The Butchery Garden – 5

The Garden Restaurant

Gardening Projects
The Garden Restaurant Directory
Thursday 9th and Tuesday 14th February

The Butchery Garden
Thursday 9th
Our task on the 9th was to sort out the hebes and the laurenstine and figure out why they had mildew and root rot [poor soil mixtures] and tackle the first stage of the back garden – notably, the jasmine [which is where Suze is up the ladder], which had slow and dead growth within [again due to ivy] as well as tackle in a big way the neighbour’s overhanging ivy bush.

By opening up this corner instantly, the reward was much-needed sunlight.

The image with the red line through it is our suggestion for additional topping that bush and bringing it down to a couple of feet above the height of the wall.

For the last couple of weeks, Suze and l have been actively pruning our client’s overgrown garden. Two main areas need to be worked on. The busier area is to the right of the Buddha, and the lesser one, although it will prove awkward due to positioning, is on the statue’s left side.

We decided to break the pruning down into five stages because one of the areas was in front of the house, which, whilst not overgrown, needed some dedicated work due to mildew and rot issues the Hebes and the Laurestines were suffering from.

Last week we tackled the overgrown ivy bush that isn’t in our client’s garden but is in the neighbours’. Ivy is an invasive plant that survives by strangling and suffocating all other plants, and eventually, if left unchallenged, it can kill off anything else growing near it.

I have seen ivy kill off huge green hedges, and l know last year we had teams cutting away ivy from the bases of trees in Gazen Salts. It is damaging to other plants, gardens and buildings and a stealer of sunlight, so it needs to go.

The biggest problem is that their neighbour’s property is not their primary residence; therefore, it is a holiday home, and apparently, they are only there for maybe two months of the year. This means they perform no regular gardening, so their ivy plants dominate all attached gardens.

One of the single most thefts our clients experienced is from their absent neighbour’s ivy bush at the bottom of the garden. So last week, we pruned back a significant chunk, which instantly meant that much-needed sunlight could access the raised bed, the soil and the plants within.

Before our clients bought their house, their neighbours with the problematic ivy may have resided there, and it was not a second home as it is today. The neighbour’s garden looks like it was once well thought out and maybe even enjoyed. At the same time, our client’s garden was quite possibly designed to be more tropical, given some of the plants we have here.

Over time, ageing owners or non-gardening people have had these houses and allowed the gardens to become overgrown and uncared for, which means that damaging plants like ivy can take a firm foothold.

Finding a healthy balance and not allowing gut instinct to take over is the most challenging part of gardening in other gardens, not your own. If the garden were ours, Suze and l would do aggressive pruning and cut right back to the walls and down to the top of the wall itself. BUT. This garden isn’t ours, so we must exercise caution.

So, we are trimming the garden in stages, and the current step is middling, cutting back to allow plants beneath the overgrowth to breathe and see sunlight again – like the roses that have been buried for months underneath the variegated Japanese spindling and Californian lilacs and the damn ivy from next door too.

If we get the go-ahead, we will also start to top the foliage above the walls and bring everything down to a nice even level.

There are so many things and plants we could offer this garden, but before any of those can be talked about, we need to increase the garden’s caught sunlight from 65 to 85%. Twenty per cent may not be much, but it’ll be an enormous improvement to this garden.

It will mean that the wet soils can start to dry up and then be mulched for water retention. It will also mean that plants struggling with too much moisture can regain health, and finally, we can change the garden’s layout to reflect more of our client’s wants, typically an English Rose Garden or Courtyard Garden.

So getting the prune performed before spring hits is essential, and yet after two weeks of this prune, whilst Suze and l know we have made significant changes and the amount of rubbish we have brought out from there supports that, it still doesn’t look like we have done a great deal!

But we have – by the time we have finished cutting back and then fine-tuning, it’ll look different. But we have a ways to go yet.

The Butchery Garden
Tuesday 14th
Tuesday’s cutback was to tackle the Californian lilacs and the Japanese variegated spindle, which were very overgrown, and navigate and cut out the neighbouring ivy dominating the garden behind the wall penetrating our client’s garden.

We performed a middling trim which means we have cut out green wastes from the ground up to a height of five feet. We now seek a go-ahead to finalise this trim by performing a topping cut that will eliminate all the excessive top growth and open up the garden more.

However, this particular stage allowed us to free up the roses hidden beneath the overgrowth for nearly a year.

Post cut

I will write about the plants in more detail in future publishings, but in the meantime, thanks for reading and l’ll catch you next time.

Earthly Comfort Designs available on my Redbubble Store.

Collections – Earthen Wurmin, Inspired By Nature and The Autistic Composter

Please Pop Along and Check Them Out.

Published by The Autistic Composter

Earthly Comforts is a wildlife journaling scrapbook focusing on the countryside, wildlife biodiversity and environmental conservation, flora and fauna volunteering projects, gardening, composting and vermiculture, inspiration, poetry and photography.

11 thoughts on “The Butchery Garden – 5

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: