Friday, 31 January 2014

End of Month View January 2014

I've been eager to take part in the End of Month View meme hosted by Helen over at The Patient Gardener's Weblog for sometime but could never quite make up my mind on a suitable subject. 

Now that I'm carrying out a wee bit of a rejig at the top of the garden - I think I'd find it useful to record the progress I make and of course I hope you'll enjoy reading about it too!
  
The area in question, as you can see in the picture below, previously housed the garden shed.  It faces south west and should get sun for most of the day.  I say 'should' because as yet, I'm not quite sure how much shade will be cast by moving the shed to the other side of the garden.  Judging by the amount of sun it's getting at the moment, I suspect there will be little shade come late spring.            


Before the move December 2013
The shed was moved mid December and here's a shot of the area, warts and all!  As you can see a bit of clearing up was needed, as well as new trellising.  It was at this point I decided that the trellising that runs the entire length of the garden would be better off raised.  The trellis was an after thought when the fence was replaced and it was easily enough done over a couple of afternoons.  It now gives a good height but at the same time doesn't block the sun from the neighbour's greenhouse - something they were keen not to have happen when I started replacing the fencing a couple of years back.
Shed gone!

Mid January 2014
There is a distinct drop in height between the 2 areas.  I've used log edging as a retainer for the top section.  Best to work with what I've got - rather than to try level out the difference between them.

Part one of this makeover will be to choose shrubs that will eventually hide the fencing.  There are other areas in the garden that are currently a tad over subscribed in terms of planting.  I find I'm never able to judge just how much room a plant needs and therefore end up having to move them way too soon.  I know that I'm not alone in that respect.  I've currently a Buddleia, a Physocarpus and a Hydrangea paniculata that could do with a new home.  I do though want to fill that corner (where the Aucuba currently resides) with the Sambucus nigra Black Lace and Cotinus Golden Spirit struggling away in a pot that really would benefit with it's feet in the ground.

This next shot - taken from a slightly wider angle, gives an idea on where the border will continue from.  I've humphed all those slabs round to the side of the house this afternoon, hence the divits you can just make out in the lawn.  Next job will be too mark out a better shape for the border, move the edging stones and try to figure out how to soften the corner of the deck/steps.    

End of Month View January 2014
It's a long way off being the finished product but I'm excited to just be this far on so early in the year - I really didn't expect to get started on this until March but as the weather has been kind, I'm well ahead of schedule. 

I know many of you have far better vision than I have - Can any of you suggest how I might be able to work a tree into my plans.  I've a Coral Bark Maple - Acer palmatum Eddisbury to be exact that copes with full sun, the area I think/hope should be sheltered enough from the winds by the shed.  It has a mature height of 4m (according to label) so should be short enough not to interfere with the telephone lines.  Of course, if you have suggestions for an alternative tree, I'd love to hear them.  Providing you don't think I'm imposing that is!

Thanks for reading and I hope that by this time next month - I will have made a bit more progress.  Have a good weekend!  Oops, I almost forgot to thank Helen for hosting - so thank you Helen.

p.s. The first snowdrops are just about out.  Well over a month earlier than last year.  It's all good thus far this winter!



   

35 comments:

  1. Hi Angie, so cool that you are taking part in the End of Month View with your project! I am very impressed that you moved the shed and the concrete slaps, sound like the very hard part is already done and from now on you are getting to have fun. I am looking forward to follow your progress. Love your snowdrops. It's amazing that they are out and about one month earlier than usual in your area. Wishing you a lovely weekend!
    Christina

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    1. Christina - the mild weather is bringing lots on but I suspect they'll all come down with a bang soon enough! Yes, I'm really glad to have got all the heavy work done - just a fraction of my to do list though. I think focusing on this area for EoMV will not only encourage me to get on with it but it will also allow me to concentrate on getting it right first time or a change ;)

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  2. The aucuba and sambucus will grow into large specimens that will hide that fence given their head, What about climbers behind them to mask the fence?

    I do love acers - my neighbour had one in a tub. Maybe you could start of with one grown in a container so you can 'try' it out in different parts of the garden.

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    1. Yes, those are pretty large shrubs and the Aucuba is being moved in to a shadier spot (where yet, I don't know) I'm hoping the Pyracantha will do the job of covering the back section. I've a Climbing rose that might make it's way over there too.
      I've a few Acers already Sue, and they do well here. The Coral Bark maple is now stuck behind the shed and although it would be quite happy there - it would never be see.

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    2. We have trained our pyrancantha up a fence - it works well as a sort of climber.

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  3. Thanks for letting us get in on the ground floor of this project. Don't worry, we all live to give advice...but I would be hard-pressed to come up with a better suggestion than the Coral Bark Maple.

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    1. You're welcome Ricki - the more encouragement to get on with it the better, so far as I'm concerned :)
      As I've already said the Maple really needs to be seen rather than stuck behind the shed - I really need to stop doubting myself about my choices and just get on with it!

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  4. Moving a whole shed, that's really impressive. You seem to have made it look good in a very short space of time.

    I love the Coral bark maples too and have one in my garden. Have you thought of putting in a fruit tree? If you got one on dwarfing or semi-dwarfing root stock it would limit how tall it gets. Just a thought.

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    1. Gwenfar - thanks for suggesting a fruit tree, I've tried fruit trees before in the garden and they really are not for me! The pruning regime is far too rigid for my liking.
      Oh, I should add - it didn't personally move the shed, I paid for it to be done but the rest is all my own work.

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  5. Looking forward to seeing how this takes shape and changes over the course of he year. The dark-leaved Sambucus with the golden Cotinus will be magnificent. I wish I knew more about maples and trees in general to advise you. I think it's a good idea as mentioned in another comment to try one out in a container, if you have the patience for that.

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    1. Alison - I do think the combo of the Sambucus and Cotinus magnificent too! I already grow Acers in the garden and they do not too bad - the Coral Bark one really needs a moving. It's not terribly big at the moment but it will be soon enough I suppose.

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  6. The maple does sound good. I have one too, albeit a tiddler at about 18 inches high! At 4m it will provide you with some privacy without being a nuisance for your neighbours, and it's gorgeous!

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    1. They are beautiful aren't they Jessica. Yes, being a nuisance is something I don't want to be, therefore I really need to make the right choice. I hope yours doesn't take too long in growing up ;)

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  7. I'm very impressed that your lugged those heavy slabs about by yourself, Angie! I'd have yelled for reinforcements. For a relatively low-growing tree, I don't know of anything better than a Japanese maple. They take awhile to grow up (unless you can afford to pop for a really mature specimen) but there aren't many that are prettier. I'm in the market for one myself to swap out for a Dryms lanceolata.

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    1. Kris, I would have yelled if there had been someone here! I've been trying to pin down my son for a couple of weeks but he's always got something else to do. I gave up waiting.
      The one I have is not too large at the moment but there would be no way my pocket could stretch to such a large specimen. The one I have cost me enough - It was a good size when I bought it but I originally planted it where it got waterlogged and it truly suffered. I brought it on in a pot for 2 years and planted it out last year - all things are going well for it now. I hope you find yours sooner rather than later.

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  8. Where are all those trees and plants that you showed in other posts in your blog that were in your garden? Or are they in another part of the garden? Don't you have strength and energy to move all those stones around? Best of luck in designing the garden, hope to read its progress here. Sorry, can't help you much with trees.

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    1. I hope you didn't panic and think they'd all been dug out KL. They are in other parts of the garden but sound asleep at the moment. As I said above, gave up waiting on my son to lend me a hand. That coupled with the fact the builder who wants these slabs hasn't managed to come get them yet.
      I hope I have lots to report at the end of February.

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  9. how nice to be at the stage of choosing plants now the hardwork is over, a sort of reward, sorry I don't know much about plants so can't help, with your mild winter I feel like I'm living in a different country, the south east seems blessed, I hope it continues and could you send some north west please ;) Frances

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    1. Frances, If I could send you some of the weather I would ;) Yes, it's good to be at the stage of choosing what to plant but as usual I over think things and start doubting myself.

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  10. That's going to be a lovely area. Most all of your shrubs you have, I also have and love them. The Coral Bark is a lovely Jap Maple but would have to go center of the area to allow for it's width when growing and not overhang your neighbor's side of the yard. Not sure if the eventual height would be a problem for your neighbor's greenhouse at some point. The shrubs all will have enough height to go above the fence line.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. Cher, if I get the spot just right it should not affect the greenhouse and the shrubs having the height is just what I'm looking for. I think more patience is required!

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  11. You are lucky we had such a mild weather in January, you did already a good and heavy job with moving the concrete slabs. Looking forward to the progress of your garden, always so exciting to renew a part of the garden.

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    1. It's been great to have the heavy work done Janneke - I'm truly pleased I grabbed the chance and put other things off.

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  12. Hi Angie,

    Lucky you with the OK/mild/Nice weather...Not at all jealous.

    Acers are always lovely - do you also have room for a native? Might be nice to look for a small, useful native too if you can. There's lots of pretty rowans which are good for wildlife albeit some are native but most of the ornamental smaller types are Chinese. Just throwing that out there.

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    1. Yes, natives Liz. I always look at them but most of what I find are way too tall for what I want. We've masses of Rowans and Hawthorn growing very near the house and kind of live with telling myself - there are enough in the vicinity to balance me not growing one, if you know what I mean. In an ideal world I'd love a Hawthorn. Crataegus laevigata Pauls Scarlet would be my first choice. Maybe one day I'll find the room.

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  13. Hi Angie. I am impressed how you moved that large shed yourself and now you have a whole new gardening space. Coral Bark Maple is a beautiful tree but in time will reach about 15 feet high by 8-10 feet wide so it would probably block your neighbor's greenhouse. I did notice a place where your garden bed bows out a bid. Could it possibly go there? Good luck with your project!

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  14. What a great project! And I'm impressed that you were kind enough to keep the neighbor's light for their greenhouse in mind while you were renovating. I love acers! They are such gorgeous trees. You can't go wrong with that. It will be fun to see how the space changes from month to month.

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  15. I am impressed to see you start this project in januari. But the weather is mild enough to start working in the garden.
    My hands are itching to start cleaning up the garden. No winter forcasting for the next two weeks. But last year we had frost in march. I hope the spring will come in very early this year.
    Have a wonderful sunday.

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  16. Welcome to the meme. It's nice to see I'm not the only one with big plans and you has a get on with it attitude!! I think your trellis looks so much better at its new height. Looking forward to seeing how the space develops

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  17. Great to see you bashing on Angie. I will enjoy catching up on how your new area progresses. My favourite deciduous tree is the Acer Griseum with bark the colour of cinnamon. Only problem is, how very slowly it grows, could be the answer to longevity though as one would not wish to give up the ghost until having seen this beauty at least semi mature.
    Sun shining here today, pleasantly warm whilst tidying up the borders.

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  18. Making plans is one of the best parts of gardening, then making lists of all the plants you need. Your Acer will be lovely and it doesn't grow too large but my favourite small tree for a garden has to be an Amelanchier lamarkii, doesn't grow tall, new leaves are copper coloured before turning green for the summer, lovely white blossom in the spring, blackberries in the autumn which the birds love and good autumn tints - what more could anyone want from one small tree!

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  19. Hi Angie. There's nothing like a good project to get the creative juices going ! It is my favourite bit of gardening! A small tree would give so much pleasure, and there is a lot of choice out there. I agree with your choice of an Acer - can't go wrong!!

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  20. origamiiptaki.blogspot.com zapraszam:)

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  21. Angie I really like this plan and how it is already coming to fruition....then seeing the snowdrops. Wow such a mild wonderful winter. Here we still have cold and snow at least for 6 weeks. Can't wait to see it next month as you continue to work on it.

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  22. Go with your instinct Angie, plant the acer, gardening is nothing but flexible.

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