Through The Archway!

On this page.....
Bee's Nest
Dahlia Bed
Water Butt





The next major project started on 13th August, 2012 when we hired two skips to tackle the area through The Archway which was beginning to look like an overgrown dumping ground! The original plan was to have a small raised decking area as another pond viewing area, a herb garden and a vegetable garden but, over time, plans changed!

Clearing the area.....
The path, through The Archway turns right and goes along the back of the greenhouse and pond as per the photo below. This area was completely overgrown and full of some amazing wild flowers which, unfortunately, had to go!

Sunday, 12th August, 2012.....


The Bee's Nest

Monday, 13th August, 2012.....
We had a midi-skip delivered and, thanks to my brother, Malcolm, he and Mike were able to make excellent progress in clearing this area. Unfortunately, they hit a major problem – a bee's nest in the grass mound at the front of the right-hand photo!


Tuesday, 14th August, 2012.....
Mike carried on digging around the bee's nest, carefully slicing away until the nest was completely exposed.


Thursday, 16th August, 2012.....
Eventually Mike managed to get the whole area around the bee's nest clear. As the nest was resting on top of some weed-matting he managed to carefully cut around the matting, lift the whole nest onto a spade and, carefully, popped it over the back fence into the wood where we knew it would be safe. Needless to say, Mike fully covered himself up – just in case!


Sunday, 19th August, 2012.....
Hurrah! We can now see the back fence! The stone slabs (below right) are being moved into piles of similar sizes ready for the dry-stone walling to be finished along the bed against the back wall.


Saturday, 1st September, 2012
The whole area is now virtually cleared - just a tricky bush in the corner to dig out. Mike has also cleared a lot of the area along the back of the fence getting ready for a new bed leading up to where the shed will be in the corner.


Monday, 25th March, 2013
Work had come to a halt over the winter and, despite the very cold, windy weather, towards the end of March, we felt that the fencing really had to be done. Once again, Mike enlisted the help of Malcolm (my brother) to help remove the old panels and lift the new ones into place. Although the concrete posts aren't high enough for the new fence panels (we had decided to go slightly higher than the original ones) they will suffice for the time being.


The Decking

Wednesday 27th March, 2013
When digging out the pond with Mike, our friend, Josh Langton, suggested we had a decking area at the back of the garage and pond. At the time we dismissed the idea but when the area through The Archway had been cleared, we agreed that a decking area would look good and called in John & Clint Hulton to undertake the job. [When sitting on there, in glorious sunshine in March 2014, we still reflected back to it being an excellent idea of Josh's!]



Thursday 28th March, 2013
We decided that the decking area didn't look right with only having the spindles down the two sides and so asked John & Clint to put them along the back which, not only gives more support overall, but looks infinitely better as per left photo below. Mike then varnished it which transformed it yet again. As we had taken the Bamboo out of the two 'eyes' of the Yin & Yang in the main garden, we split them and put one of each in a large pot in each corner of the decking (the rest were given to our neighbours).



The Dahlia Bed

May 2013
Mike started work on making a dahlia bed (in memory of his Grandad who was passionate about his dahlias) at the side of the greenhouse by extending the dry-stone wall which Malcolm had already started at the front of the bed. It is still being made out of stone which had previously been dug up from various parts of the garden.




Above left: The dry-stone wall is completed all the way round the Dahlia bed and the soil is turned over with general purpose compost added.


Above right: Several varieties of Dahlia are planted together with Gladioli – see Dahlias for full details


Left: The dry-stone walling is continued up the left-hand side of the path through The Archway. Click on photo for larger verion.








The Pathway

24th May, 2013
The gravel path is started to take visitors from the main garden, through The Archway.....


The Water Butt









At the far end of the Dahlia bed on the right a concrete base has been laid for a water butt which will be 'piped up' to collect water from the greenhouse 'gutter'. The water butt is an old one which, when cleaned up, looks virtually new as it's plastic. We just had to purchase a new base for it.





Above: the butt in its new home

Left: shows where the rain water runs off the greenhouse and into the butt.








The Fernery (formerly The Black Bed!)

Originally I had the idea of having a 'Black Bed' through The Archway and had even purchased a book on black plants! The plants wouldn't necessarily all have black flowers – some could have black stems, or black centres, or black leaves, or black veins etc. I had also thought of having a few ferns intermingled as a contrast in colour.

June 2013
The first step was to put some half-log fencing along the bottom of the decking to stop the soil from going underneath – see photo to right. Once again Mike had to move all the surplus York stone, to pull up the weed-matting and attempt to mark out the bed. Initially we were going to use flexible half-log panels around the edging of The Black Bed but then found some flexible bamboo panels in B&Q so decided to use these instead – see photo below. The area of The Black Bed is approximately 6ft x 7ft.

The 'stepping stones' were put in place simply to see what they would look like. Although we were still referring to it as 'The Black Bed' and had purchased a few suitable plants for it, we still hadn't decided exactly how we were going to plant it. Mike then remembered some decent-sized pieces of driftwood he had seen at Newbank Garden Centre, Radcliffe, Manchester..... so we downed tools and duly went to see if they still had them!

Not only did they still have them but they had a fantastic display of ferns surrounding the driftwood. This, in turn, gave us ideas for 'The Black Bed' and we promptly came away with 3 pieces of driftwood and 2 ferns! The driftwood is "Rimu" from New Zealand – further details are on the Ferns page. The following day we went to Marple Garden Centre, Marple, Cheshire and bought a further two ferns. We already had 3 other ferns plus various other plants which were destined for the 'Black Bed'.

Suddenly, within 24 hours 'The Black Garden' went from, below left, to 'The Fernery', below right! (Please click on right-hand photo for larger version.)

April 2014
The Fernery as at 3rd April, 2014 – we're undecided yet whether to plant the tree fern – if we don't then we will put it in a more attractive pot! We shall probably also add some more Coleus when then are available.

June 2016
The Fernery as at 26th June, 2016 is now well and truly established. In addition to the ferns we have added a Kangaroo Paw and a 'Royal Wedding' Poppy.

The Fernery

Kangaroo Paw Kangaroo Paw
Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthus) Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthus)

Poppy - Royal Wedding
'Royal Wedding' Poppy



The Shed!

In September 2012 I referred to a shed being put in the top right-hand corner. In March 2014 this hadn't been done and the marked-out area had become full of weeds. However, I'm pleased to say that the area has been weeded and we have a neighbour putting a concrete base down in 2-3 weeks – during April – and we've selected the shed we would like.

Eventually, in June 2014, the shed arrived from Waltons. flat-packed. Tracy, a very good friend and neighbour, and Mike erected the shed, following which I painted it with Cuprinol (Seagrass) paint from B&Q.

The photo, below right, was taken om 3rd July, 2016. The hanging baskets are looking a little bedraggled due to heavy rain storms in early June 2016 which had battered them. The slabs leaning up against the shed will be moved!


Garden shed         Garden shed


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