Monday, November 08, 2010

Our small front garden

Well, we've been here almost a year now and at last the front garden is looking more like I envisaged. Originally a patch of grass, bordered by gravel paths, the lawnmower had to be lugged from the back garden, down the communal lane alongside next-door's house and around to the front. Given that the grass was little more than eight feet square and our petrol mower more suited to our old, large garden, the actual mowing was done in just a handful of passes! Not ideal, so I decided to banish the grass at the front and create something easier to tend, that would provide the backdrop for some more plants.

 I saw this (below) at the Lost Gardens of Heligan and liked it. I've also seen a more intricate pebble pavement at Perranporth, part of a Cornish-time sundial on the clifftop.(look at the pattern of pebbles, placed on edge, it's lovely!)

However, all this was beyond my present means. When the builder working next door kindly offered me a few barrowloads of gravel, I decided to have a circle of gravel, rather than pebbles, in the hope that one day I could afford to replace the gravel with a nice pebble circle. So I set to, taking off the turf. This only took a couple of hours (remember I'm 57 and not as fit as I could be!). Another day I set about marking up the circle, digging it out and setting the logroll edging. As I had some logroll left over, I decided to put in a smaller circle, offset slightly, for planting up. The next few days the weather was vile. Then a couple of days later the sun came out and the wind dropped, allowing me to lay the fabric liner and start barrowing gravel...from the back garden, down the communal lane....etc etc. It was then just a matter of raking it out and trimming away and tucking in the liner. I shall add a little more topsoil to the surround and rake it level. I think it looks ok, not bad work for an old bird! Now for the plant planning!

As the front faces southwest it gets plenty of sun and the existing planting, lavender, santolina, sage and rosemary has done well. (All right, the lupins were claimed by slugs the size of small family cars; they'll have to be moved to the back or go in pots.) I have a weakness for rather exotic plants and am looking at perhaps squeezing in a palm, cannas, aeoniums and the like. Although this is Cornwall and therefore a bit milder than the rest of the UK, up here in Troon we are prone to wind (!) and I shall have to bear that in mind. Watch this space!

1 comment:

Brian said...

12 months already. Can't believe it's gone that quick. But the circle seems to be coming along and a lot easier than grass. Will look even better when the plants mature.

Keep up the good work!