12 August 2017

Happy gardening

The weedy patch outside the living room of Tom and Gemma's flat is gradually being transformed. For years it had been waist-high in weeds, and at one point had suffered an incursion of pea gravel, in an attempt to control those weeds. For the past couple of weeks I've been digging up and sifting the soil to get out the rubble and the pea gravel, and now the area between the old wall and the new paving is just about completely sifted.

This is "the vision" - though the garden is not so large, nor so enclosed

First the long taproots to the alkanet were dug out, the in came the same and and "the machine" -
 After which the paving slabs were laid out, and rejigged ...
...until there was a template, and they could gradually be bedded in. As soon as possible, even before the layout was finished, I started on the "earthworks" - the removal of extra sand, and the reconditioning of the soil, including the removal of a few more of those tap roots, and of the not-yet-rotted roots of a sizeable tree, cut down some years ago.

 All slabs in place, and soil work is moving along -
 Much rubble and pea gravel was removed, and compost and topsoil added -
 And finally it was time to go to the garden centre - a 30-minute drive to Crews Hill - and get a few plants  -
 They fit into the car - just -
 and it was thrilling to see them set out on the wall -

 Even though we'd bought more soil, it wasn't enough, and it quickly became obvious that not all the plants would go into the ground today -
 But we worked till dark, planting one of the "lollipop" lilac trees and making progress with the window boxes -
 Work continues tomorrow; meanwhile the plants are spending the night in the safety of the back garden.
Two sides haven't yet had their soil work, but progress is noticeable, and we get a lot of nice comments from passers-by, who've seen nothing but weeds for years.

Possibly not all plants were wise choices ... verbena, salvia, syringia, astilbe, japanese anenome, delphinium, lavender, hydrangea, a grass, fuchsia, and a small yew ("Can grow more quickly than anticipated") for that shady corner....

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