Tuesday, 3 January 2012

woodland garden ... the beginning

 I love 'before and after' shots- especially when I've had to work hard to make a transformation.

That's what we have here.

This time last year this end of the garden was a mess. I posted on Saturday about the work done to transform the Lamins Lane hedge boundary. You can just see the old, wrecked hedge at the far end of this photo.
But the other side of the hedge was in a truly awful state, as you can see. The Horse Chestnut trees were badly affected by the disease called bleeding canker. Limbs had fallen off, the trees were overcrowded and little light could penetrate to reach the soil which was infested by weeds.

This area does present challenges. the remaining sycamores deny light when in leaf and also drop sticky fluid onto leaves of plants below, Whatever we plant here must be 'tough as old boots' to withstand the dry sandy conditions and the sycamores. It will need to be planted with tough evergreens that will also give privacy. There is a local population of tree sparrows (passer montanus) and house sparrows (passer domesticus) that love skulking in thorny thickets. We're planting berberis and pyrecantha to provide cover for them and to provide berries in the autumn and flowers in the spring. Cotoneaster are also in the plan for berries and flowers too.

The Scots Pines that border this area give us the chance to plant azaleas, camelias and rhododendrons that love acidic conditions.

Natives such as holly, yew and gelder rose will be used to give height variation in this first zone.

Our Christmas holiday job has been to clear the ground of nettles, brambles and wood avens. Overcrowded trees have been removed and tangled branches trimmed back.
Piles of logs left after early tree work have been moved and stacked and branches have been piled.


There was an ugly lump of several cubic metres of soil/branches/nettles/rubbish that we worked to eliminate yesterday.


And here we have the ground as we left it after a long session swinging mattocks and wheelbarrowing away piles of pernicious roots.


Manure and compost will be needed to give new plants a chance and that must be collected.


A path will be laid out marked by felled logs and the chipped privet we collected last year.

A planting scheme has been drawn up. 

Today we plan to go and buy plants.

And hope to have a planting session in a couple of weeks!!



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