homestEAd ~ the grass is always greener

Yesterday was quite a long day over at daughter’s house.  I was too tired even to write a post.  I didn’t even feel that satisfaction of a job well done either as progress was slow to non-existent.  DH was similar, he is doing the hallway – preparation stage, so not a lot to see other than filled in cracks and holes.

Isn’t it always the way that one day you seem to make a lot of progress and then the next hardly any.  This was definitely a hardly any.

I am challenged at the moment by both the hot weather and a bit of dithering on my part over the patch of garden I am ‘transforming’ at present.

Before I cleared this part it had been home to the many raspberry plants but had also acquired rosebay willow-herb and the large-leaved Persicania (Knotweed).  The raspberry plants have since been relocated to the back of the garden and we will make a proper frame to support them soon.

I thought I had a plan – my idea was to put gravel down on this bit of garden on the other side of the path to create a little seating area with a few plants mainly in pots and an obelisk towards the back corner and incorporating the plants already in situ.

My problem here was twofold – next doors fence which is stepped due to the gradient has a little gap at each bottom right hand corner and the gravel on the other side of the fence keeps spilling through.  So an edging board is required to prevent this – and that will need help in the shape of a bit of muscle to hammer the supporting pegs and boards in place.

The second problem is the two existing plants to the left of the photo beyond the pole – a large patch of Johnson’s blue geranium (flowering over) and the yellow flower I pictured in my last post (still blooming).  I was going to work around these and put some stone edging around them to make a border but after playing around in a variety of ways nothing seemed to work well and in the end I decided to keep the design clean and simple – remove the plants and gravel the whole area otherwise the whole thing was in danger of becoming bitty.

To be able to make a start today I will have to wait until the afternoon when there will be some shade over the plot.  There is quite a bit of earth to remove to get to a level low enough for the path edging to contain the gravel once it is laid.  There lies another problem – what to do with all the spare soil – probably a raised bed in the vegetable patch by the shed.

The aim of this garden transformation is to make the garden look more appealing and low maintenance.  Most of their neighbourhood are young,  first time buyers, both working so they seem to prefer all lawn or all gravel or a mixture of both but nothing that needs very much maintenance.

We are spending a minimum amount for maximum reward and keeping most of the mature shrubs that give the garden some shape and interest. The turf from B&Q for the extension to the existing lawn (well grass) cost about £50 but well worth it.  It covers the patch that had two really old straggly shrubs well past their best and removing them has opened up this space considerably and added some visual length to the garden.

The new grass has grown remarkably well despite this hot weather and was the greenest kid on the block by far (apart from the astro turf next door!).

There was great excitement yesterday for the first cutting and we all stood round afterwards admiring.  The join and difference in colour is not as noticeable now it is cut (I should have taken an after photo so you will have to take my word for it!) and with some extra care and attention and a bit more grass feed and weed the older part should start to thicken out and green up to match.

The large silver Senecio (or Brachyglottis as it has been renamed – I hate that name so I always revert to its former) in the middle of the picture has almost finished flowering and will be due a bit of a trim to contain it in the space.

So before I go round to sort my daughter’s garden I have a little bit to do in my own then back to work again tomorrow  – only 7 days to go now to the big day.

Thank you to everyone for your great suggestions for when I leave work – I am storing up the information and when I get some time for myself to think about my next moves I will be sharing them with you.

Oh and welcome to my new followers – I can never quite believe anyone would want to sign up for my daily ramblings!

But for now while the sun shines I need to make …a seating area!

Back soon x


6 Replies to “homestEAd ~ the grass is always greener”

  1. A lot of work and thought going into this reno. It seems it would be harder to design a landscape that is easy to maintain (e.g. fewer plants and flowers), than it is to design a flourishing garden. Best of luck staying out of the sun while you are slogging away.


    1. I could do a lot more if it was cooler! The garden is very much as it would have been laid out when the house was built post war I think with a path going diagonally down through the middle to service the washing line and maybe a small kitchen garden at the end. I presume the garage was added when people started to own their own cars. The shrubs I took out may have been nearly as old as the house! It is hard designing it around the exisiting plan – for instance we did not want to take up the path or replace the fence on the other boundary. The overall aim is to make it look a lot simpler and neater so that anyone buying the house in the future will not be put off.


  2. I do like your garden plans. Wherever you look there will be focal points and interesting colours and shapes. A little oasis in the midst of the gravel and grass. The turf is amazing, especially given this long spell of dry weather. xx


  3. Wow I haven’t seen grass that green (outside of the TV coverage of Wimbledon) for a while. Husband and I have put of laying new turf because of the hot weather, might rethink that having seen this post.


    1. I must say I was absolutely amazed at the result but beware as they are imposing hosepipe bans now in many places and they do need a lot of care in this hot weather. My SIL had to water it before and after work in the hot weather but we did not know when we were putting it down that there was going to be a heatwave. I would not have done it if we had known, far too risky!

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