Wednesday, 8 January 2014

'I love it when a plan comes together...'

The New Year begins and with it begins the rest of our lives.

2013 will be remembered as being dominated by building our new home, selling our old home, moving into Wawings, completing Judith and Rogers Goldcrest and moving them in. Phew! Won't want too many more of those years again.

And now, onwards and upwards.

Drive 2011
Landscape work will be the main focus for the coming (and every successive) year ahead. So much to be done to give these two lovely buildings the setting they deserve. And, of course, having completely 'cleaned ourselves out', this landscaping will be done with the most modest budget imaginable. Still, there are no problems, only challenges and opportunities I hear you incant.

Layers of cardboard, manure and chippings: Lasagne gardening!
To blow away the Christmas doldrums we decided that the time was right to plant the drive border.

Here's what was facing us when we began doing the drive. Overcrowded with poorly sycamores and horse chestnuts, the ground beneath was infested with couch grass, nettles and brambles.

We worked to level the land and then in 2013 began to 'lasagne garden' with layers of cardboard, manure, more cardboard and chippings.

This process denies light to the nasty perennials beneath, kills them and provides a lovely, worm rich planting medium after many months.

In the meantime, cuttings had been taken: skimmia japonica from mum and dads old place in Wilford, hydrangea and pheasant berry from cousin Sue, box and buddleia 'Lochinch' from our former home in Ravenshead and dogwood moved from other parts of the garden.

A sloooow process. Another person would have sprayed the area with pesticide and bought the plants. That is not the Carlyle way people!! Let organic freedom ring!! I know that the moles who undermine this area will thank me.

So, a big slice of the drive border is now planted and tucked under a thick mulch.

We've planted in groups of threes and fives but popped some single box into gaps so that my inner Edward Scissorhands can be satisfied with some whimsical topiary in the years ahead.

Behind the drive border will be planted a mix of evergreen shrubs that will screen the drive from the Woodland Garden. Bulbs including pretty yellow winter aconites will pop out in clusters around the edge of the planting.

So there we have it. A process that began in Autumn 2011 has finally come to fruition. Just need the spring to come and get the plants growing.




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