need to put in a shelter as we already have a line of leylandii that stop a lot of the wind on the seaward side. We'd get rid of them but it's not possible (it's a shared border) so we're looking on the bright side - and we have been able to chop them down a lot so they are not ridiculously tall.

I will go and peer into other people's gardens, I hadn't thought of that.

We've already started to get better tools. Our last garden was the size of a pocket handkerchief and we're realising the tools we had for that won't do the job. It's nice to hear from another source that we shouldn't stint on tools - the temptation is to make do.

I had pots lying around doing nothing, so I'll quarantine my herbs in those - and replace the soil in the herb patch. Good idea nutcutlet!

Verdun, we're definitely going to have a veg patch (or two). In fact we had a very small area where we grew sweetcorn two years ago. It's relatively weed free and I bought some seed to try that again this year. There's a flattish bit where we're going to plant fruit bushes too. Just have to decide what to do first.

I'll get out in the garden now and take some pictures - then formulate some focussed questions to post.

Thank you all for your interest, advice and encouragement!

BTW, I will post a proper avatar when I can - the editor doesn't seem to be working properly.

Very large garden - where to start

Posted: 25/04/2013 at 11:45

Thanks guys, that's a great start. I will post some pictures soon, probably tomorrow as it's supposed to be sunny and I can get some good ones.

I like the terrace idea, but I'll have to look into that, I have no idea how to do it, and the land is very difficult to dig. We can't get a digger in there either as the only access is down steps. I do like the idea of terraces for different things, I hadn't thought of that. I'll have a search through the site.

I never thought of just planting a load of annuals for now - I like that idea, and it will look great

Weeds first though. Everything's just starting to take off again and I'm going to get out there with the sprayer. The areas with carpet have been covered for over a year now so I should uncover them and dig out any remaining roots.

My herb patch is a small area on top of patio, and that's where I have the couch grass. It's quite shallow, and It won't be too difficult to to dig it all out and throw the soil away, but I don't want to lose all my nice plants. Do you think it would be best to throw them away so the grass doesn't cling to the roots and come back?


Posted: 24/04/2013 at 15:07

Keep it - it's gorgeous!

Candied angelica can be bought in silly little containers in supermarkets (at enormous price). My mum used to use it for decorating trifles, but I have a white Christmas cake recipe that uses rather a lot, and it tastes fantastic.I've had to search to find a better source than the supermarkets. Here's a recipe for candying Angelica:

I've grown angelica to candy, and it grew big and beautiful, but when I picked it the hollow stems were full of insects and threw the lot away - it was disgusting  I've grown it in my new house but it didn't grow very well so I'm still buying the candied stuff.

Another use is when stewing rhubarb, put an angelica leaf in there too. It tastes good, and it means you don't have to use so much sugar to sweeten it.

I've just joined the site and I'm not sure of the etiquette. I could post the white Christmas cake recipe if you were interested, or post it to you.



Very large garden - where to start

Posted: 24/04/2013 at 14:44

My husband and I have moved to a house with a very large garden. We've spent a couple of years sorting the house out, now we need to sort out the very overgrown garden.

It's big, next to the sea, and mostly steeply sloping. At the back there is lawn that looks like a field ( ain't pretty), some large shrubs, a jungle (a wasteland of messy weeds), some conifers, a growing expanse of raspberries, and a patio with small beds enclosed by low walls. At the front there are more trees round the outside, and a feature with two raised leaky ponds, small lawn and more shrubs....and my cherished herb patch which my friend tells has couch grass and needs to be scrapped.

I've sprayed the jungle a couple of times now, and it's still looking messy but the nettles and brambles are being replaced by scrubby grass. we took all the old carpets out of the house and covered what we could with them. It's very untidy but better than chest high nettles. I feel I can start to do something with it now.

I've never done much gardening before and now I'm looking forward to doing some good stuff, there certainly is the scope to improve! I've joined the forum to learn and to become part of the gardening community.

I think my initial question should be: I would like to design my own garden, but I don't have the knowledge to even attempt that now. What should I plant in the jungle to keep it from reverting to jungle while I work on the more amenable bits of the garden? (The jungle is on a steep slope, next to the sea, west facing (although there is some shelter from the prevailing south westerly wind) some good sun, and some shadow. The soil is very shallow and stony - difficult to get a spade through. It appears to be very fertile judging from the height of the weeds, and the magnificent giant pumpkin vines we grew two years ago.

I thought about planting Vinca minor all over it and digging it up later when I have the time (and ability) to do something nicer. Maybe I could do something a bit more adventurous now?

It's exciting, but daunting. 

Discussions started by Blueboots

Replace conifers with fruit trees?

Replies: 7    Views: 3366
Last Post: 30/08/2013 at 08:01

How shaded should clematis roots be?

Replies: 6    Views: 5409
Last Post: 29/08/2013 at 18:39

Can I plant anything now

Replies: 7    Views: 1690
Last Post: 22/07/2013 at 13:58

Invisible something eating my roses

Replies: 17    Views: 5574
Last Post: 08/06/2014 at 17:39

Full sun fragrant climbing rose

Replies: 19    Views: 5002
Last Post: 30/08/2013 at 09:33

Bulrushes - a cunning plan

Replies: 11    Views: 11157
Last Post: 12/06/2013 at 09:38

Is ivy a good thing or a bad thing?

Replies: 7    Views: 3368
Last Post: 21/05/2013 at 15:25

How to create base of bog garden?

Replies: 5    Views: 1652
Last Post: 12/05/2013 at 18:45

What is description

Replies: 7    Views: 987
Last Post: 09/05/2013 at 14:37

Too many raspberries

Replies: 6    Views: 2298
Last Post: 09/05/2013 at 14:42

What to do with lemon plants

Replies: 4    Views: 1139
Last Post: 09/05/2013 at 14:45

Weird cavity wall flower bed problem

Replies: 6    Views: 2093
Last Post: 10/05/2013 at 10:19

Very large garden - where to start

Need advice on where to start and how to use the forum. 
Replies: 32    Views: 12885
Last Post: 04/12/2013 at 20:24
13 threads returned