• Steven Bennett

Finding Paradise - Part 6 Gardening on a Massive Scale


We started with a beautiful site, nice curves and contours. I can't help but see the potential in anything I look at, so naturally I made plans for the site. I created a plan, a layout with paths for practical areas, and movement across the site.

We have a lovely hill area on site that just called out to be a central bed. something that we can walk through, somewhere to grow all the larger than life plants that I love. Somewhere to experiment with the plants, with combinations, and above all I like to make the areas where I work look nice, its a habit I hopefully will never break.

Over the summer the weeds grew…. and grew. We had no time to tidy up much as all our time was spent on growing and building. But coming into autumn and winter I was ready for the next project.

I took a strimmer to the Willow Herb that was 5' by this time and setting seed (this is not advised… I'll be finding these seedlings for years now) but time was short beforehand so cracked on cutting them down and getting rid.

Naturally once I'd done that, I just had to be sure that the spot wasn't in fact the perfect parking spot for the land rover. After I'd had my fun, I cut round the area I wanted with a lawn cutter to define the space.

Digging this site I found some areas where heavy clay, some where rubble and the rest was clay loam. Either way, it was rubbish soil for planting. It was going to need muck adding to it, but until I could secure the right amount there was work to be done. A lot of work. The willow herb has brittle stems that snap at the base, leaving the roots intact in the ground. They run horizontal, big think white/yellow roots that spread out everywhere. In between that was the nettles and the brambles. It was a nightmare, but everything can be changed, it just helps if you don't think about how much work its going to take before you start.

I used this area for left over plants, plants from my own garden that I knew I didn't have the space for, and for plants that would become huge. We also use the area for stock plants, we can grow a huge range of plants for dividing or for providing cuttings.

We found stones all over the site so they were used to help define some planting areas, we were given some from a left over project so we used them all. The path across the site was defined using them. I couldn't help but buy daffodils for the coming spring.

Over the summer of 2014 we were unable to get onto the site much due to building work going on at home and some of the weeds returned, I didn't take many pictures because of that. This year however its all change. We've added muck finally to the soil. We've added to the planting. We invite you to join us this year, watch the garden grow and develop.


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