Monday, October 29, 2007

Garden redesign on the cards

My back garden is a good ¼ of an acre of beds with paths of stone, nuggets and grass crisscrossing the area. A few weeks ago I decided to redesign my back garden. Changing circumstances, increased travel commitments, and the natural process of aging is preventing me from spending the required time in the garden.

10 years ago when I laid out the garden I had at least an hour a day and more on the weekends to spend in the garden. I also had a lot more energy then. But after all these years I realized I am not a gardener…yet…but only a planterman. Gardening with mostly perennials is one of the most difficult gardening concepts. A perfect perennial garden is nearly always in bloom or in foliage and one should never see any soil. This was not always the case in my garden. Hardly ever! Hence my decision to redesign the garden from a “wild”, Grandma’s English garden style to a more controlled, central lawn surrounded by borders of manicured scrubs interspersed with well-planned perennials. I don’t want it formal, nor do I want it boring, but it must be neat, and well-planted in appearance. The borders will still be big enough to allow for several rooms of which some already exists and others can be easily created.Luckily most of the trees, scrubs and architectural structures for a good garden are already in place.

I will use the winter months to design the new garden and next spring will be the big replanting time. I will have to remove a few small trees and larger scrubs, I’m really sad about that, but the rest is replanting of perennials, removing some paths, and then the preparation for the planting of the new lawn. Although much hard work is ahead, I must say, I am looking forward to the new garden. It’s maybe the right thing at the right time to make the garden interesting again for me. It was becoming a chore instead of a pleasure these days.

One problem I must still think about is moles. Every spring and fall when the clay soil is softer, moles wreck the back portion of my garden with their tunnels just below the ground surface. Up to now it was more an irritation than a massive problem, but with plans for a manicured lawn in those areas any moles will be unwanted and unwelcome.

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