Thursday, October 6, 2011

Garden overview - how have I done so far?....Part one...

Hello All,

Well what a busy summer I've had with several projects finished others started and finished and some just started!
Now that Autumn is here the flowers are fading and the ground and weather will start to get cooler. Things in Higgy's garden do seem much calmer now after a busy and frantic summer! I feel it's the ideal time to reflect on the work completed so far. Now would also be a great time to take another look at my wish list which I included on my very first post to see if I have ticked off some of the things I wanted to achieve in the garden.

So here is the original wish list from my very first post and I suppose my 'plan' for the garden:-

  1. Child friendly and interest
  2. Dog and pet friendly
  3. Construct a fish/koi pond
  4. Make safe and modernise the raised patio area
  5. Keep the sense of size and openness of the plot
  6. Create a sense of intimacy and different areas of interest in the garden
  7. Open up the country side to the rear of the garden
  8. Encourage wildlife in the garden
  9. Make it look nice
  10. My desire to use ALL types of plants from cottage garden to tropical jungle type planting!
  11. Use recycled material where possible
  12. Enjoy it!

So from the top of the list...

Part 1 (1-6)
1.  'Child friendly and interest'
I think that this is a big yes as my 4yr old daughter has enjoyed the garden immensely this year and loves to run around the various paths and play hide & seek. The seating area tucked away underneath the tree covered by a large Clematis Montana in the shade area has become her "house, shop and petrol station!" Last Christmas she asked Santa for a pink wheelbarrow so she could "help daddy in the garden" I absolutely love to see her enjoyment from being outside and enjoying the garden making the whole project worthwhile. If I have to choose a successful part of the garden  just for her then it has to be her new play area...
My daughter's new play area was a resounding success even if rain did spoil her birthday party!

2) Dog and pet friendly
Well my dog is happy to spend time in the garden, next doors cat spends 'too much' time by the bird feeders until the dog see's her! So I would say yes.
Choco dozing on the's a dogs life!

3) Construct a fish/koi pond....
Yes a massive success and the first 'proper' landscaping job I took on. My fish were on holiday at a friends house so speed was very important on this project. The fish soon settled into their new home and the Golden Rudd have successfully bred in their first season which I think is a big thumbs up from them!

My fish bred this summer so seem happy in their new home!

4) Make safe and modernise the raised patio area...
Again one of the first jobs to be completed as the old patio was raised with a three foot drop onto a lower patio, dangerous with a young child running around. I wanted to keep the height as this would eventually offer far reaching views over the garden and across open countryside. A raised deck was decided on to keep materials similar to the pond and for ease of construction...

The raised deck fits in well with the pond and is a perfect viewing platform across open countryside, the addition of balustrade makes it child friendly and safe! 

5) Keep the sense of size and openness of the plot...
A difficult one to judge as the project isn't finished and the dynamics of the garden will change as plants grow this space I think on this one!

6) Create a sense of intimacy and different areas of interest in the garden...
Yes I think that have achieved this and as above this will improve as the garden matures and more work is completed. I have tried to create different areas in the garden like the large perennial borders and then the complete contrast of the wildlife area which is much more rugged. There are various seating areas with some giving a sense of intimacy such as the home made bench in the shade area tucked under a tree and the obviousness of our new swing seat which gives you a view from the bottom of the garden up to the house. These different areas and aspects add interest to the site and hopefully make you want to explore a little more!

Various seating areas give interest and different aspects to enjoy the garden from.
This home made log & sleeper bench in the shade area provides a private hideaway from the hot sun...
The newly installed swing seat is more obvious and gives a view up the full length of the garden towards the house and is open to the hot sunny summer weather!

Different 'themed' areas add interest and make you want to explore some more...

My stone bridge and pebble streams add a little drama to the project and help connect....
The more formal mowed lawns and perennial borders to....
The wild flower lawn and....
The wild life area!

 I think that five out of the first six from the original wish list isn't bad? As the garden matures and more importantly plants and trees grow bigger the whole space will become much more interesting and certain areas will naturally become more private and intimate. With areas still waiting development there is plenty of scope for me to be more creative and add a little drama in certain areas which I hope will be fun watching it develop.

That's about it for this post. The results of my first six wish list items have now been recorded. In my next post I will cover the last six items on the list to see if I have achieved what I originally planned or whether further work is required!....

As always thanks for reading I do hope that you have been enjoying this blog since I started it last year and watching this little part of Somerset evolve as much as I have enjoyed doing it!!?

Please do send me your comments....what do you think of it so far?.....have you got any ideas for my plot?....How could I improve this blog?




  1. Did you do all this stuff in just one summer?????
    It's fantastic!

  2. Great, Higgy. Are you growing your own veg. and fruit for the family or is that to come? You should have plenty of pollinators.