Area 51 garden construction from scratch.

This is a garden that is close to our hearts as it happens to be behind the Arbworx yard. It is somewhere that we try out ideas and go to get inspiration and possibly even take five minutes just to relax. The garden was started late in 2007 and in spare moments has been added to bit by bit.

Grass, grass everywhere! A blank canvas to play with.

All we had was grass everywhere and it wasn’t even good grass. Lumpy, full of weeds and quietly driving me mad to get to grips with it. But it was hard finding the time as clients always come first.

We needed heavy machinery to deal with breaking up the ground and getting rid of the so called  ‘lawn’

Firstly we got a digger in to deal with the ruts, turf and general state of the garden. After marking out the lines for borders and beds we excavated these to a depth of 1m and broke up and aerated the soil as we had no way of knowing the history of the garden… funnily enough we found some interesting things buried there!

Lucky for us we have great neighbours who offered to help in the tilling of the excavated soil!

Then when we had the basics sorted, levelling, aeration beds and borders, we went shopping for plants and found some great examples at architectural plants and big plant nurseries.

The first plant going in to the garden.

We used mychorrhizal fungi and soil conditioners to improve the soil before we started planting out. Slow release plant food was also added to offer the best conditions for growth in the early stages.

We tried out different layouts before deciding on taking any out of their pots. Remember when doing this that the plants always sit lower in the ground when actually planted in the ground if you are trying to cover something up!

Once the plants were sorted and their positions confirmed we looked at the problem of the wind and how it would affect the garden. We choose not to totally block out the light and wind with solid fencing but opted for willow screening to soften the backdrop and give contrast to the curves of the plants with the uniform lines of the screens.

We settled for this option as it did not block out too much light.

These were the building blocks that the garden was based on. We then finished planting out and re-turfed the lawn in the spring.

Summer flowers abound across the borders

This is the garden two years on after a fair amount of work and effort. The beds are really starting to show off to their true potential and the evenings are fragrant with the scent of flowers like jasmin and the night scented stock. We fitted lights all around the garden and power so entertaining in the evenings is a delightful experience.

Note the size of the cordy’s in the background from their size at planting.
Colour and texture everywhere
The liquidamber is coming on nicely, doubling in size in two years.