Friday, 27 December 2013

Plans are afoot!

It feels wrong to have a bit of a rant at the latest bout of bad weather we are experiencing.  Especially as there are so many folks who have had a completely miserable time this Christmas.  My heart went out to them as I watched various news reports over the last few days.

As I sit writing this post - the wind and rain is battering off the window behind me.  I am back to work tonight but when I finish in the morning I am on 1 week's annual leave.  I should have planned that a bit better and arranged for tonight off.  A late request for a day's leave was knocked back - it seems my managers check the weather too and cited the predicted bad weather would mean a repeat performance of Christmas Eve when we finished almost 3 hours later than usual!  Therefore, request denied!!

Shed has been moved
As I mentioned in my November round up the shed was being moved.  This was arranged to be done on the week before Christmas but due to the fact that the guy's labourer had put a nail through his hand, it was delayed for a few days.  The deed is now done - I'm happy that I now have another planting area to play with.  I've a few ideas in mind - my first priority will be to choose shrubs that will eventually cover those bare fences.  Already planted there is an Aucuba japonica crotonifolia and a Griselinia littoralis - there was no thought put into planting them there - they were left over from an over buying spree when I was selecting other evergreens for elsewhere in the garden.  The Aucuba will no longer like that spot as it will be far too sunny for it now the shed has gone and the Griselinia should be happy but I don't particularly like it, it add nothing of value to the garden, other than it being evergreen - the shrubs that are now behind the shed will suffer in it's shade.  My peonies are also stuck behind there  - another problem that needs addressing.  Either way - I should have enough plants without having to buy any more.  I do say that with all good intentions but please don't hold me to that!

However, my mind keeps going back over my wish for a tree - a real proper tree - one with a trunk.  Now I can get under those telephone lines - I need to measure and do some proper research.  Many of you made some great suggestions at the time of posting and I will look into those too.

I've a bit of clearing up to do - there is gravel that need lifting, I'll bag that off until I find something to do with it and there are a few 3x2 concrete slabs that need lifting.  The builder that did my kitchen extension will take them off my hands but he is currently vacationing in sunnier climes.  He will collect them when he returns.  I've not been idle though, the trellis that presently tops the fence down the entire length of the garden (you can just make out on the left of picture) has now been raised - I managed to do this on the days the winds were not so high.  Of course, mother (who stays with me) has managed to comment on more than one occasion that she suggested using the full height when I put them in.  Yes, yes, mother always know best!  I have had to admit that she is right way too many times!  2 new panels await better weather in the shed, those need painting first, I stupidly forgot to buy the paint when I was at the DIY store.  I'll make the trip there over the weekend.  I can paint them under cover in the shed and finish the fence when the opportunity presents itself. 

Pergola arch
Mother's choice of Christmas gift for me was right too!  My enjoyment of this gift has been hindered by the weather too.  I'm dying to get stuck into building this and putting it up.  It's been stuck here since it was delivered 2 weeks ago.  It wasn't a surprise gift - she allowed me to choose the one I wanted.  I think it will make a lovely addition to my garden.  The roses currently growing over the arbour and some honeysuckle will be my choice of plants.

One issue I am currently experiencing in my garden is the issue of privacy.  Until recently this has never been a problem.  We have new neighbours in the property on the other side of the back fence.  The shed being moved onto the deck has helped a bit but has not blocked out their view from any of their windows.  Their property is situated slightly higher than ours and they have the perfect view right through my French doors into the kitchen/dining room.  It matters not what time of day we are in the kitchen - they always seem to be there looking in!  I've already commented today on Kris's blog, it's probably all in my head but I just can't shift it.  I'm finding it a very uncomfortable feeling and I don't like feeling like this in my own home.  Perhaps they feel the same way as I do - I don't know.  Thus far, my attempts at being welcoming, albeit through a fence, has not gone down well. 

I intend not to let it eat at me - I've got plans.  I've marked on the picture below of the garden on how I think I can address the situation.  I will let the Holly Hedge grow taller, it does not help that I removed the middle section that was dead and replanted a while back.  The replacement plants will take a while to grow.  I plan to choose a tall growing evergreen to grow directly in front of the deck.   A conifer of sorts would be the most likely candidate but the trouble with those is that those that are fast growing are too fast growing and buying a mature slow growing type will cost me more than I'd care to part with.  So I need to find a happy medium - suggestions welcome.  I will also divide the garden with 6ft trellis panels running across the entire width of the garden with the rose arch creating a way 'through'.  As I have now sacrificed our outdoor entertaining area - I intend to put in a small patio on the gravelled area. I can see it all in my head and have a rough sketch drawn out on a scrap piece of paper but I want to see the arch in first before it's written in stone.

So as you can see I really am chomping at the bit - I just need a couple of wind free days to get things started, then there really will be no holding me back.  Providing the snow stays away that is! 

Are you ending/beginning the year with garden overhaul plans?  I'd love to hear what they are.                    


  1. The new project should be lots of fun (and work)! I understand how you feel about the privacy issue. Although it's not much of a problem in our current location, it was a big issue at our last place. The neighbors in a 2-story rental could see in and their visitors frequently offered comments on my garden if I was working outside - the comments were nice but the experience was also kind of creepy. The neighbor boy behind us used to peer at us as well but the canopy of foliage I created eventually screened out his view. Then the neighbors in front of us took out all their backyard trees and I could see into their living space every time I walked out the front door until the Arbutus I put in managed to block my view. I guess the upshot of this is that privacy, like the garden itself, is always subject to change. Good luck finding the right solution for you!

  2. You have a lot more challenging plans than I do. From your description, it sounds like it will be wonderful! Most of my plans involve new plants and not much hardscaping adjustment, although I really need to make more of those adjustments, too. Your weather is so much better for year-round gardening. I can only dream about the garden from December through mid-March. Good luck, and I hope you find a solution to the neighbors' view--that would bother me, too!

  3. Can you pop up some temporary screening

  4. I had to laugh out loud reading that you won't buy any more plants, Angie! That's what I said about pots a few years ago, silly me. Every time I buy one now my husband throws me one of those queer glances ;). Your new overhaul sounds fun and I look forward to the result. As I've started our new garden not long ago there's plenty going on. The major question is the orchard and if it will remain a pure orchard or if I'll come up with another design...thinking about it. Shouldn't be a problem to cover these screens...fine small trees are Ginkgo Chase Manhatten & Saratoga and Sorbus vilmorinii.

  5. You are doing some major work there. It's always fun to start over with a new garden bed though and correct what we didn't like elsewhere in the new one.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  6. Such fun to start a new plan in a part of the garden, I hear you say you don't need to buy any more plants......haha. I can understand how you feel about the privacy. Privacy is so important, I think you have to plant a high growing evergreen like a Taxus baccata 'Fastigiata' or another conifer. Wish you a lot of success with your gardenplans!

  7. Hi Angie,

    For some reason my reader doesn't let me know when you've posted; just so you know I'm not ignoring your posts!

    Looks like fun, I like watching people move/design new things... Actually the main thing I like to read about before/after and such heehee so I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with your garden. (am I too nosy??)

    No plans for mine this year other than upkeep type tasks. How boring.

    I know how you feel about privacy and although I don't have issues in my current house; the terrace I lived in before had a kid that used to like to climb on the fence and watch me if I dared to go into the garden. I'm not one for children so such attention really isn't welcome but it must be even worse if someone can easily see in your house. In fact, the same terraced house, it's a difficult layout to explain, but we were the first on one road, running say vertically down a hill, but we joined another road running horizontally. The end result was; we were much higher than those horizontally and our back harden could look into their bedrooms. Unsurprisingly there were trellises along the wall filled with Jasmine and Clematis to block the view because I imagine they wanted to see me as much I wanted to see them. I'm quite lucky now, as only the other half of my semi and the house on the other side can possibly see me - unless I'm at the top of the garden - but both are elderly (one very frail) and the other is out most of the time and comes home at 6pm and goes straight to bed.

  8. I fear Leylandii around the garden's borders may be your only hope for privacy...I jest! I jest! Your garden plan (and layout so far) looks fabulous. Our garden, once again (ahem!) is having an overhaul, following the delivery & erection of a greenhouse. Off to the bookies now to place a bet on your 'should have enough plants without having to buy any more'..... Happy New Year x

  9. I love your garden plan, Angie. Your ideas are exciting and I wish you well with them. A pergola around your french doors, or just in front, covered with a vine (I have grape on mine) should stop the peeping Toms, but that is more expense. I am looking forward to seeing how you solve your problems. Happy New Year! P. x


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