26 March 2010 12:16:48
Thuja versus Laurel
I've been waiting on bare root 60/90cm Thuja hedging but it arrived last week and I was told by the nursery it was small, he's been looking for alternative but now looks like it's not going to happen. I finally went over to look at them today and we'll while they look very healthy they are tiny at 50cm and there just really plugs which is annoying especially as I dug nice big holes with the digger for the hedging. I have a bit of a dilemma now as I'm really skirting in the twilight zone of bare root season at the minute, do I fill in the holes and wait till later/next year, and will the soil stay soft enough to dig easily next year? Do I plant more Laurel hedging which I already have loads of? or do I plant these little babies even though they'll need bamboo staking and wind/rabbit proof netting, I'm confused.
I'm really torn between having a nice hedge (Thuja) and a nice size small hedge (which at this stage would have to be Laurel), does anyone have experience of how quickly thuja will grow in a couple of years? Anyway I guess life throws these dilemmas in to challenge us. The kids start there Easter break this week which means I wont get as much done as I'd like and I had hoped to help my wife coppicing the willow for her Fedge and kids archway which she's hoping to do over the easter weekend but it's all up in the air right now. Never mind we're off to Dublin for a couple of days family R&R, thanks again Fran for the Free Tickets :-)
24 March 2010 12:01:12
Some of the larger sucesses
Earlier this year I planted a lot of seeds I had collected and been given in a test to see what germinated, how long it took and what might be a waste of time. Well I had lots of successes and failure and I dont know if that was down to how I stored/collected the seed or what but it will save me lots of anguish, time and seed trays. Last year I sowed loads of seeds that in the end did'nt germinate and I wasted trays compost and anguish on them, the grass seed I collected in particular was dissappointing with only Luzula nivea (Lindas), pennisetum macrorum and Hordium jubatum actually germinating but I'm thinking now that maybe I'll try again in the heated propogators I got from Lidl.I was also dissappointed with th ricinus I got from chiltern with only 3 out of 8 germinating they sent me another batch but it has'nt germinated yet either!!
But enough about failures my sucesses were many and it's especially satisfying when you collect the seed yourself as it is really 'free' plants. Diermas, Penstemon, Eucomis, Camassi, Aster frikartii monch and Tithonias being the main ones. I'm also excited about other varieties such as Canna Paniculata (can grow to 12ft) the three ricinus that I did get, Paulownia tomentosa to name a few. With all the work on the garden this spring I've not been as vigerous with seed planted as I was last year but if I have time I'll try and do more later on next week. Last year though I raised about 70 plants from cutting etc so I hope to do this more this year.
16 March 2010 23:58:52
Roof ridge tiles or logs ??
Ok so we got a lot of work done but there was soooo much more to do I took a break today before my body rejected me for the abuse it's had over the last 11 days. So I will put up some new photos of the progress so far. I'm hoping to finish the drain in the next few days and my hedging arrived but was puny so I'm waiting on better specimens to arrive instead (hope the come soon as time is running out).
My wife has had a number of other projects running parallel to our work and I took time out on Sunday to help here complete it as it was Mothers Day. We got some old poles cut up and we've buried them in a mini wall (yes the kids are already running across them) with a little bed at the front, the big dilemma we had was what to edge it with (that we already had on site) have a pic opposite and in picture albumn of logs or roof tile ridges be good to know what people think looks the best.
08 March 2010 23:43:51
New Greenhouse Entrance
Boy oh Boy am I wrecked... I had a small crisis today wondering if I'd bitten off more than I can chew?? The digging is extremely messy and I hope my poor lawn recovers, but to be honest thats not where the hard work is. The descision to get the digger was in the end a last minute thing and to be honest had I planned ahead I should have filled off all the grass where I was putting new borders. I have spent more time clearing grass away that anything else and the digger does'nt exactly do them in nice neat easy to move pieces.
The greenhouse looks like a total mess but clearing around it was only a thord of the battle I still have to put in a french drain (filled with pea gravel) and then put up a retaining fence with a cheap and cheerful pallets before laying membrane and putting down more gravel, this won't be done this week as it all about digging.
I have 200 Thuja hedging plants arriving friday, and my wife and I completed the Hornbeam arch and it looks good, my brother made the metal frame for it and it looks the business (thanks Dave). I've cleared most of the border to the top of the plan in my last journal entry but still have a little more to do. Then it's onto my wife's second project which is a small pole wall (using old esb poles cut up and buried). Then onto my new exotic bed before finally clearing out the veg patch hopefully all before Friday when the digger goes back.. put some photos on my photo albumn
06 March 2010 08:41:29
One of the designs
Well with all the digging I've done over the past 3 years I finally gave in (as has my dodgy wrist, elbow and knee!!) and bought the bullet and hired a mini digger. I had been frustrated by water leaking from my sloped site into the greenhouse and decide to clear around it and put in a mini french drain and from there plans have expanded. I am also going to put in another 5 beds at least, the major work happening just behind the house. I've hired the digger for a week as it put me inder less pressure so I have no idea how much I will get done but I'm hoping my enthusiasm will match my non exisitent digger skills!
My first plan of action is my new exotic bed at the top right hand side of the garden, my second plan is to extend the veg patch, clear away around the greenhouse, a new wooden fence to retain the soil, with a drain all the way round the greenhouse, my third is to clear beds around the rear of the house (see plan opposite) and to create a circular lawn and a path to a Hornbeam arch (my wifes project). Finally I hope to put in about 60m of Thuja hedging, including atmy shade bed which I hope to extend a little.
Now if I get all that done I'll be a happy boy however I have no idea if I will or not, the beds/borders I make may well lay empty for a year or more but I think it's best to dig as much as I can now while I have the mini digger. Wish me luck