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A labour of love and a work in progress

Hi all
I have been redesigning the garden in my house.  It was previously a menage and my goodness it took some digging out.  We hired a digger and I drove a dumper and several grab wagons later we are starting to see progress (if only slightly, as I am still pulling bits of membrane out).  I couldn't have afforded to get garden designers in, so we have done everything ourselves from concreting paths, planting, rotavating etc.  We are South West facing so get sun most of the day, although the winds off the hills can be fierce. 
We have very good soil, free draining so I appreciate how lucky I am. It gets quite shaded in some parts in the Summer.  
This first two pictures are before we took the menage out.  Every shrub and plant was taken out of borders and planted up in the new beds just to see if we could rescue them as they were all stunted and suffering with the membrane that the previous owners hadn't removed.
If anyone has any suggestions or advice I would welcome it as I am a novice gardener.
This last picture is of where we are going to put a wooden hut and a circular water feature, everything else will be decked with old reclaimed scaffolding boards.  If anyone could offer advice at what to put in the back corner as it is quite shady that would be great.  I was thinking of growing some more veg but I was worried it wouldn't get enough light.
Many thanks for taking a look and any feedback would be appreciated.


  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,185
    edited June 2019
    That is quite some transformation, I have seen how horrible an old menage with knackered membrane is, and whatever surface mixed in and  compacted and you have a  beautiful garden there now.

    I do like the way you have used and cut the wooden curves for the path edging.
    The whole thing is lovely :)
  • kerankeran Posts: 39
    Thank you Rubytoo.  I can honestly say I never ever want to see another piece of membrane in my life.  It was back breaking to get it out, and what it had done to the roots of shrubs was beyond belief, I don't know how they managed to survive.
    I will tell the hubby you like his edging, he will be as proud as punch  :)
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 2,540
    edited June 2019
    What is a "menage"?
    Great job! Pity you did not legend each photo with its date. It would have made it easier for us to follow your progress. ;)
    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • Mary370Mary370 Limerick, Ireland Posts: 1,618
    You have done fantastic work......your garden is must feel very proud of yourself.  I love the birdhouse.  Don't forget to allow yourself time to just sit and enjoy your creation.
  • kerankeran Posts: 39
    Hi Papi Jo
    I suppose I should have put manege (horse arena) apologies.  
    I will remember to add dates for the rest of the work too.  We started the week before Easter this year so 10th of April or thereabouts. Thanks for saying a great job, it is good to get feedback when you are a novice.  
    I am looking forward to doing a virtual tour of your garden too  :)
  • kerankeran Posts: 39
    Hi Mary370
    Thank you for the lovely feedback and for your comments on the birdhouse.  A lovely gentleman in the next village makes them.
    I fully intend to enjoy the garden, in fact I cannot wait. So much rain at the moment which I suppose we needed, but a few days/weeks of good weather would be fabulous right now.  The trouble is when I do sit down I see a weed that needs to be pulled or some other job  :)
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 5,938
    @Papi Jo I think in this case it may be a place where they used to school horses ? (Although strictly speaking,  it should be manege, but everyone says menage).  If l remember my French O level correctly,  l think menage means household.
    Anyway @keran, you have done a lovely job there, l love the bird house, that's a real work of art !  :)
    Were you thinking of shrubs for the shady bit, or herbaceous perennials perhaps? 
  • LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 2,603
    Brilliant work, I am very impressed. And even more impressed since you gave the timescale!
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • kerankeran Posts: 39
    Hi AnnieD
    Many thanks for the kind words.  I can't really decide on whether I should add shrubs or not.  I thought I will maybe wait until the Autumn and then make one decisions on that and replanting in some of the other beds that have become overgrown with hardy geraniums, they are everywhere.  :)
  • kerankeran Posts: 39
    Many thanks LG, it really is a labour of love. I must admit there are a few aches and pains, but that said, nothing beats doing the work yourself if you can  :)
    I am pretty sure I will make lots of mistakes along the way, but I suppose that is how we learn  :)
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