The Garden - Beginnings

We moved into the house and garden in November 2001. The garden measured 18 metres long by 10 metres wide and was south-facing. The original garden for this house was approximately twice this size but more about this later.

This photo is from the original sales brochure and taken from the south boundary of the property. The garden was described as an area 60 foot by 30 foot shared between car parking, lawn with shrubs, a raised fish pond (bottom left foreground) and a summer house (behind the photographer). 

The Garden circa 2001

An option to buy some additional land (10 metres by 12 metres) at the rear of the property from our next-door neighbour was too good an opportunity to miss. This plot was, in fact, part of the house’s original garden. There was still a smaller plot (12 metres by 4 metres) that our neighbour did not want to sell because, he said, the larger area (14 metres by 12 metres) was sufficient to build a house on! We never found out whether this was true. But in March 2007 we bought the smaller plot and finally restored the garden to its original dimensions.

Now the hard work began. We had already decided the garden area in the photograph above would be the flower/ornamental garden while the additional 10 x 12 metre plot would become the kitchen garden. This turned out to be harder than we thought.

The proposed flower/ornamental garden had a solid underbase of scalpings  - even the lawns were just a couple of inches of soil on top of scalpings. The scalpings would need to be removed to provide a decent depth of soil for planting so out came the pick and shovel. It did mean individual raised beds would be the order of the day rather than removing all the scalpings.

An even greater shock was in hand when we started digging in the kitchen garden. First, we had to clear the overgrown brambles and, only then, did we discover the whole plot was a rubbish dump. The story we were told was that the plot had been dug out with the intention of installing a swimming pool; after this did not materialise it became a rubbish pit. It took at least eight 4-yard skips to take away the toilets, drainage pipes, bricks, tiles and other building materials by which time the garden level had dropped considerably.

In the next post, we will describe the first incarnation of the gardens.


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