Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Garden Project (Finally!) Begins

It has taken us nearly two years to get round to this but today the Creative Landscape Company started work on our garden. The pictures above are the “before” photos. To be fair I did not even get in touch with the nice folks at Creative Landscape Company until this summer, so it isn’t all their fault it took two years. In fact, it’s pretty much entirely mine. We were however scheduled to do this in September but they had too much work on so I’m really glad it is getting started now.

Actually considering we bought this house in quite a rush, we did very well in the garden stakes. It is the biggest garden on our estate/subdivision. I realised the back garden was pretty good, but I can remember being surprised at how much garden we had round the side of the house when the fence went up mid-build. The garden is L-shaped and really substantial. The top photo is of what I refer to as the bottom of the L. (The small building at the back of the photograph is the side of the double garage, the side of our house is to the right. That’s the utility room door you can see on the right hand side.) The next photo is the bottom of the L from the other direction. (My back is to the garage; you can just see part of the side of our house on the left.) The photo third from the top is of the side of the L (our house is on the left) looking down the garden towards the road. (Our house does not face the street; we are tucked away behind a wall and some gates.) The photo on the bottom is of the side of the L taken from the patio area (I had my back to the house, but you can see a corner of the back extension peeking out there on the right). I’m grateful we’ve got such a lot of garden to work with.

As you can see from the photo on the left and in the middle, there is one long straight flower bed along the bottom of the L, put in by the builders. Their planting was kind of haphazard, with lots of plants that grow really big and gangly at the front and short ones at the back. I’ve had a bit of a go at sorting their planting out, getting rid of some of the plants and moving others, but there is still a lot more to do. I’ve put some new planting in there, comprised of some of the plants brought from our previous garden, gifts and some plants which I bought. However that bed is still very much a work in progress.

The plan is to put in a sculpted border all along the edges, from beside the patio right along the side of the L, which then joins into the flower bed along the bottom of the L that is already there (and also softens its edges). Then, outside the utility room door in the bottom of the L, there is to be a “kitchen garden” for vegetables and herbs. There are to be two raised beds about 4 meters square each, surrounded by some gravel to keep things nice and neat. The area to the left of the side of the garage (as you face the side) is to be cleared and levelled so a concrete base can also be laid for a shed. (We have yet to find and choose a shed, but at least there will be a base there when we do!)

The gardeners will not be doing any planting; I’ll be doing it. I like planting and planning gardens, I just don’t like digging, so this is the perfect solution. My dear friend S will be arriving tomorrow for a visit and to advise me on planting. She helped me design and put in the garden in our previous house a few years ago - even doing the actual landscaping. - while her husband was deployed in Iraq. She has an amazing talent for gardens, and her own is beautiful. I was really sad to leave the one she designed for me behind when we moved, but she came round and dug out loads of the plants so I could take them with me so many of them are here thanks to her!

I’m not sure I will get all the planting done straight away, but at least I will have a plan. I do have some bulbs I bought at the Chelsea Flower Show to put in - tulips and hyacinths - and some bulbs I had in pots from last year (again tulips from the Chelsea Flower Show the year before). I hope they bloom again as they were just beautiful.

As I sit here writing, the sounds of garden machinery fill the air and piles of dirt and grass are beginning to form as the gardeners get to work. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out!