The blank canvas of a design

duckpondbankbeforeI am not sure I can sell this to you. Heck, I can’t even sell it to myself.

A seventeen metre by four metre wide sloping terrace. (That’s 55 feet by 13 feet.) Currently abandoned.

Under the shade of a huge chestnut tree that is over sixty feet in height.

Add in the fact the terrace already has two ash trees, a forest of self sown cherries, a straggly chestnut, nettles and brambles. and wild garlic each spring.

There is no possibility of watering as I don’t have a hose that will reach. Plus access up to the terrace is very tricky. I need to build some steps. giantchestnut

Add to that the problem of masses of chestnut burrs making it very painful to do any weeding each autumn. It’s in shade most of the year…. Oh, and I forgot to mention; it’s not even my land.

terracetreesIt belongs to an absentee peasant farmer who will never sell this tiny 20 metre wide strip of land to either us on one side, or Jean Daniel on the other.

There you have it.  Any suggestions?

Thought not.

Oh and to complete the picture: I have no budget for plants. Zilch.

So that will be a mass planting of sown-from-seed eragrostis grasses then. With bulbs.

I know, I know. Madness. But just look at the potential. Those walls are stunning and deserve a closer look.  It is geographically on the same level as the lawn bank and the pool bank. And if you stand in the potager you can just glimpse the whole half acre of walls and green curving around the mountain.


It just feels such a shame that two of the huge banks should be ‘gardened’ in that rural I’m-making-an-effort,-honest sort of way. And this one looks dreadful unless I climb up and scythe all the weeds to the ground. (Scythe with a noisy machine, I’m not returning to the 19th century, thank you.)

mulchingmaterialThat was what I did last week and I have decided (rush of blood) to mulch it with the latest batch of lawn clippings. Suppress the major weeds and get sowing and growing some grasses.

Dragging the bags and bags of lawn cuttings uphill at the end of a long day is no picnic. I was Having Doubts.

But the material is free and it will only be mulching another part of the already well-mulched top vegetable garden.

So this is the start.

I have to wait a few weeks until the mower comes back from the repair shop or is replaced (alack, after nine years of incredible service I fear I have cracked the main shaft of the machine) and then I can finish the mulch work.

But look at this. It has potential. Nothing more right now, but potential. I suspect that is the comment I am going to get on my Trying To Be A Garden Designer report card. She shows potential.