How does your garden grow?

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Cugel
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How does your garden grow?

Post by Cugel »

We moved from NW England to West Wales in 2019. This meant a much larger garden, much of which was rather neglected - although not quite total-jungle. Another hobby to get stuck into!

The house was a lot less expensive than we'd budgeted for so there was a wodge left over to spend on the back garden, which is up a slope above the flood plane of Afon Teifi, looking over the river to the foothills of Fforest Brechfa. That suggested a terraced garden with lots of sitting spots.

The ladywife likes a bit of informality and plenty of wildflower - even a bit of nettle, bramble and dock, since many insects and butterlighties enjoy those. We had men and even some ladies in to do the major landscaping, involving old railway sleepers, iron I-beams and the building of walled steps. Later, me and t'ladywife humped tons and tons (literally) of river-washed gravel from the local quarry, to make various pathways, rockeries and so forth.

This summer is the first to begin the showing of all our plantings. Here's a couple of before & after pans:
Garden works (1 of 1).JPG
Garden 2022 (6 of 24).JPG
I have many more garden pics, of course! Perhaps I'll inflict them on you, all 942 of them. :-)

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Why not post a pic or three of your own garden? Feel free to include your bicycles in-shot.

Cugel
“Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assaults of thoughts on the unthinking."
John Maynard Keynes
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Mick F
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Re: How does your garden grow?

Post by Mick F »

We have many many photos of our place.
Moved here from up the road, in 1997, to a place that had been empty for some years. The drive was overgrown and we couldn't get our car up.

The back "garden" was so overgrown, we didn't know where the fences were. Took us - mainly me - a couple of years to hack everything down. Trees cut, brambles cut and dug out, and then we found that we owned another two acres of woodland!!!!

The rest is history.
Back Garden.JPG
Mick F. Cornwall
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al_yrpal
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Re: How does your garden grow?

Post by al_yrpal »

We bought this house 11th June last year. Very lucky to get it, literally dozens scrambling to buy it. It came with a surveyors report saying it wanted £65k spending on it, a hole in the roof, woodworrm collapsing floor etc. All total cover yr rse bull! The garden is about 1/4 acre, just 3 beds but a really lovely better half of a 1799 Georgian house. The bus stop, a post office stores, a family butchers, and a pub all within 100 metres.
The lady that lived here for 40 years loved wine, her hot tub, and her friends whom she entertained in the garden. Grass mainly, few flowers, low maintenance, but the garden is L shaped 250ft long, 70ft wide, a lovely pond, a host of nice sitting areas. There is a seperate annexe on 2 floors a huge double garage and 2 sheds.
All my friends said "dont buy it Alan!" and mumbled about ride on mowers etc, but its easy to maintain and I have created a veg plot and a few small flower beds. We have hung a few hanging baskets (illegal on a listed building). The pub is right next door and the cricket field is over the bottom fence.
The garden is heaven and we spend lots of time sitting in various areas, particularly in a swing seat looking over the pond.
Our plans are to add a few interesting flower beds, maintain the lower lawn with the wildflowers and the bluebells and resist to temptation to create lots of work for ourselves.
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francovendee
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Re: How does your garden grow?

Post by francovendee »

We bought this place in 2001. It had a big (for me) garden of 1000 sq metres that had been largely abandoned. I failed to take any photos so it's only a memory.
The garden was at its best about 5 years ago but increasingly hot dry summers are slowly killing many of the trees and shrubs. The latest to give up is a 12 metre pine tree.
Rainfall , or lack of, in the summer months is the real killer. Unlike our neighbours we don't have a well and even if we wanted to use tap water we can't as we have a ban on it's use such as gardens or pressure washing due to droughtImage.
I'm busy trying to find plants that tolerate really hot, very dry conditions but can withstand hard frosts to try and replace some dead plants.

The loss of the trees is sorely felt as it offered a cool place to sit and gave shade to other plants in the garden.
The photos were taken about 18 years ago, before the garden was to our liking.
Garden 4 Feb 04.JPG
Garden Feb  04.JPG
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Audax67
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Re: How does your garden grow?

Post by Audax67 »

We moved around a lot in our first 10 years of marriage - around 13 times I think - but we've been living here for the last 30+ years:

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When we bought the house it was for six of us, but now there's just the brains of the outfit and yrs trly. Off-stage to the right of the pictures there's also a somewhat decrepit barn that houses my workshop, the car and our winter wood-pile.

I don't think we'll move again.
Have we got time for another cuppa?
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al_yrpal
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Re: How does your garden grow?

Post by al_yrpal »

Cugel, really like what you have done, sloping sites are not easy, very pretty. Franco, the plot looks lovely, its hard to imagine lack of water in the vendee, I remember lots of drainage ditches full of croaking frogs? Audax, what a stunning place, can quite see why you are intent on staying.
Our concern when we moved here was our age. Facilities, stairs and.. a manageable garden? Zimmer frame and stairlift compatibility. Where we lived before, no buses, no shop for a pinta, dodgy pub. Our garden is the cherry.

Al
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Audax67
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Re: How does your garden grow?

Post by Audax67 »

Thanks, Al. It does have its drawbacks, particularly the stairs once we get on a bit (more) and the fact that we have to schlep firewood in the winter. The size, too, means that when we feel like doing housekeeping (rare!) there's a lot to do. I reckon on staying here till I croak, but my wife says we should sell in a few years and move into something smaller. We'd have to have a hell of a garage sale first.
Have we got time for another cuppa?
francovendee
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Re: How does your garden grow?

Post by francovendee »

AL, we still hear still hear frogs but far far less than we did even 10 years ago. I remember one night cycling back from the bar around midnight and their noise was very loud and all around me, I'd forgotten my lights so cycled along the white line. Luckily no cars on the road in the 2 km to home .
Far fewer lizards and the village has established many shallow pools to encourage the Salamanders that have been in decline. Trouble is the summers are so hot and with little rain they dry up.

Audax, we keep thinking of a move further north and a cooler climate but each time we do we decide to stay here as we've got many friends and contacts in the area. Plus of course my doctor is a keen cyclist and consultations end with a discussion on cycling. :D :D
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Cugel
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Re: How does your garden grow?

Post by Cugel »

When one's garden is of a certain size, the opportunities for making different styles are many; but this makes for difficult decisions. Also, if the garden designing carries you away, there is lotsa work and lotsa expense!

Personally I've always been wary of large ponds, as I once had a friend who moaned night and day about how much time he had to spend laid on a ladder across the pond so he could furtle about in it's depths. He showed me the rung-marks on his chest! Happily there's an oxbow lake just below our garden - a remnant from a long ago Teifi wend across its flood plane. That's Eirian's pond, not mine. He can do the ladder thing. :-)

Like Al, we were tempted to do allotment style fruit & veg growing. There was an old polytunnel surrounded by bramble-jungle when we arrived, at the the bottom end of the slope where those stone walls are now. But everyone and their dog has a polytunnel around here so as soon as you make friends, they start offloading their excess veg on you - tons of it! And their eggs (they all have hens), And their honey, And .....

So we decided to grow only soft fruits as, unlike cucumbers and courgettes, one can consume any amount of strawberries, raspberries, currants of various hues, etc.. Just now I'm looking like a strawberry as I'm eating about 20 kilos a day! Or it feels like it after I've gorged.

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Watering isn't usually a problem in West Wales. No. Just this very minute, a huge thunderstormy downpour has given the whole place a solid soaking. If it does get dry, we also have a water supply that comes up a deep, deep pipe via a pump, sucking on an underground river that never goes dry. Very tasty water, too - after it's been through the rather expensive filters. No water bill but filters are not cheap. No hosepipe ban either. :-)

Another technique is the use of a mulch to keep the water in the soil from evaporating too quickly. Although it was bought and spread to improve the soil and suppress the weeds after landscaping was finished, minced redwood bark does a great job of keeping the soil underneath damp for ages through a dry spell. About 3 inches deep seems optimum. We spent gawd-knows how much on many, many cubic metre bags from the local sawmill. It's also good for growing them strawberries on, as it seems to stop both rots and slugs. But you do have to hump it and spread it.

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The view from the garden amplifies its charms. And we didn't even have to pay for it! Several neighbours, farmers and foresters made it and they let us look at it for nowt. :-)
The slumping spot 1
The slumping spot 1
Across the Tefi to Brecha Forest
Across the Tefi to Brecha Forest
The slumping spot 2
The slumping spot 2
Lupins
Lupins
Dawn
Dawn

Cugel, channelling Bill & Ben (or maybe Little Weed).
“Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assaults of thoughts on the unthinking."
John Maynard Keynes
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al_yrpal
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Re: How does your garden grow?

Post by al_yrpal »

Cracking view Cugel! Ever since I owned a house I have grown vegetables and fruit. Shedloads of Mangetout and Peas at the moment. Nice BBQ this evening with teryaki beef skewers bangers and burgers from the butchers across the road. Yum!

Al
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tomsumner49
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Re: How does your garden grow?

Post by tomsumner49 »

Some rather impressive plots there. Very envious of the views. Our south London garden is on a somewhat smaller scale with miniature pond to match.
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Pebble
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Re: How does your garden grow?

Post by Pebble »

A pond is an absolute must for me in a garden - the wildlife it attracts is an absolute joy, from birds to dragonflies and the mad frogs.
Image

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(second pic taken back in march)
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Cugel
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Re: How does your garden grow?

Post by Cugel »

That pond is indeed a fine & attractive feature, especially with them battrachoids in it. Perhaps you will consider coming to make me a-one, staying to maintain it also of course? I can pay in home-made booze-based ice cream with garden-grown soft froots and accompanied bike rides (all severely hilly, mind).

Yesterday's weather stopped me going out for my intended 50K bike ride, as just as I'd put the new chain on a great thunderstorm arrived and soaked the place for two hours, followed by that misty rain that gets up even your waterproof trews to make you wet from tip to toe. We're now set for a wet & windy week, which is good for the garden but means it'll have to be gym rather than bike as I'm now a fair-weather bike rider. (Gone soft, see).

When I say good for the garden I mean that it'll grow like Topsy, especially the weeds and the grassy parts. The ladywife hates lawnmowing but I plead a bad back, a sore thumb, a seized shoulder or anything else I can think of to get out of pushing that machine over the greensward. I also enjoy opening the window as she finishes the mow to tell her that she's missed a bit. :-)

Really, the garden is her pride & joy. Although she likes the creativity of sewing, knitting, quilting, embroidery et al her greatest pleasure is in turning a bramble & dock infested jungle into something rather more beautiful albeit still informal.
Path making with a wee helper.
Path making with a wee helper.
Mow that greensward.
Mow that greensward.
You missed that nettle.
You missed that nettle.
I'm just going for a wee.
I'm just going for a wee.
Cugel
“Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assaults of thoughts on the unthinking."
John Maynard Keynes
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al_yrpal
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Re: How does your garden grow?

Post by al_yrpal »

Thats quite a nice garden appliance you have got there Cugel. I bet its running costs are a bit eye watering. I have one too, very easy on the eye and most effective. :lol:

Al
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thirdcrank
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Re: How does your garden grow?

Post by thirdcrank »

Doesn't time fly? Here's a view across our back garden in a thread from 2007

viewtopic.php?p=42029#p42029

We live on the skyline to the south of Leeds which means we have a really panoramic view across the city, which has changed over the years with things like the growth of trees and urban developments. We've seen some events like the fires which severely damaged Kirkgate Market and destroyed Moorhouse's jam factory. We could see the Tri-star jet which overran the runway at Leeds/Bradford "International" Airport and we've observed various demolitions of chimneys and tower blocks.

One of the landmarks was the view of Elland Road stadium which disappeared behind neighbours' leylandii which have recently been removed. Here's a rather fuzzy view taken with a handheld x18 zoom on Friday evening when our granddaughter was at the Lionesses game. The stadium is about five miles away
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