Helen's Garden Renovation Project

Saturday 27 January 2007

Digging up the conifer

Filed under: Conifers,Progress — Helen @ 7:58 pm

Today I decided to tackle the bigger of the two conifers and dig it up completely. I dug a large circular hole around the conifer and used long-handled loppers to cut off its roots as I went along. It was quite hard work because of the quantity of soil I had to shift, but it wasn’t very daunting. Now I just have the other conifer to dig up, which I will do another day. I want to keep the tree stumps but saw them up into logs and leave them somewhere as a refuge for wildlife.

Digging up the conifer


Tuesday 9 January 2007

Removing conifers

Filed under: Progress — Helen @ 7:46 pm

Today I continued to work on removing the conifers behind the blackberry frame. As you can see, I have trimmed off all the branches. I have also sawn off the top of the bigger conifer so the trunks are now the same height. It was quite hard work sawing the top off the conifer and it was a bit nerve-racking as I wasn’t sure how the top would fall, but in the end it fell gracefully with hardly a clunk. Now I just have to dig up what is left.

Conifers after I removed their branches


Friday 5 January 2007

Draft Design

Filed under: Progress — Helen @ 8:17 pm

Yvonne came for a brief visit to check with me that the general shape of her design would be acceptable. She is going to put in a diagonal lawn, edged neatly with the same small blocks that have been used for the patio edging, but the diagonal will point to the grey-blue conifer in the far left corner of the garden, not to the greenhouse. The curves in the existing patio will be changed to straight lines, and all the lines will go either along the edge of the house, or at right angles to the edge of the house, or at 45 degrees to the other lines. This includes the greenhouse, which will be octagonal. Yvonne proposes having the newt pond and the frog pond right next to each other. The two ponds will have a square cross-section with a diagnonal line separating the two ponds. The frog pond will be a few inches deep, and will be at about ground level or slighly above, while the newt pond will be raised up and will have a brick wall around it and some slabs at the top of the wall which people can sit on when they want to look at the newts.

The design is exciting, but scary. For a garden designer, this is probably a very ordinary design, but for me it is far removed from anything I would create myself. The lawn is quite small – it has to be, because so much else has to fit into the plan – but will it look silly because it is too small? One corner of the lawn will cut into the patio. Will this look as if it interlocks neatly, or will it look as if I measured the lawn up wrongly and ended up having it overflowing into the patio? But I have made my decision. I will be brave, and I will trust Yvonne’s experience, and I will make this design a reality.

One thing I am very pleased about is the location of the pond. It is about as far away from the neighbouring deciduous trees as it could possibly be, so that will help reduce the number of leaves that I have to clear out. Its shape may also make it possible for me to construct a couple of nets to put over the top in autumn. The pond is nearer the house than the present pond, so that means it will be more in the shade, but it is further from the leylandii on the left hand side, so with luck it will get enough light altogether. Having the pond nearer the house makes it more likely that I will be able to hear the frogs in spring. Although noise generally annoys me, I would be happy to hear the frogs enjoying themselves.