We have been living in our new house for just over a year now, so it seemed like a good time to reflect and look at our garden and see what we've done so far. One of the plus points we thought about this house was the potential of the garden, which we were excited about. Our previous garden was on a very steep slope that wasn't terraced, so it was quite difficult to garden there, though we did the best that we could.
Our new back garden is split into three sections, one with a lawn surrounded by raised borders on two sides, a path and thin border on the far left. The middle part consists of a patio and shed and the back part has another patio and long lawn area. The back part of the garden was very overgrown when we first arrived. It was very dark and the ground was very damp. We have clay soil here, so that's a bit of a challenge!
We had inherited two sheds on the site, a medium sized one on the small patio that was a weathered green colour and a large shed on the back part of the garden. We decided to get the larger shed removed so put it on Freecycle. This opened up the back part of the garden and provided us with a potential seating area of patio.
We also decided to call in the professionals, a local team to us who were able to on a scorching hot day, cut back all of the hedging and remove some of the diseased trees and shrubs. This left us with a much more open site, too open at the back actually because we had an unwelcome garden visitor one day, though luckily it only visited once! 🐴😂 The back has grown up a but since and we're planning to put open fencing in this spring. The wildlife we've observed include lots of birds such as pheasants, owls, goldfinches and even foxes and deer (which we have seen in the fields beyond).
The next part that we focused on, was cutting in deeper borders in the first section of the garden. We wanted to do this to grow more plants and flowers. It's grown up a bit this year though will hopefully look better this year because we have seeded annuals such as calendulas and nigella and biennials such as foxgloves and honesty into the borders. We've also planted some perennials such as hydrangeas, roses and grasses.
We removed the plants that were in the borders and that we didn't want anymore. We composted these or put them into our brown bin so nothing was wasted. We had a lot of Spanish bluebell in the borders that was so congested it bent a garden fork! We also had crocosmia, some of which we kept and moved around the garden as the clumps of it were also very congested. Things that we kept include the huge cherry tree, which is a lovely sight in the Spring and gives the added benefit of shedding its leaves into the borders below which break down very quickly and improve the soil for planting.
We have lots of ideas and plans for the future (see Part Two of the Garden Makeover plans to follow) but from writing this, I'm pretty pleased with how much we've achieved in a year.