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Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

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Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  Barkie on 4/2/2011, 3:41 am

Thanks to all of you who welcomed me to the forum. This looks to be the right place to put up the "before and after" pics as we turn our weedy plot into a haven.

The house is a typical stone cottage with a 1980's extension. When the extension was built the cheap option had been to also build concrete block retaining walls and dump the soil on the existing garden which is at the side of the house and faces south. Now, I'll see if I can figure out how to post a pic up you'll see that we had to start with.

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  Furbalsmom on 4/2/2011, 3:50 am

Looking forward to pictures. Thanks for sharing

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West side Stage2

Post  Barkie on 4/2/2011, 5:07 am

Hopefully what you'll see here, thanks to Boffer's instructions, is the west facing side of the garden at stage 2 after we removed a fallen tree and felling one that was leaning over at an alarming angle. You can see the stump of the fallen tree. Stacked against the garden wall is stone that had been used for walls around the compost heap and the aforesaid dangerously leaning tree.

The black bin is a Dalek compost bin.




Last edited by Barkie on 4/2/2011, 5:16 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Adding text after checking the image posted)

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  Barkie on 4/2/2011, 6:33 am

What isn't clear from the first pic is that the cottage is on the original ground level and there is a step up onto the sitting area and down into it. As this next pic shows the upper level of the garden was about four feet above "the patio". I have lost count of the number of times I have totally forgotten about that step and tripped over it.




My first crops here were garlic in the blue box, onions, salad crops and early potatoes in various containers which I mostly rescued from the local recycling centre.

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  walshevak on 4/2/2011, 7:00 am

Wow! Looks like your have a a garden that is going to have some interesting textures and levels. It will be a real challenge and I can't wait to see how you develop it.


Kay

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  camprn on 4/2/2011, 8:08 am

What a lovely canvass on which to paint a new garden! Thanks for sharing. Please keep bringing on the photos this season, OH, mind that step. Wink

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  jerzyjen on 4/2/2011, 9:06 am

@Barkie wrote:
The black bin is a Dalek compost bin.

lol! EXTERMINATE!


On a more serious note, these pics are awesome, I can't wait to see more as the season progresses.

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 4/2/2011, 10:02 am

I can't tell you what a dream it would be to have such a blank slate with such maturity surrounding it. I'm so excited for you.

And, since I haven't said it yet......Welcome aboard! It's great to have another here from "across the pond."

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  Barkie on 4/2/2011, 10:18 am

@jerzyjen wrote:
@Barkie wrote:
The black bin is a Dalek compost bin.

lol! EXTERMINATE!


On a more serious note, these pics are awesome, I can't wait to see more as the season progresses.

That's the one. I would love to get one that hovers around exterminating pests. Glad you like the pics. I had materials delivered so the place looks like a building site at the moment.

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  Barkie on 4/2/2011, 10:51 am

@BackyardBirdGardner wrote:I can't tell you what a dream it would be to have such a blank slate with such maturity surrounding it. I'm so excited for you.

And, since I haven't said it yet......Welcome aboard! It's great to have another here from "across the pond."

Thanks, and thanks for the welcome. Yes, blank slate so here's my chance to create a garden that I can manage with a bad back. I've got a workman coming in soon to help with the hard landscaping.

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  Barkie on 4/3/2011, 5:55 am

@walshevak wrote:Wow! Looks like your have a a garden that is going to have some interesting textures and levels. It will be a real challenge and I can't wait to see how you develop it.


Kay

Hi Kay,

Yes, it was interesting in the Chinese proverb sort of way. It just takes time. Well no, it takes time, patience and a bit of blood, sweat and cash but you know what I mean. Laughing

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  walshevak on 4/3/2011, 6:53 am

I would love to see a picture of the house as well. I always enjoyed riding about the British countryside and seeing all the various cottages, manors, and houses. I lived in RAF Croughton, Northants for 2 1/2 years. Only got to Wales a couple of times but was facinated by the old castles.

Kay

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  Barkie on 4/3/2011, 7:54 am

Kay,

This is the side but it's our "front". I'm too ashamed of the state of the actual front to show you that just yet!



That poor limp thing on the wall is Wisteria, it is
looking puny here because it was suffering from being shaded and I don't
think anyone had fed it in years.

I trained as an archaeologist but I just like looking at old properties too. I used to spend many a happy hour clip-clopping around country lanes as well. It's a whole different view from being on foot!

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  Ha-v-v on 4/3/2011, 7:59 am

Oh gosh the wisteria grows wild here where we live! Its so invasive too, but the most beautiful invasive plant Smile I like how your house looks Smile love learning of others across the ocean Smile I cant wait to see the garden as it grows Smile
I think you have a lovely place.
Ha-v-v

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  walshevak on 4/3/2011, 8:08 am

Did you take out some trees to open up the space? It looks nice and sunny in the pic. I love looking at what people are forced to start with and how they meet the problems. Check out my thread in ASIA "spreading the word". It shows what my extended family is doing.

Getting your veggie garden going will be such an accomplishment. I know you are going to enjoy sfg.

Kay

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  Barkie on 4/4/2011, 11:37 am

@Ha-v-v wrote:Oh gosh the wisteria grows wild here where we live! Its so invasive too, but the most beautiful invasive plant Smile I like how your house looks Smile love learning of others across the ocean Smile I cant wait to see the garden as it grows Smile
I think you have a lovely place.
Ha-v-v

Wild wisteria I have gone green. I've been feeding and top dressing it so it plumped out a bit and I put up new wires for it to spread onto.

I'm enjoying seeing how you guys do things too. I was having a ferret around youtube and found must be a tv presenter, John Colling? taking a trip round Lowes. So now I know what the garden department looks like. Like our B&Q etc but on steroids.

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  Barkie on 4/4/2011, 12:25 pm

@walshevak wrote:Did you take out some trees to open up the space? It looks nice and sunny in the pic. I love looking at what people are forced to start with and how they meet the problems. Check out my thread in ASIA "spreading the word". It shows what my extended family is doing.

Getting your veggie garden going will be such an accomplishment. I know you are going to enjoy sfg.

Kay

Sort of, one was a self sown ash seedling so it was anyone's guess if a bough would come flying off or if it was going to blow down. It was into the phone line so in a good breeze the phone went dead. There was also a eucalyptus which had blown over before we bought the house. The bonus was much more light in the house as well as the garden.

Thanks, I'll go have a look at your thread.

I'm sure I will enjoy SFG.

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  Old Hippie on 4/4/2011, 1:06 pm

Oh how lovely! I am completely jealous of the levels you have and all that stone that you can use for pathways and so forth. Our yard is so FLAT and anything that I want in terms of hard scape materials I either have to buy or scrounge and it all has to be hauled in by the trailer load.

It is great to see what others do around the world. It would be lovely to travel to your side of the world, but unfortunately, my Welsh name is probably the closest I will ever get to Wales. I love looking at the pics and reading about the various gardening/landscaping adventures of others. Best of luck to you and keep those pics coming.

Gwynn (actually Gwynneth)

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  Barkie on 4/4/2011, 2:33 pm

@Old Hippie wrote:Oh how lovely! I am completely jealous of the levels you have and all that stone that you can use for pathways and so forth. Our yard is so FLAT and anything that I want in terms of hard scape materials I either have to buy or scrounge and it all has to be hauled in by the trailer load.

It is great to see what others do around the world. It would be lovely to travel to your side of the world, but unfortunately, my Welsh name is probably the closest I will ever get to Wales. I love looking at the pics and reading about the various gardening/landscaping adventures of others. Best of luck to you and keep those pics coming.

Gwynn (actually Gwynneth)

Hi Gwynn,

Your name translates as "happiness" I think.

I'll swop you some flat for a terrace. I've got Christmas crackered knees so I have trouble with going down steps.

It won't be news to you but stone is something we aren't short of here Very Happy It would have come
from the local quarry. It used to be a neighbour's outhouse walls and it'll be good for walls again but it is rough hewn off the mountain not slate so it's no use for paving. We still have the original flagstone floors inside but I will have to buy paving Sad for outside. Wales is great, we (me and my other half) have a rating system where when we are driving around we allot how much you would pay for the view from a holiday cottage, some of it is in the £500 a week bracket, but the downside of that is that stuff costs more from being
transported by road at slow speed (what are motorways?) on the narrow, bendy roads
and up and down the hills.

The upside is there is plenty of old horse manure locally, leaves galore in autumn for composting and we can collect pine cones for kindling in summer.

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Minor update

Post  Barkie on 4/19/2011, 2:33 pm

The weather has been "scorchio" since Saturday but cool at night and a cold one is forecast for tonight so I have been back out to wrap up the plants that need a little protection. I can't imagine how worrying it must be to live in Tornado land but I'm pleased to hear that sfg folks have come out unscathed so far.

I was hoping to be much further on with landscaping than I am but no help has arrived yet so we set to and began building the hollow stone wall on our own last weekend. We got about a third done which isn't bad for two old farts. Once that is done I'll know how much stone I have left to play with use elsewhere and a better idea of the final height of the upper terrace where the main raised beds will be. Slow progress but nonetheless it is progress.

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  Ha-v-v on 4/20/2011, 8:48 am

@Barkie wrote:
@Ha-v-v wrote:Oh gosh the wisteria grows wild here where we live! Its so invasive too, but the most beautiful invasive plant Smile I like how your house looks Smile love learning of others across the ocean Smile I cant wait to see the garden as it grows Smile
I think you have a lovely place.
Ha-v-v

Wild wisteria I have gone green. I've been feeding and top dressing it so it plumped out a bit and I put up new wires for it to spread onto.

I'm enjoying seeing how you guys do things too. I was having a ferret around youtube and found must be a tv presenter, John Colling? taking a trip round Lowes. So now I know what the garden department looks like. Like our B&Q etc but on steroids.


BBQ on steroids !! thats funny. We have two grills. One liquid propane powered, one I have been wanting for years for the simplicity of not waiting for the oak wood to turn to coals. My husband has a grill that is for charcoal or wood, and we use oak.
I did buy my grill at Lowes Smile
Ha-v-v

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  Barkie on 4/20/2011, 11:29 am

@Ha-v-v wrote:
@Barkie wrote:
@Ha-v-v wrote:Oh gosh the wisteria grows wild here where we live! Its so invasive too, but the most beautiful invasive plant Smile I like how your house looks Smile love learning of others across the ocean Smile I cant wait to see the garden as it grows Smile
I think you have a lovely place.
Ha-v-v

Wild wisteria I have gone green. I've been feeding and top dressing it so it plumped out a bit and I put up new wires for it to spread onto.

I'm enjoying seeing how you guys do things too. I was having a ferret around youtube and found must be a tv presenter, John Colling? taking a trip round Lowes. So now I know what the garden department looks like. Like our B&Q etc but on steroids.


BBQ on steroids !! thats funny. We have two grills. One liquid propane powered, one I have been wanting for years for the simplicity of not waiting for the oak wood to turn to coals. My husband has a grill that is for charcoal or wood, and we use oak.
I did buy my grill at Lowes Smile
Ha-v-v

You have a good point you know, it always seems much longer than it is while you are waiting round with a rumbling stomach until the oak is ready.

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  Ha-v-v on 4/20/2011, 12:55 pm

You have a good point you know, it always seems much longer than it is
while you are waiting round with a rumbling stomach until the oak is
ready.

Thats my whole thought, I love my husbands grilling, the oak wood give food such a nice flavor. But when I want to cook a quick meal and have that done in no time, its the gas pit. Jeff (husband) also is working on other projects, it helps him if I can take up the grilling. Gas pit gives more time to eating and filling the belly and onto other projects. Wood pit helps us visit longer. Smile

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May update

Post  Barkie on 5/15/2011, 3:21 pm

It's now mid-May. I'm a tired bunny. sawing logs Despite hiring someone to remove three tree stumps and build a couple of walls we aren't as far on as we planned to be. I'm not a builder but anyone could tell that two of the walls weren't right and I found two of the tree stumps buried while levelling the sfg beds area. Not amused, the air turned distinctly blue when I found them. We dug the smaller one out between us but haven't decided what we can do about the bigger stump.

One of the walls was to extend the existing cinder block retaining wall. We had planned to have it as a hollow wall with a stone front and a 6-8" wide center for planting alpines in. I won't go on about why it was wrong but we had to take half of it out before the concrete set. Anyway, it wasn't raining much today so we built a bit more of the hollow wall and started digging the foundations for stone steps. Whopping big chunks of stone. Neither of us has the energy to cook tonight so we are having a takeaway. Very Happy

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  shannon1 on 5/16/2011, 12:44 am

Barkie some folks down here use TNT for tree stumps. Great for frusteration too.

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

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