Since the summer house was removed in early spring, we’ve been left with a good amount of space to play with. I always knew the summer house was taking up a lot of space, not only the floor area of the house but the negative space behind it as it was placed across a corner. We’ve now acquired around 5x5 metres.
I don’t plan on doing much in the area other than having some plants to screen from the fence and then area for seating and a small table.
The area just after removing the summer house and new fence posts had been put in:
I had coppiced the willows to allow for easier access to the fence, as a result we now have lots of fresh growth which is providing some nice screening, I have also planted two clematises on the fence… Sadly one I thought I’d killed when digging it up; it was surrounded by roots from the Cherry tree so in the end it had almost no rootball and was very damaged. We do appear to have some new growth though and flower buds… It just isn’t very healthy and has lots of dead growth on it that I will remove once I know what’s still producing new growth and what is most definitely dead.
Earlier this week I planted some Veronicastrum and Sambucus ‘black lace’, I also intend to add some of the Flat-topped Aster from a different border… I just need to have a look whether it’s easy to dig up or whether I’ll end up killing it all! Lol. I’m not very good at propagating and stuff.
I wanted tall plants which would tower over and also give the top tier a more secluded feeling. Because it’s at the top of the garden and almost on the same level as our first floor windows it can feel quite over-looked – and it is why I never used the Summer house and decided to get rid of it; although it was pretty, it just wasted a lot of space.
The Black elder will get large, but I plan on flooring it every year so it forms a nice shrub without taking over. I hope it will look nice juxtaposed against the willow and Acer; there will certainly be plenty of contrast between them!
The final plants I intend are Foxgloves, we already have quite a few in the Cherry border, and I want to extend it up into this tier too.
We are yet to decide how to stop the soil and chippings falling down the slope to the lower tier… At the moment it is a terrible eyesore, and we’ve been looking at various different hurdles and such but they’re all so twee, and just not me. I had considered buying some large rocks/stones and using them but they just won’t match anything else. I think I will simply use wood lengths in keeping with the rest of the garden.
Here’s an old photo showing some of the problems faced:
As I said it’s a work in progress; slow progress actually, as I don’t aim to get it done super quickly… Since the last photos were taken in June, all I’ve done is added some Aster and spread some bark. It’s August now, and I plan to move lots of Foxglove seedlings up here and the Monkshood from down in the ‘new’ border. But these jobs will have to wait until September as I have Uni work to do, plus it’s been so dry over the past 6 months that the ground is too difficult to work.
I made a mound from soil, pulled up turf and branches. The aim is to provide habitat for insects and such which over time, will decompose the branches for me. I just need to tidy it all up a little. Plus, Monkshood and such will be planted in front of it anyway.
Asters were added a few weeks ago… It was a tough job digging them up and I had to soak them for a good long time to soften the soil before I could get them out.
Asters are coming into bloom, and Veronicastrum have finished.
The black Elder, I hope it puts on lots of growth for me next year
So far the main disappointment has been the lack of climbers on the fence. After having moved one Clematis and pretty much killing it, I also moved a second which I had dug up months before; had a good root ball to it and had been growing nicely in a temporary pot… This too has not at all been happy in its new home. I’m left scratching my head now. I’m loathe to go and buy yet another, however I really want something to cover the fence and am insure how long I ought to wait to see if these two spring back. *sigh*
I do have a number of tiny plug clematis plants in smallish pots on the decking. They have grown significantly this year compared to past years but I do not think they’re strong enough yet to be planted in the ground so will most likely have to stay in pots for another year or two. I’m tempted to move a Honeysuckle I have in the front garden, but no doubt I’ll also kill that!
After a few days of grim weather I’ve been able to get out and dig up the monkshood from the ‘new’ border and move them up to the upper tier. There’s nothing much to look at as I chopped them back, but hope that they will manage to get settled before winter hits.
I also removed one of the Aster ‘Lady in Black’ from the new border but haven’t yet decided whether it will definitely go in the upper tier. I’ll move the other in spring; the only reason I moved this one was because it’d been strangled by the Monkshood and only has a few straggly branches on it and will not produce many flowers for me this year.
Copyright 2011 Liz.
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