Landscaping work on the terrace bank

bankfinished horizYou can’t see my magic carpet from where you are sitting, but it has brought me to London for a few days. A family wedding (hurrah) and a bit of a play in The Other Garden.

Believe me, it is not as consuming as home.

So much so that I won’t even talk about London. But rather go back to a project I worked on this autumn and completely neglected to mention.  I’ve done some work on the terrace bank.

This is the bit of land that slopes up behind the potting shed and ends at the hedge.

Oh yes, that bare earth, thin scraping of soil on rock ‘aren’t I clever to harocksve created a garden out of nothing’ space.

Err, yes. That one.

I’ve actually been paying a bit of attention to this large space this autumn and winter. First of all by giving it a thorough weed and mulch. I just relied on the drought to prevent lush growth all summer.  But it was time for the big Edit of the plants.

Which means that most things came out. I unearthed the teensy hungry santolinas which I planted a few years back and gave them a proper bit of care – light prune, make mounds so water can actually get to the plants in a bowl shape, and then mulched around.

excavatingI can’t believe how many other plants came out – gaura, half the valerians, all the marjoram, all the stray clary sage, the lychnis.  I’m straining my brain to recall the rest.

And then I did a huge rearrange: the sedums are now better spaced.  The anaphillus (nah, that didn’t work, anaphalis. Better.) are spaced out, the peony is located and will be moved in spring. I have even sorted the geums and moved the agastache.

It took ages to think where things would go. Most of the agastache have gone down to the cutting garden in the potager as it is such a great plant for flower arranging.

And what I am left with is less. extra soil

But a whole lot of spare soil as the moles seem to know when I’m working and come and join in. Or in scientific terms, I disturb the soil and therefore the worms and the hunt is on.

So what to do with all these annoying mole hills that have appeared eveywhere? Why I have picked them up and made extensions to the beds.

Add a pathetic rock wall (too lazy to go hunting for larger stones) and I have more room to play.

rock workI even started hacking away at the top right hand bed which was right up against the wall. This is an old stone wall that has been buried over time by gravity. And that oh so successful grass festuca glauca.

Out they came and I took the wall back to its rock – rather than dirt. So it’s almost 25 per cent more garden bed now. A great place for bulbs which I crammed in.  And then spaced out a rose and some geums.

I have left the hemerocallis alone on the very top bed near the hedge as they are impossible to shift once planted. Remember that if you are thinking of investing. You have them for life. Unless you have a really good garden fork and a day to spare hauling them out.  My bulldog fork worked hard enough just hauling stones on this project.terrace mulch

So that’s one job done. It took a few weeks of work. And naturally I could see some weeds poking out of the thick mulch I had laid down – hate that.  But it’s an improvement.  And I have thymes to go into some spaces next week when my Filippi plant order arrives. So if you squint and blink it might just look like an interesting garden area again.

Again? At long last more like.  There’s no showing off in this part of the garden.

terrace last