Saturday, 21 March 2015

More Landscaping Works...

It was time to tackle the one remaining corner of the garden we'd hardly touched since we moved in here four years ago, i.e. the southern boundary of the original back garden.

The old fence had been in a sorry state for a long while, and was leaning over even further after the winter winds.   Inside the boundary was planted with a mishmash of old trees and shrubs which weren't flourishing at all.  It was quite a dark and forbidding place, even in the summer months.

before we started.....

As a related project, earlier in the week we'd bought around twenty used paving slabs in an eBay auction, and these would be used to finally cover over the old pond we'd drained and half-filled-in during the autumn of 2013, which can be seen behind the apple tree.

We'd also bought some 3" round fence posts and inspected the remains of a roll of rabbit wire from the shed - there was still around 16 metres left on the roll, more than enough for the job.

We needed to complete the old fence removal, and then erect a new barrier, in just one day so that we always had something in place to stop dogs wandering in and upsetting our rabbits.

So, it was out with the chainsaw early in the morning and the old fence and trees were cut away.  We started a fire in our oil-drum burner and kept feeding it as we worked.

The old fence boards and tree cuttings really started to pile up, and it took us a full second day to complete all the burning.   The larger logs and fence post offcuts were placed in the woodshed to season, for use as fuel in our living room fire next winter.

The new fence posts went in with postcrete, and the rabbit wire was finally fixed just as it was getting dark on the first evening.  

Next day we completed the remaining stump removal and burning, raked the ground over and it was ready for planting.

We wanted yet another hedge, but quick growing and evergreen since this boundary backs onto the woodland path to the south, and there'll be some loss of privacy until we get a permanent dense screen established.

We chose Photinia Red Robin and Portugal Laurel, and on the Sunday it was a longish trip to the largest nursery in these parts - they stock big quantities of trees and shrubs of all sizes and are used mainly by the landscape gardening trade.  It's quite an expensive place and not one we usually frequent, favouring instead our local independent garden centre.

We selected four healthy and bushy specimens of each type, and then returned home to dig the holes ready for their delivery next day.   When they arrived at lunchtime on Monday, we planted them alternately and watered them in.

So then it was on to the old pond.  We gathered up all the stones and other hard rubble we could find around the garden and filled it up as best we could.  However, we were still short of the elevation required to match the level of the lawn and so it was twice down to the builder's yard for bags of pea gravel.  

The pond was eventually filled, compacted and levelled and then the paving slabs went down, joining them up to the existing slabs around the big shed.

A few more smaller shrubs planted in the border, including dwarf rhododendrons and azeleas in an ericaceous compost trench, and the job's basically done....

Still some finishing works to do this weekend, including re-seeding of the lawn around the new patio and re-setting the kerb stones forming the edge of the border, but we're generally well pleased with what we've done so far.

Total cost was just under £420 - the eight new hedging trees accounted for two-thirds of this sum.

And here's a bonus picture from yesterday's solar eclipse - it was very grey and overcast here in the morning, but this allowed me to get some decent photos through breaks in the heavier clouds, without using any filters on the lens.

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