A year after we moved into the Village some of the Gardens were opened to the public to raise money for the church. The village is split by a main road, so the gardens that opened were on the same side where the church sits.
We enjoyed walking round seeing how other people had made their gardens.
Then a year or so later a letter was put through the letterbox asking for people on this side of the village to open their gardens for the church the following year.
Before thinking it through we signed up and then we remembered that we had fifty foot of wilderness at the end of the garden!! We considered pulling out but then saw it as the push we needed to get that space completed.
So in January of the open garden year which we think was 2009? but could have been 2008. We set about making a garden.
The view into the wilderness!
Now we were lucky because we have a good friend who is a builder and he came along with his mini digger and and by taking out one of the back fence panels and a post he was able to bring his digger in and pile all the earth into one corner for us.
Here you can see where the earth's been piled to one side.
The view back towards the back fence that we had erected a few years earlier. In the foreground are the roots from some very big shrubs and a tree that our friend Tom pulled up with his digger therefore saving us hours of digging.
This is the back of an 8 x 6 shed that we had erected but would now need to be moved to fit the new plan for this area. To the right hand side you can see some of the large pieces of concrete and rocks we found. We also found buried metal roofing and part of a motorbike!!
This is the right hand corner of the back of the garden, you can see where next door have removed some of the fencing because they were putting in some hard standing for a shed.
The left hand side where you can see the back gate which still as the original path running to it which once went from the house all the way to here.
This is a view of the back of the workshop the trellis used to have a very large crab apple tree between but unfortunately we had to remove it for our new garden plan to work.In our plan this space became a gateway with a sloping path to enable us to take garden waste by wheelbarrow to the compost heaps.
So Tom had cleared all the earth to one side , we had a plan and it was now January and we had five months to get it ready for People to walk round!
Paul spent every weekend out in this part of the garden working, I helped when I could but he worked longer and harder on setting out the bones of the garden, I was more general dogsbody.
Somewhere I have the plan for this and I will add it here when I find it but until then I will try to explain what we planned.
From the box Parterre we wanted a Lychgate ( something I had wanted in my garden for years!) from which you would step down onto a path that would curve to a central point, from the central point the path would split with one taking you left to the original path taking you on to the back gate, where the shed had been moved and space for a greenhouse would be left and the right hand path curving round towards the right hand corner of the back fence which would open up to a circular shaded seating area.
The beds would be raised to take all the extra soil in this area and the plan was that by curving these paths and borders the planting would in time obscure the seating area in the right hand corner and also the greenhouse and shed.
The third and smaller lower bed would be used for growing vegetables.
So five months later this is where we were, this photo shows the sloping ramp that takes you from the workshop/ Cloisters down back onto the original path to back gate and to the compost bins that you can see on the left. The trellis to the right is the back of the veggie plot.
This photo shows you part of the lychgate which is under construction, resting in the soon to be veggie plot with buckets etc left on the concrete base that was laid for it's foundation. You can see the curving path that we constructed from granite sets and rectory paving, I would like to at this stage tell you that I laid all these sets !and Paul cemented them in.
You can also see that we used log roll to form the sides of the raised beds, these we have stained black.The view of this photo is looking from the largest raised bed across back towards the parterre.
Here we are looking from the Lychgate towards the back gate where the shed is now in place with a large empty area in front awaiting a greenhouse.
The circled paving is at the centre where the three paths meet. The planting on the right is shrubs which will add height to help block the view to the back seating area, the left is the soon to be veg plot and in front the flower border.
This photo shows the widest part of the path looking from the left hand side towards the right hand side of the garden. To the right you go to lych gate and back to house to the left to the shaded seating area.
Just in case you have forgotten, I laid all of those granite sets by hand.
This view is from the veggie plot showing the path curving round to the back corner, you can see more of the space for the greenhouse up on the left.These photo's were taken in May and the garden was to be on show in the June, luckily we had been collecting plants since the year before but we also split some plants and grew some from seed , so we had a fair few plants we could put in to help fill the space.
The only problem we have found is that because we needed to get it planted up, this bed is forever having weeds appear, which if we had had the time we would have covered the bed in weed killer and left it for six months before planting.
And this is a photo of the circular paved area in the far right hand corner at the end of the path, the view is over the edge of the raised bed where the greenhouse will stand.
The Lych Gate under construction. It was made using two sleepers for the bottom and 4 x4 inch fence posts for the rest.Again the base is raised to give a change in level to the garden.
The paths are a mix of mainly granite sets with some rectory paving in the larger spaces, with tiny gravel between.
More paving by the circular seating area.
With only a week or so to go before the open garden, the Lych Gate is roofed and stained a deep brown, it still needs to have roof tiles and some paving for the base but that would have to wait for another time.
A view of the rails.
A straight view of the Lych Gate, we have hung a celtic stain glass cross to the roof to add some extra interest.
So after five and a half months hard work we are ready.The fact that we had a deadline was perfect , we would never have completed this area so quickly otherwise, so although it was hard it was well worth it in the end.
I am so excited about showing you the photo's of the open day. I will put them on later tonight, I hope you enjoyed seeing how we reached this point in our garden.