Posted: 12/06/2012 at 15:35
After a very long wait, with my front garden looking more like a bomb-site, I've finally been able to get it redesigned. With my home being a 1930's built bungalow, I decided upon a strong art-deco theme - a sunburst based upon a mirror hanging in my kitchen.
With my limited motor function and very unsteady gait, phase 1 of the groundworks needed to be done by a professional. Once the site was cleared he laid out a 3m squared box from sleepers which was then filled with no less than 6 tonnes of topsoil. From there I was able to take over, visiting a local window manufacturer to cadge some scaps of soffit board to act as the dividers.
I wanted a slight cone effect, so an old galvanised dustbin was placed in an offset position to represent the sun. The topsoil was then emptied in around it, trodden down and generally left to settle. A quick visit to a local garden centre gave me access to a Dwarf Fan Palm - Chamaerops humilis - as an eye-catcher.
Then came measuring the lengths of plastic board and inserting them to form the ray borders. I had the path to my back gate re-laid a few years ago, also in a nice art-deco geometric pattern, so the rays would pick up colours from the path, using crushed red and white stones, and crushed slate from the centre of the car "runway".
Here's the box taking shape...
By this point, it was a case of deciding what to do outside the box, so a test area was laid out and filled with red stone to gauge the effect. Quite satisfying...
The ray colours at the front would go red, white, greenery, slate then red. However, I also decided that there would not be any repeat
To help break up the straight lines a little, I've inserted pot pairs planted with heathers chosen so that there would be colour from them all year round. Next came the insertion of two square planters
From there, life got a bit frustrating as I had more groundworks that needed to be done along the front and a new fencepost was needed too.
What also needed to be decided was the planting, especially outside the box. Low maintenance and drought resistant hardy plants were called for. So far the expenditure had swallowed up more than 2/3rds of the budget, and I'd hardly starte