Thursday, 8 May 2014

I'm turning my attention to...

my front garden. Finally after 2 years it is time to get down to the nitty gritty of sorting out my rather neglected front garden.

It started off like this

This was the only flower bed (I added the plum tree 2 years ago and this was when this picture was taken. The bed was an uninspiring mix of groundcover plants, heathers, cotoneasters and unnamable beige and brown things none of which I liked. However I left it and for the last 2 years, as you know have been spending a lot of time in the back. Now this has changed, the back is happy to just grow now as all the hard designing work has been done, so over the last 2 weeks I have been working in the front.

I cleared everything from the bed as I didn't want to keep any of it,

and in so doing discovered this cute little 'wall' that I didn't even know was there. It took a lot of work and many trips to the tip with garden waste (was far too much for compost) until I had it completely removed apart from the plum tree and a lavender.

I have added lots of well rotted garden compost as well as horse manure. to this bed and the soil was looking good and healthy.

So today I have been planting it up. Lots of my plants from the greenhouse were more than ready to go in and as I had so many it has been great because it is such a big bed.

So here is the result of my labours

and a close up

4 big chrysanthemums (red wendy) at the back left, 4 more chysanthemums (gompie pink) at the back right. Foxgloves dotted about that I have been growing on for an age, 3 good sized lupins in the middle. Some red bacopa and a red trailing geranium which will hopefully trail down the wall and a ton of mini white chyrysanthemums (snowland) at the front. Just out of shot on the left are 6 shasta daisies I have been growing from seed.

When it all fills out it should be really lovely. I still have a large gap on the far right and I think I will put in a floribunda rose.

Now I have to keep my fingers crossed that I don't have more sheep visiting as I know they could decimate this bed in about 10 minutes.

So I have plans afoot to put in a hedge accross the front and down the side. I can't decide if whether to just be boring and put in a privet or to actually use a bit of imagination and plant a load of different bushes that can be shaped nicely. I am erring on the latter but I have to wrack my brains for lots of bushes that will fit the bill.I think it would be the nicer option. I still may use privet on the side. When I drive around and look at other 'open plan' front gardens I like lots of bushes I see, the ones that shape beautifully like big pompoms, just never know what any of them are, so all suggestions for nice trimmed front hedging bushes are all welcomed.


  1. Well, you could think about a proper hedgerow which could be cut into shape and provide all year interest as well as feeding and protecting all manner of wildlife (that you want that is),. See here

    If and when our leyllandii hedge dies, we will do this.

  2. I'd find a hedge you like the look of and go and knock on the door of the owner to ask the name of the plants.
    Love from Mum

  3. Are there hedge-type plants that grow food? Berries? What plants are not attractive to sheep? And why are there sheep wandering around the neighbourhood instead of in their paddock?

  4. You`ve worked wonders on that front garden. Well done. Good luck with the hedge ideas.

  5. That bed looks so much better now. Well done to you for your hard work. Don't know if you're anything like me but if I were you I'd probably be feeling pretty smug now at having been able to plant it up just from my own greenhouse.
    For the hedge my first thought was also berries or currants of some kind, even while thinking that that would be a pain to maintain. I really like the suggestion above of a proper hedgerow though. Was fascinated by the hedgelaying the first time I saw it on River Cottage. If you could plant hazel, would you be able to use sticks from it as supports in the garden perhaps? There's also living willow fences, which can be nice.

  6. Maybe an edible hedge would be good - blackthorn, hazel, or maybe a rosemary or lavender hedge. Your new bed will look great when it has filled out a bit.

  7. There is an amazing Pyracantha hedge close to where I live, no idea how old it is, but well established, and of course it is a lovely prickly deterrent to sheep and humans. I understand that it is easy to propagate from cuttings, but have never tried it.

  8. I would plant something with thorns - hawthorn perhaps. Otherwise, not only will your hedge be eaten by sheep, they'll happily march through it too! D