I spend most of my holiday in Scotland on the Scottish Borders but now that I'm home again I spend hours and hours of time on my own border, the flower border that is. ;-) But before I could start creating a new border, lots of other work, hard work, had to be done first. The new border is the missing link between the potager and the garden cottage. A very big Portuguese Laurel hedge serves as a background for the new border but it was in dire need of a haircut before we could start work on the new border.
This is the before pic of the hedge (do you see Macavity sunbathing?)
and this the after one. Quite a difference, wouldn't you say? And a lot of hard graft too.
But it had to be done because that hedge was slowly taking over the garden and had expanded at least 1.5 meters in a forward direction, taking a big bite out of the new border space.
Here you can see how much it was cut back as it used to touch the Fagus hedge of the potager. The laurel hedge looks a mess now but don't worry because new leaves are sprouting and soon the whole hedge will be green (evergreen) once again.
So once that hedge had been trimmed the paved circle had to be removed and the birdbath bed too. That last one was a bit of a wrench as it had given me so much pleasure but there was nothing for it, it had to go.
The half circle birdbath bed in early Spring
So, out came the paving stones and the box hedging too. The box will be used again for the low hedge in front of the new border.
As I said, the new border will form the link between the garden cottage area and the potager. It is right opposite the back of the house and we will be able to see it from many rooms in the house, including the living room.
Along the front of the new border there will be a path leading you from the garden cottage area right into the potager. The path you see here is just temporary, the finished result will look much better.
And here are the plants that I bought on my holiday in the Netherlands recently. They, the many passalong plants I got from my friends, the many cuttings I took and the plants I raised from seed will hopefully fill up the second half of my new border that is still empty.
The part of the new border close to the kitchen garden I started last autumn and it looks quite good already.
Front view of the new border right next to the kitchen garden
It's amazing how quickly plants fill up an empty space.
This part of the border (pic above) I planted up last April and May. Next to it is the third part that I planted only a week ago (below).
Then there is the part that has been prepared, ready for planting only yesterday
Notice the big lumps of clay in the foreground. I garden on heavy clay and during summer that clay turns into solid concrete. It simply had to be dug over so that I would be able to get my plants in. Here the digging has just started and afterwards loads of compost were added to improve the soil. Part of the box hedging and two of the box balls from the old birdbath bed are still in and need to be dug out too, something that I will do later today.
And this is the last part of the new border (above) that needs to be cleared, the hedge will only need a light trim here so that would be relatively easy, but there is an old tree stump that needs to come out. I hope that won't be too much of a hassle.
The new border is 14 meters long and 4.5 meters deep (before cutting back the hedge it was only 3 meters deep) and, as you can imagine, it will be such a relief when everything is finally done. It's quite a big project but we're more than half way there. It's fun to see how much joy the new border brings already.
Butterfly enjoying the plants in the new border
Not only the butterflies are enjoying the partly finished new border, I am too. Here's one of my new day lilies together with Sanguisorba, a very pretty combination and one that provides me with oodles of fun because before there was mainly lawn and now there is this.
Err, Surprise, get the heck out of my new border! Cats!!! (eye roll)
I will be so happy once my new border is finished because then I will have a wonderful view of my garden from the living room and from the french doors of my bedroom too. Just imagine waking up on a Summer's day, getting out of bed, stepping out of the french doors onto the decking and be welcomed by a mass of glorious flowers. Absolute Bliss, wouldn't you say? ;-)
Copyright 2008 Y.E.W. Heuzen
One of the greatest pleasures of a garden is in giving flowers and plants to your friends.
A Celebration of Women Writers, 1903