Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Doesn't time fly? - End of Month View March 2014

Where on earth has the past 4 weeks gone?  I blinked and missed almost the whole of March.  I had really hoped to be on top of renovations by the time I got round to posting this month.

Wrong!  It's been a case of one step forward, two back some days.  I can't get one job done without doing another and I've often felt like I'm going round in circles.  Taking on this and Project Privacy simultaneously was perhaps just a wee bit too optimistic!  It feels like I've bitten of more than I can chew at times.  Still, I plod on regardless.

The hardest work thus far was moving and sorting out all the rocks I had planned to edge the border with.  I needed to bury them deep enough and flush with what will be lawn.  When I say lawn, what I really mean is grass.  I'm not too fussy for the perfect lawn - providing it is green, I'm happy.  It was a bit like a jigsaw puzzle at times and although I had a rough border marked out with sticks, the flow had to be dictated by the shape of the rocks.  I think I've achieved not too bad a shape but that won't really be obvious until the grass is growing.


Planting is almost finished, with just a few gaps left to fill.  I know I said I was NOT going to plant perennials in this area.  I had too much time to think about it - I opted to go down the perennial route after all.  Being that this area is in fact the sunniest in the garden, it would be a shame not to make full use of it.  However, being that I have never gardened in this area before and not 100% sure of what the conditions will be, I don't want to waste too much money (at the moment) on plants.   I have made use of a few plants that were already growing nearby and in need of dividing.  With any luck will cope the conditions.  I have dug in plenty of soil improver and for a couple of the plants, added plenty of grit to their planting holes.

Rain has stopped play this last two day - I took a quick run up the garden to grab a shot this lunch time,  it's all looking rather wet!  However, by the time dinner was served, the ground was clear of the water on the surface.  I hope I am right in assuming that because I've been working in this area, the ground has got a bit compacted,  Between the dip in the levels and compaction, the water is taking a while to drain.

End of March 2014
    

Previous end of month views
Of all the plants that have been moved into this area, it appears only one has suffered.  The Knifophia at the right hand side of the raised area is not at all happy!  The Cardoon, centre at the back was a bit of a struggle.  It's root ball was huge.  Ideally I should have taken the opportunity to divide it but it's size is what makes it such a spectacular plant.  It was the first plant to move into it's new home almost a month ago, with continual watering it has settled right it.  Other plants at the back for height are Helianthus Lemon Queen, some Verbena bonariensis and a tall dark pink Phlox. 

I will focus on the other plants in my next end of month post - by which time they should have put on enough growth that I actually have something to talk about.  I don't like the Photinia where it is - I don't know if it's the red or the plant I am disliking.  A plant on my wish list is Buddleia x weyeriana Sungold but I'm not sure if it's one late summer bloomer too many!  I might hold off a few weeks before making a final decision, you never know,  I might find something that flowers early that really grabs my attention!

Priorities this coming weeks will be to work on the area that will be turned back to lawn, once its levelled, I will top it off with some fresh top soil and seed.  This will be easier than trying to take the level down and laying turves.  

I'm thoroughly enjoying taking part in this meme.  End of Month View is hosted by Helen over at
The Patient Gardeners Weblog.  It's turning out to be quite useful, if for nothing else but getting my thoughts down and enabling me to concentrate on what I want too do.  Of course, it needn't be a work in progress, your focus could be on many things - it could just as easily be an individual plant, a view from a window, your entire garden.  How you interpret is a personal choice - so if you want to join in just write your post and mention on Helen's blog for us all too read.

 

31 comments:

  1. I know it doesn't feel like it to you, but I can see you've made a lot of progress. You've put in some lovely new plants, and installed that rock edge, which looks very good, by the way. Well done. I don't know where the month of March went either. It crept up on me and I had to really scramble to actually show any progress in my bed for the EOMV.

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    1. It seems April took a few of us by surprise Alison. Your Bottle Tree border is looking great. Bring on summer, eh?

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  2. Hi Angie,

    I also can't believe it's April... But at the same time I wish it would slow down!

    We were promised heavy rain over the last couple of days but so far we seem to have dodged it - although misty and drizzly in the morning - and it's actually been quite nice once the clouds have broken. Today was surprisingly hot in fact.

    I imagine your soil is just trodden down, and if it was previously under slabs/the shed then that will also explain why it's having difficulty draining. Just try digging it over and adding mulch/grit etc and hopefully it'll be ok. It's a wonder most of my garden isn't like that, I think I have the fact it's on a hill and tiered to thank. So although it's heavy clay here, few places remain boggy because it all drains down.

    I think your border has progressed very nicely; sometimes it's difficult to see things from the outside and notice the changes that others will notice because they don't see your garden daily. You've certainly completed far more work than I have so far this year!

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    1. I am hoping it's just been trodden, I'll find out soon enough Liz. If the rain continues I won't get much seed sowing done, again it's all down to Mother Nature! Hope you have a good week and thanks for the encouragement. :)

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  3. Wow, that was a lot of work. It looks lovely. We, too, have had a lot of rain with puddles and very wet soil. I am hoping for more balance as spring emerges.

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  4. It's looking good, I like the plant combination. I moved a knifophia this time last year and it looked like yours but flowered and is looking fine now so be patient! Thanks for joining in again this month

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    1. That's God to know and it's my pleasure to join in :)

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  5. Yes it does look like a fun meme - I will try to remember to join it. Your hard work is paying off and this border is really taking shape. It's fab to have earlier photos to look back on. Good luck with the lawn sowing! I am looking forward to seeing this border as it develops.

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    1. It's very useful Sarah, keeps me focused that's for sure!

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  6. Hi Angie, what a change you have made in this bed from last month to this one. You must have been working so hard to accomplish all of this! The natural stone border looks really good and I love all the fresh green and leaves of the plants. My favorite plant is the cardoon! What an elegant plant that really has an impact. Looking already forward to your next installment in April.
    Christina

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    1. The Cardoon is my favourite too. I'd hate to loose it! Still it seems well enough and putting on plenty of growth. Thanks ever so much for the compliments, they truly are appreciated.

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  7. You made a lot of progress in this part of garden and I like the plant combinations. the cardoon will be great and I do love the Photinia because it's wintergreen/red, so it draws the eye away from the wooden fence in winter.

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    1. I do like the Photonic but I'm just not so sure I like I there. It will have a reprieve for a wee while yet Janneke

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  8. You have worked so hard, it really shows in your photos and your borders are looking very good with their new plants. The Cardoon is a wonderfully architectural plant, it looks so good at all stages. So much rain over the winter has caused problems with a few plants, but I think it is a waiting game to see if any of them recover, I'm trying to hold back on the secateurs and give them a chance!

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    1. I totally agree Re the Cardoon. It has not faltered one little bit this winter. I hope you haven't lost too much Pauline, that would be a real shame. Will look forward to reports

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  9. I know that feeling of starting one job and it leads to another and another... Often the way with gardening. But I can tell you that your garden has come a long way in the last month. I'm really impressed at how much you got done. And getting those rocks level - that's some feat! It's looking good.

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    1. Thank you, probably took too much time being so pernickety about the stones. Thanks for the compliments. It makes me feel like it's been worth the hard work :)

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  10. It's always trial and error with plants. Sometimes it's quite aggravating for me trying to get the right thing for a spot.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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  11. You've made good progress, Angie, even if it doesn't feel like that to you. The weather can't make work in the garden easy and it does look as though you may need an ark if this keeps up!

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  12. Your hard work over the past few months has really paid off, it is looking really good now.

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  13. Lots going on in your garden, Angie, I look forward to seeing the new border evolve. Perennials introduce life and movement into a border and it would have been a shame not to include some. I have Buddleja w. Sungold and it's really one of the best as it flowers into autumn and winter if the latter is mild.

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  14. At least the rain beds in your plants and gets them off to a good start - though it's not so good for preparing a lawn! You seem to have achieved a lot in the last few months - well done! You have a nice selection of plants there - some are favourites of mind, especially the architectural cardoon. (Though I grow artichokes instead, so I can put them on my pizza!)

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  15. Angie the changes are very noticeable, I think when you see something frequently you don't notice the change so much, and handling rocks can be heavy work, it's a good idea to have that nice line between grass and border, Frances

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  16. Wow, you have made a lot of progress! The stone edging looks great. I hope your kniphofia recovers.

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  17. Sometimes it feels that you take one step forwards and then two back but you will get there soon Angie. You've certainly done a lot of planting over the last month and the new residents will soon romp away. Love the cardoon. My one and only attempt at growing one was thwarted by molluscs.

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  18. The previous months' photographs really show how far you have come, it's going to look really good going forward. There are one or two plants that I've moved I'm a bit concerned about, but it's still early in the season. They have a chance to pick up. The rain will help!

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  19. It's great to see your garden at the end of march Angie. Sometimes I wish I had a larger garden but at this time of the year having such a mild winter my poststamp garden is full of weeds. I have been on my knee's for ours and guess what happened I can't walk rightup at the moment. But the weather is great overhere time enough to enjoy the garden.
    Have a wonderful day Angie.

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  20. I love it - what a great job you did on the transformation! The structure is just excellent, and it seems to make the space look bigger. I really like your bamboo edger.

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  21. You've obviously worked very hard in this area and it is looking good. I really like the stone edging, too. I had so many gardening plans for March, but it went by too quickly for me as well! I'm hoping April will slow down a bit!!

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  22. Hi Angie, I know exactly what you mean about two steps forward one step back, and things getting interdependant etc, but you have achieved loads! Shame about the knifophia, always a little tricky moving plants, but such fun to have a new area to plant up.

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