Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Making of ....

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.
Demolition time!
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


shirl said...

Hello again, Yolanda :-D

Great posting showing the progress of your exciting new long border! I bet the bees, butterflies and insects just can't wait to move in :-D

It is really taking shape and I can see what hard work this project has been and will be yet but the rewards, as you say, when you look out from your windows or step outside will be... just bliss ;-D

Don't work too hard :-D

Frances, said...

Hi YE, this is going to be fantastic. Is there a theme here, or just a home for your many new plants? After your vacation you have been making up for the lost time, haven't you? Like Shirl said, don't over do it! ;->

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a lot of work Yolanda. Your hedge looks like it has been scalped. It sure needed it though.
It is amazing that it is already growing back. Your new border looks great it was worth the effort.

Rose said...

You've put in a lot of hard work here! But it will be worth it in the end--your border is already beginning to look lovely, and seeing it from your bedroom would be heavenly indeed.

Anonymous said...

Wow! what a lot of hard work! Your garden is so lovely though. Reading your blog is inspiring me to do more with our yard.

Cheryl said...

Gosh Yolanda...you have worked so hard....it does look lovely and of course with time will fill out even more. What a gift to walk out of your bedroom and see the flowers......

Katarina i Kullavik said...

Iäm impressed by the amount of work you've put into your new (big!) border! It's nice to see how it's done - and i'm looking forward to new pictures eventually!

Annie in Austin said...

I doubt that the thought of hard work would ever give you pause, Yolanda, but it takes mental grit to disassemble a bed that looks good in order to try to make a new border with the potential of being great.

A kind of Cherry Laurel is sold as a screening plant here. After looking it up I see yours is Prunus lusitanica - looks like that kind is used on the West Coast of the US. Ours is Prunus caroliniana.

Good luck with the tree stump!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Just beautiful. Thanks for showing the demolition. Gardening is hard work, but the rewards are priceless.~~Dee

Hanneles paradis said...

Lot of things to do :)

Connie said...

Wow, what an ambitious project! But, yes the rewards will be great. I love viewing my garden from the house. Sometimes I will look out, see a bit of color somewhere, and exclaim that a new flower is blooming......my husband just looks at me in wonder, that I can detect it in the midst of everything else blooming. :-)

Karin A said...

You've been busy doing your own before and after I can see! What an impressive job. :) I'm sure it will look great, esp. since you'll be planting a lot of flowers and cuttings from friends. I love to do that too. Welcome back from your holidays! Looking forward to seeing more pics...

Kram Karin

Rosehaven Cottage said...

You've really undertaken a big project, haven't you? Especially considering that you're working on clay in the summer (I have the same problem). I admire your perseverance and tenacity. It really looks fantastic! Apparently, Surprise thinks so too.

Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Flighty said...

All that hard work will be worth it when, next year, you're looking at a wonderful display of colourful flowers.
I would indeed say Absolute Bliss! xx

Nicola @ garden tool kit said...

Wow, that's a very detailed post - it's easy to see how much you love your garden.

Carol said...

That is a lot of hard work, but knowing the end result keeps us gardeners going, doesn't it? Looking forward to seeing pictures as the new border fills in and your vision becomes reality.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Jane Marie said...

That looks like a huge amount of work, especially shown as you did. I'm sure you will feel very satisfied with the end result. It's always exciting watching a new garden take shape and now you will really have something to look forward to next spring.

Aiyana said...

What a lot of work, but I think the end result will be wonderful. It's off to a good start. My friend in Seattle had a laurel hedge that encroached on her garden. She then pruned the hedge and the shrubs looked like multi-trunked small trees that continued to lean into her garden to the point that half her yard was in deep shade.(Something unappreciated in Seattle!) They eventually had to get in a landscape crew to cut the whole thing down, and she's put in a border simiilar to yours.

marga said...

Dat is een heel karwei geweest zo te zien Yolanda maar wat een plezier zul je daar van hebben.
Ziet er zo ver in elk geval al heel mooi uit.

SchneiderHein said...

Auch wenn es ja wirklich eine Umfangreiche Schnittaktion war die Kirschlorbeer-Hecke einzudämmen, so beneide ich Dich doch um Deine neu gewonnene Beet-Tiefe. Und vor allem um die Möglichkeit nun so viele schöne neue Stauden zu setzen.
Inklusive der immergrünen Hintergrundbepflanzung sind es bei uns höchstens 2- 2,5m Tiefe. Eindeutig zu wenig für üppige Staudenbeete. Auch wenn unsere Sträucher und Immergrünen regelmäßig geschnitten werden. Aber für eine Neuanlage sind mir die meisten verbliebenen Pflanzen zu sehr ans Herz gewachsen und derartige Radikalschnitte, wie Du es jetzt mit Deiner Hecke getan hast, würden nicht zu unserer Bepflanzung passen.
In diesem Jahr habe ich so manchen Kirschlorbeer sogar schon 2- 3x geschnitten, damit sie nicht zu viel Raum einnehmen und trotzdem schön kompakt und handlich bleiben. Und das war bestimmt nicht der letzte leichte Rückschnitt in diesem Jahr. Allerdings bedeutet das dann den Verzicht auf so manche schöne Blüte und Beerenansätze. Garten bedeutet wohl auch immer ein abwägen von wachsen lassen, schneiden, umpflanzen, aufräumen und neuanlegen...
Den Luxus vom Schlafzimmer aus in ein blühendes Pflanzen-Meer sehen zu können, habe ich leider nur ganz kurz im Frühjahr. Dort ist es fast das ganze Jahr über immergrün. Aber dafür kann ich vom Bett aus weit in den Wald und auf die wechselnde Tischdeko in der Wiese sehen. In einem grünen Garten muss man eben erfinderisch sein!
Liebe Grüße
Silke, die schon ganz neurierig auf Dein fertiggestelltes Beet ist.

Gerda said...

Hoi Yolanda,
Prachtige blog en wat heb je hard gewerkt aan je tuin, je hebt je handen vol gehad.Het ziet er prachtig uit.
Ik hoop eens te komen bewonderen.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I'd have been afraid to engage in that much radical pruning. Besides, that's a lot of work. It looks good already, though. Isn't clay soil fun? I just love digging with a pickax. ;^D

Benjamin Vogt said...

MY goodness you have a gorgeous spread! Glad I stopped by, now on to reading about your Scotland trip (I've been there once, but it was March, and cold, and damp....).

Ewa said...

Oh My, this is so much job!. Cutting laurel hedge - my heart sunk when I saw it first, but I understand the need. It grows very nice in your garden as I can see.
New border will look beautiful! but do not overwork yourself!

Brimstone said...

Zeker een heel karwei, maar dan heb je ook wat :-)
Ik denk en hoop dat we in de toekomst nog vaak een kijkje zullen nemen in deze border, het ziet er veelbelovend uit!

Grace said...

This lovely beautiful garden borders bring happiness and smiles

Barbara said...

Wow, you were very busy and hard working Yolanda...and this in summer! My compliments. I'm sure it will be wonderful when finished. In case you still have some energy left, you are kindly invited to continue in my garden....there is a similar project waiting to be done! At the moment it is too hot and the soil too dry and hard.
Have a nice weekend, Barbara