Helen's Garden Renovation Project

Friday 27 November 2009

Poles and string

Filed under: Progress — Helen @ 1:51 pm

I think the Met Office has been doing what my colleague at work, Susie, refers to as “managing expectations”. Yesterday morning it was predicting sunshine and heavy showers, with the emphasis on the heavy showers, but actually we got just the sunshine. This morning was a bit soggy, but I couldn’t afford to miss a session, so I went out and got cold and wet, but I did make progress.

Overview of garden with two sides of new lawn marked out

Overview of garden with two sides of new lawn marked out

I have finished breaking up the path foundations, and have started putting out the poles and string to mark out where the lawn should go, according to my plan on squared paper. The lawn is to run diagonally across the garden to try and make it look longer. It doesn’t look as if I need to dig up the apple tree yet after all, but I may still yet move the lawn boundaries. It also looks as if the yellow euonymus can stay where it is for the time being. This is all good news because I am running out of time. As you can see very clearly, the recent winds have been very unkind to next door’s fence, and I was worried that the fence might fall on the apple tree and squash it. I stuck a brown piece of wood from the raspberry frame in the ground between the apple tree and the fence in the hope that it would take the brunt of any collision, but now that one panel has almost parted company with the post, the wind can get through the gap and I am hoping there will be no further damage.

Marking out large areas with poles and string is no joke, partly because my string is quite feeble – thin and stretchy – and my poles are about 15 years old and sometimes break into several pieces when I try to stuff them in the ground. On the picture I have drawn a line in pale grey to show where the string is because you wouldn’t be able to see the original string very well at the resolution I am using. I have been using a large metal right-angled triangle with 45 degree angles to position the string but even so I don’t think I have been very accurate. However, I have probably been accurate enough to work out what I want to do. I haven’t marked off the far long edge of the lawn because there were too many things in the way, like compost bags and sections of path foundations. I now know that I can move a lot of stuff to the area to the right of and in front of the big conifer in the corner because no building work will need to be carried out there. The “stuff” consists of sections of path foundation, and the plants in containers. I need to get as many plants off the patio as possible because there will be some cutting work carried out there. So I will level out the ground near the conifer, put the path foundations on the ground, and then put the plants on the path foundations. It looks as if I should be able to have the lawn completely flat, which I think will look better than a sloping lawn, and then have some rocks and nice rooty plants to support a rise in ground height right at the end of the garden.

And now I can spend the rest of the day being warm and dry, and do some armchair gardening, which involves thinking about which plants I would like to have at the left-hand side of the garden.

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