I had a plan. Or a dream. Bit of both perhaps.
I hated, and still do, the end section of our garden. It was an uneven, patchy area of grass. It was spongy under foot and had been a bit of a dumping area.
There was a massive patch which, when I started to dig and clear it, was covered with a massive piece of carpet that the grass had just grown over. That atleast explains the spongy feeling. I dug up CD’s and cases. There was a massive piece of toughened glass, so heavy I could barely move it on my own. Wire, roof tiles, an abandoned raised bed (which to be fair I still haven’t sorted out).
This area was just horrible.
I might have been watching too much Gardeners World at this point, Monty kept talking about coppicing. And so the plan was made. I wanted something to coppice so eventually, at some point in my lifetime I might be able to make my own screens and borders using wood I’d coppiced myself from things I had grown myself.
A week later 28 Hazels arrived, along with the plum tree and three field maples. And a large amount of ground cover. Oh and the Wickes van might have come back again carrying a lot of chipped bark.
We were off…
Holes dug and the trees were planted. The edges were also dug out and 20 of the hazels were put in. I have to admit, I was slightly disappointed with the size of the hazels, they were essentially sticks with a few leaves on them. I wasn’t sure the vision in my head would now come to anything. But we were going to go with it anyway.
Next was to start removing grass and laying down the ground sheet. The plan was that this whole central lawn would be replaced with bark so that we could perhaps put a seating area up here under the trees. It’s hard to put a bench under a 4ft tree it turns out.
The original idea was to leave some lawn around the edges. I don’t know why. It felt like a good idea at the time.
It wasn’t a good idea. It was a rubbish idea. So after this photo was taken, the whole area was covered with bark. No grass at all.
It looked ok. Not quite what I had in mind. My beautiful full hazels weren’t full and beautiful at all. My trees were tiny. And I wasn’t sure I like the field maples after all.
This hadn’t worked. But for now it would have be what it was. It looked better then it did before and that was all that mattered.
The reason I say I still hate it?
Well, the membrane I put down was fairly cheap – a lesson here in not scrimping sometimes. And so within a year grass was growing through it, bind weed covered it, weeds were piercing through. Yes, I clearly didn’t do a good job of clearing underneath bthe membrane, however had I got a thicker, better quality one it probably would have stopped that from happening. I still don’t like the Field Maples. I might have to get rid of them, I’m hoping I’ll find someone who perhaps wants three 8-10ft trees (they shot up this year) and has space for them. The bark is a nightmare, because of the strong gusts of wind we get up the garden it’s just blown it everywhere.
The Hazel though has done really well, I’d say it’s a good 30-40cm taller and has really bushed out. I’m hoping in another year I can start coppicing some it. I also planted some down the side of the house to try and help as a wind-break. That’s now about 5ft in height and has some sturfy branches on it, some of which I will have to cut back this year as they’re spreading too far over the path.
So there’s a new plan for the end of the garden, probably not this year, but I’ll certainly start getting the area prepped ready for next year.
I’m not going to tell what that plan is now, when I eventually catch up with myself and the garden journey you’ll see 🙂