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Trunky's New Garden

Discussion in 'Members Gallery' started by Trunky, Jan 27, 2018.

  1. Trunky

    Trunky ...who nose about gardening

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    Well, we've been here in our new abode a little over 4 months now. Having lived at our previous house for almost 30 years, I have to admit it was a bit of a wrench to leave the garden which I'd loved and tended for all those years, so in the months leading up to the move I collected as many seeds and divided and took cuttings from as many plants as possible. These I hope will provide the basis for stocking the new garden in time, while keeping alive the memory of the old garden.

    It's been a frustrating few months so far, a succession of other jobs around the house and garden have needed doing before I can really make a start on any 'proper' gardening.

    Today however, I finally got started on the first stage of my plans for the new garden, so I thought I'd start this new thread. Hopefully, over the coming months and years I will be able to share with you, all my friends here on GC, the gradual transformation of my new patch.

    Today's job was to start on the clearance of an area close to the house which contained a large, ugly conifer and a mass of pampas grass. Apart from the fact that it just looks hideous, it's in the general area where we want to site an oil tank, so it has to be cleared anyway. These two photos, taken a couple of weeks after we moved in, show the size of the task which confronted me today.
    DSC09693 - Copy.JPGDSC09694 - Copy.JPG

    First I set about removing the branches from the conifer, leaving a good length of trunk to provide some leverage for removal of the stump. Glad I did too, as it had put down some really thick roots and was obviously going to offer some stiff resistance.

    DSC09910 - Copy.JPG

    Having dug out around the base of the stump, I spent an 'entertaining' hour or two hacking through the roots with mattock, loppers and pruning saw, while trying to avoid being lacerated by the leaves of the ever present pampas nearby.

    Finally, the conifer realised that further resistance was futile and there came that wonderful moment when you pull on the stump, the last root gives way, it finally keels over and you pull it free. :yes:

    DSC09912 - Copy.JPG

    I managed to hack my way through some of the pampas before the rain arrived and put a stop to proceedings for the day. Absolutely knackered now, but pleased to at last make some progress in the garden.
     
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    • Loofah

      Loofah Well used member

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      I remember digging out a well established conifer - a good workout! Glad you're underway in the New garden, more pics please!
       
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      • "M"

        "M" Total Gardener

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        Now *that* was hard work!! :phew: Hope you managed a nice hot bath after that to ease your muscles.
        I bet you feel better just because you've managed to get something done. Great start Mr T :blue thumb:Looking forward to seeing your progress :thumbsup:
         
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        • Zigs

          Zigs Ginger Admin Staff Member

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          Nice one Trunk :)
           
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          • ARMANDII

            ARMANDII ADMINISTRATOR Staff Member

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            I'll supervise, Trunky:love30::thumbsup::snorky::heehee:
             
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            • Trunky

              Trunky ...who nose about gardening

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              Back to the DIY jobs today (I may have mentioned this before, but I hate doing DIY jobs). :mad:

              In the storm a couple of weeks ago, we lost half the felt off one of the shed rooves. I've been waiting since then for a dry, mild day on a weekend to sort it out and today the weather finally obliged.

              After several hours of faffing about, losing tools and general chuntering on my part (told you I didn't like DIY), the roof is now patched up, albeit in a rather amateurish and half-arsed fashion. It'll probably last for a year or so if I'm lucky, but it's the best I can do.

              Meanwhile, Mrs Trunky set about disposing of the large pile of conifer branches from yesterday's exertions. At the end of our lane there's a piece of unused land where the landowner allows the residents to dispose of garden waste, so Mrs T made several trips up and down the lane to get rid of the debris. She was quite happy to do this as it kept her away from Mr Grumpy while he was doing the shed roof. :heehee:

              I did manage to get a in little piece of gardening therapy at the end of the day - as I was removing the conifer yesterday I discovered some irises growing underneath it which were just about surviving in the deep shade of the lower branches. I saved as many as I could and this afternoon I potted up about a dozen small rhizomes which will hopefully provide some good plants for the new garden in time. It'll be interesting to see what colours they turn out to be.
               
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              • strongylodon

                strongylodon Old Member

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                What's the soil like @Trunky? your previous garden was sandy, similar to mine.
                 
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                • Trunky

                  Trunky ...who nose about gardening

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                  It's the same here @strongylodon, quite sandy and free draining. Over the years I've worked out what plants will grow happily in these conditions, so that's not really a problem as far as I'm concerned.

                  The whole garden also sits on a gentle south facing slope too, so that makes it even more free draining. Should be an interesting summer. :rolleyespink:
                   
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                  • ARMANDII

                    ARMANDII ADMINISTRATOR Staff Member

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                    Absolutely, Trunky!!:thumbsup::snorky:..........you're going to have to keep us all updated on this year in your garden,

                    Even better, all that warmth and light!!:hapfeet::hapydancsmil::snorky:
                     
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                    • Sheal

                      Sheal Total Gardener

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                      It's good to see you're underway in the garden Trunky. :thumbsup: I must admit I'm very jealous as like yourself diy and the weather here is getting in the way.

                      The conifer is out but we know pampas can be just as difficult, have you got a plan in mind for those?
                       
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                      • Trunky

                        Trunky ...who nose about gardening

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                        I've already got some of the pampas out @Sheal, but there's still quite a bit more to remove. It certainly doesn't come out without a fight.

                        First thing I do is to cut down all the foliage with shears, thus avoiding being lacerated by the sharp edged leaves while removing the root.

                        I tried a few different methods of removing it and eventually settled on the following:
                        First I chop down vertically into the root with a fork, then use the fork as a lever to prise off a section at a time.
                        Having separated a section of the root with the fork, I then chop in sideways underneath it with a mattock, which is quite effective at severing the roots below ground which are still holding it in place.

                        Still involves a fair bit of effort, but seems to work quite well. :dbgrtmb:
                         
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                        • Sheal

                          Sheal Total Gardener

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                          That sounds like a good plan. :thumbsup: Perhaps I'll try your idea on a large clump of bamboo that has to come out.
                           
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                          • Trunky

                            Trunky ...who nose about gardening

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                            Made some progress today, I finally finished 'operation pampas removal'. :yes:

                            A couple of hours of digging and chopping with fork and mattock finally got rid of it. Before and after photos from the scene of the crime:

                            Last week, when the removal of the conifer stump was in progress.

                            DSC09910 - Copy.JPG

                            Today, conifer and pampas all gone.

                            DSC09917.JPG

                            Need to go and have a lie down now. :thud:
                             
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                            • Sheal

                              Sheal Total Gardener

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                              Are you going to develop the pond Trunky?
                               
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                              • Trunky

                                Trunky ...who nose about gardening

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                                We haven't decided yet whether we're going to keep it or not @Sheal. It sits in kind of an awkward position close to the rear of the house and doesn't really 'fit' in its present position. We're keeping our options open at the moment - we could leave it where it is, we could just get rid of it, or we could dismantle the surround and relocate it to another part of the garden. Depends on how the garden evolves as work progresses, our plans are quite fluid really - we're probably not going to make any major changes until we've had a summer here.

                                We made a little more progress today on a bright, cold Sunday afternoon.

                                Just outside the back door is a small bed in front of one of the sheds, which I'm going to use as a small herb garden. This is what it looked like when we moved in, including what we called the box 'swastika'. :heehee:

                                DSC09688.JPG

                                We decided to get rid of most of the box, its roots were pretty much filling the bed and it was very fiddly and awkward to trim.

                                The pots we brought with us from the previous garden - there's a purple sage, a rosemary 'Miss Jessop' and a couple of pots of mint. The sage and rosemary I've now planted towards the back of the bed.

                                I've tipped out the two pots of mint, untangled the roots and replanted three small pieces of root in each pot, I do this every winter to keep the mint fresh and vigorous, as it quickly fills those small pots over the summer months.

                                This is how the bed looks today - I've deliberately planted the rosemary at the edge of the bed, 'Miss Jessop' has a semi-trailing habit, so it should drape itself over the edge of the bed and partly conceal the rough looking pieces of concrete along the edge of the path.

                                There were two small patches of oregano in the bed - I've left one patch and the other I've lifted and split up before potting up a few pieces to provide more plants.

                                In the empty area to the front of the bed I'm going to sow parsley and chives next month, using seed I saved from both in our old garden last year.

                                The two empty pots at the front contain the re-potted mint, while the middle one has some Tête á Tête daffodils now emerging to provide a welcome splash of spring colour. :smile:

                                DSC09921.JPG

                                DSC09922.JPG

                                Meanwhile, Mrs Trunky continued with her ongoing project improve the area right outside the kitchen window, where the greenhouse is situated. The greenhouse and the ground on which it stands sits higher than the base of the kitchen wall, with a small path in between. The path was formerly made of old house bricks laid in a fairly haphazard fashion, at the same level as the damp proof course in the wall so it was not an ideal arrangement.

                                Over the past few weeks and months she has removed the old brick path, taken away many barrowloads of soil to lower the level of the path next to the wall and relaid the path using some 2ft by 2ft paving slabs and some block paviors which we had going spare. The 'retaining wall' along the edge of the grass she made by simply using some of the many pieces of broken concrete the previous owners had used to construct small 'raised beds' against the walls at the front of the house. In the little strip along the edge of the greenhouse she has planted some polyanthus given to her by a friend for her birthday last week, and a couple of aubretia bought for us by our previous neighbours as a 'new home' present after we moved in.

                                DSC09923.JPG
                                 
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