This area had previously been used as a tree nursery and when the trees were removed so were large amounts of top soil so this whole area was low lying and had poor soil. With the help of a mini digger and little dump truck 80 tonnes of soil was moved from the top of the menage to this area.
The area is dived into four main beds for annual cut flowers including Cosmos, Larkspur, Zinnias, Bells of Ireland, Nigella, Cerinthe, Ammi, Clary Sage and Snap Dragons. In the central bed we erected a willow dome for Sweet Peas to climb over. There are also 4 other strip beds on the perimeter containing Narcissi, Tulips and Dahlias.
This would have been the original dipping pond. It is important for us to be able to use this water rather than being reliant on mains. After a clear out of weeds and some repairing to the overflow pipe the pond has gradually filled up. Water pipes remain albeit damaged that come from the stream running adjacent to the garden. The next small project is to redirect rainwater from greenhouses into the pond and to look at small water pumps to lift water out of the pond.
Original dipping pond
A couple of before during and after photos of the entrance and main path.
We discovered early on that the garden was a parallelogram. Shaped so that every wall at some point during the day gets sun. At first we had presumed it was a rectangle and went to mark out the 1st bed using the greenhouse wall to measure off and couldn’t work out why it wasn’t square. A full survey and two days of measuring later we had the accurate plan of the parallelogram of the garden. This realization made it important to realign the main entrance path so to square the middle of the garden thus meaning we could set out all the new beds square from the centre .
The existing hardcore path was moved to its new position with the help of a mini digger and old edging stones found in the garden were used to edge the entrance beds. The entrance beds are now planted with small leaved limes for pleaching Box balls, Lavender Hidcote, Euphorbias and Verbena Bonsarensis, under planted with Queen of the Night Tulips and Allium Purple sensation.
It was important for us to enjoy the space and to have a good working environment. The area appeared to be the remains of an old greenhouse that had long gone but a massive amount of smashed glass covered the area. We raked a huge amount up but aside from sieving the soil we decided to cover it and use as a hard standing. We have planted some of the area with nectarines and peaches along the front edge of the remains of the greenhouse wall and kiwis and figs along the back wall using the existing wires
old greenhouse remains
Re-establishing edges to paths made sense for the immediate entrance, somewhere to sit, have lunch and appreciate the garden was an added benefit.
We discovered pretty early on that the area just in front of the greenhouse was very rough ground with foundations of what we have been told were the original brick cold frames. We decided to put an area in of raised beds to help with the beginning of the season and season extension, we have also used the space to put our own wooden built cold frames in.
1st look of rough ground