Sunday, 24 January 2016
Laying pathways and planting hedges
What a great weekend it's been in the garden. Friday and Saturday we mapped out and laid the weed suppressing membrane for the pathways around the area that will the herbaceous border and herb and annuals beds. They are pegged into place with what looks like giant metal staples which were jolly hard work to get into the ground in the stonier areas. I am delighted with how it looks.
This view (above) is from the middle gate into the paddock when we had laid out two of the pathways, looking towards the back of the garden.
Standing in almost the same place but this time looking across the paddock after we'd put down the membrane for all the pathways in this area. The grassy section on the right will become the herbaceous border. It will be about 4 feet deep and 40 feet long and in the corner that is just out of view opens up to become a triangular space. On the other side of the fencing with the green windbreak netting is the shrubbery. The grassy squares and triangle will be dug up and become beds for herbs and annual cutting flowers.
This morning my friend Jane came over for a gardening day. Jane is great in the garden, she has loads of gardening knowledge including things like dry stone walling and tree felling ,and her stamina and enthusiasm are infectious. Luckily just as she arrived this morning I was serving up a cooked breakfast, so we all had hot food and a cuppa before we headed outside. We set about preparing for and planting the hedge that will go around the paddock (which will become the fruit and vegetable garden this year)
We started by laying weed suppressing membrane and pushed the edges into the soil to hold it in place, we worked on about half the length of the hedge at a time. This is also a great photo to show how I'm getting on with mucking out the stables, the pile of hay and manure is now about three feet high, six feet wide and about 10 - 12 feet long, it will be much bigger by the time I have finished clearing the stable to make it into the chicken condo.
Then we planted the key trees, five poplars which will help reduce the wind from the estuary, some fast growing willows and guilder rose trees. After that we filled in the spaces between them with the native hedge plants that I bought a week or so ago.
We planted a double row of little hedging plants along the full length of two sides of the paddock. My guess is that it's a bit more than 100 metres (335 feet) in length and there are still a few spaces left for me to add some other plants too
I have a few honeysuckle plants, the willow cuttings that I took last week, a crab apple sapling and some ivies that can be added over the next few weeks.
The paddock is very stony and I've thought it would be a good idea to cover the weed suppressing membrane beneath the hedge with the stones as I lift them from the field. This gets them out of the ground and holds the membrane in place without inviting airborne weed seeds to settle and grow.
So all in all, it's been a busy weekend and although as I write it's only 7pm, Mr J has cooked a meal for us, I have had a long soak in a hot bath and I am almost ready for bed, exhausted but very happy!