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Not going to plan

I'd never done any gardening before retiring 8 years ago when I moved into a cottage that everyone tells me always had a beautiful garden but had been empty for over a year so it's been a learning process and I am one who tends to learn by mistake, it sinks in better.

ive had health problems so it's been two steps forward two back a lot of the time but this autumn has been wonderful for me weatherwise I managed to clear all round the back garden bar the top end which had 4 overbearing conifer. I ordered 3 some perennials (hollyhocks and the like) some mock orange blossom ( I removed a self sewn one think I felt guilty) plus lots and lots of snow in summer to go right down one side round a very large but much loved Hebe and hopefully a bit the other side too. I'm still awaiting delivery.

here's where it went wrong I had those conifers removed two had to go another I'd removed a branch and it never forgave me while the fourth was planning on taking over the world.

turns out these were not in the lawn at all but in a raised bed. I wondered why the tree surgeon gave me a funny look when I surveyed the area and announced it had potential. So our guess is they planted nice little conifers placed bricks around them and then some concrete for good measure. Bottom line is I can't dig, where there isn't concrete or bricks there seems to be gravel. So I have 4 places where I hope I can plant (where the firs were). 

So now I am wondering if I plant 4 shrubs in compost in those gaps in the hard stuff could I just plant the snow in summer to make a blan



  • Whoops I rambled too much. After all that would the snow in summer survive over a concrete mish mash.

    oh I also have a mountain of pine needles+root shavings which i'd planned to use as a mulch not hopefully it won't do any harm? I need to shift the mountain if I am to get into that shed again.

  • The 'mountain' will need to sit for a year or two before it becomes useful. However, with the addition of some fertiliser, it will add to the garden's nutrient levels and be a very pleasant medium with which to work. Unfortunately, wood shavings and the conifer 'needles' are low in nutrients (or, in the case of the woodchip, actually use precious nitrogen in their breakdown process), so it'll be a while before they can be used.  Yes, you can plant in the gaps. Cerastium is very accommodating, so will grow happiy if given a good start and tumble its way over most things. Consider some bulbs in the gaps, too and if it's dry and sunny, a few iris? 


  • Thank you I will obviously have to move the mountain before I need to mow the lawn lol. I'd forgotten about the bulbs I have a load due this week ?

  • I'm not sure what the soil is, laurel loves it I even found some trying to grow under those trees! Out the front Lupins do very well. Along the back there was a LeylandI hedge which I had removed and really only now are things starting to thrive in there, hence daring to order some perennials

    my initial thought to pots was, not more watering but I think that is the answer specially as I have ordered some dogwood (it was reduced) only this am did I realise I had spent ages removing something that looked  the similar. So 3 dogwood in pots mock orange in either corner but outside the raised area. Bulbs in the holes and the snow can take it's chances there too ?

    that view I have to get used to yet! 



    I have a native Orange coming later to go in the lawn and eventually blur the view.

    Last edited: 07 November 2016 16:22:15

  • Thank you, so the dogwood can go along the side and hopefully the orange can go in pots, just checked and it says they can. There is just one rather sad looking rose that has survived living in the shade for years so I'm hoping that will thrive now.

    Yes there's a three brick high wall along the back there with about 3 feet wide area behind which turns out to be concrete mainly. maybe getting someone to get that out can be next years extravagence.

  • Not sure what you mean by the native orange image  Citrus aren't hardy outside in the UK.  

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Sorry that should have been Cherry

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