Garden Blog - Blog Post

The Landing Pad


If you’re an alien, travelling through space and wanting to have a bit of a sit down and rest, preferably in a nice garden that has the right parking facilities, then you can’t go wrong with the new landing pad we have in the garden for saucer-shaped ships;

Just as soon as I get round to moving the pallets that we use to put the incinerator on, that is. The shed can be converted into a make-shift terminal building for immigration and “Anything to Declare”.

This circular bark-chipped area towards the back of the garden is affectionately known as the Landing Pad and is a raised, levelled area of bark-chipped ground that would look very good with a pair of sun loungers or a small table with a bottle of wine (each) on it. Its position at the back of the garden means it catches the evening sun, so it’s the perfect place for kicking back after work. It didn’t always look this good, it’s taken several other large pieces work – such as removing the bamboo and carting a ton of soil – before this could be made and is another one of those examples where in order to make this, about twenty other things had to be done before-hand.

The shape was made simply by putting a bamboo stick in the centre and scribing a circle out, the radius had to clear the shed, the arch and not get too far into the existing grass (shock horror). There was already a great deal of soil that I had moved from the very back of the garden (when I was clearing that area out) and there followed several evenings of trying to dig out and lift off a layer of fabric matting that had been laid down over the whole area, over which a skim of soil and grass was laid. The ground was very compacted and stayed damp all year. I was worried the fabric matting was stopping the water from draining away and I wanted the tree roots that were trapped under the matting to be free and take advantage of the extra soil I had dumped there. I put a phenomenal amount of potash, general fertiliser and bone meal on top of the layer of soil but underneath the bark chips so that the rain would gradually take this down and re-fertilise the soil that last saw any attention decades ago.

With the Landing Pad raised up, it shouldn’t squelch in winter. It will eventually be surrounded by border and this will soak up the excess water, just as the other garden borders have done. This is the first time I have made an area first, then thought about the borders to go around it. It’s a strange experience and perhaps not one that will be repeated.

The camellia is looking much happier now that it has emerged from behind the huge pile of rubbish that used to be here and now that it is no longer fighting with the beech (whose canopy has been raised). The shed needs some cosmetic attention and the odd plants currently at the base of the large pine need to get a move on and establish.

The areas at the back have been a huge eyesore for a long time and it’s great to see them gradually getting better. Next year, I’m planning to “set” the landing pad with surrounding border to make it look as though it belongs as a part of the garden. We have a large number of ferns, grown from spores that I’m hoping to line the edge with.

The pictures in this post are working back in time towards the start of this season and show just how much this area has changed. It used to be the dumping ground for the rubbish in the garden, but it can’t be anymore, these dumping grounds are getting smaller and fewer as we work through bringing the wilder areas of the garden back into civilisation. The Landing Pad is currently a bit of an outpost, but the borders that will be made around it next year should hopefully bring it into the fold and we should not have to see rampant bamboo growing out of ten foot high piles of rubbish again.

It’s a view I won’t miss.

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author & gardener

Sunil Patel

I'm Sunil Patel, this is me. I created the Garden at 13 Broom Acres and I open it to visitors. I also bake and write blog posts giving a "behind the scenes" look into what it's like to maintain such a garden.

Visit the blog, then come and visit the garden. We can have a good sit-down, a jolly chinwag and a relaxing cup of tea with a sinfully generous slice of home made cake.

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Susan Maclean 08/11/2017 - 7:24 am

Not fair! I sat down this morning just for 30 minutes of peace and quiet on the PC and there you were, working hard again!! Shouting “slow down” is not going to do it, is it? So all I can say is congratulations on getting to the end (well, the end for this year). Backbreaking, but you don’t have to do it again until you dig up the space for the swimming pool…… :o)

Sunil 08/11/2017 - 8:40 am

Sorry Mrs. Mac, I just can’t help myself! I definitely have reached the end for major work this year, there’s just the winter cleaning, pruning and mulching that will be starting soon and a few other bits and pieces. I hope to enjoy relaxing on the Landing Pad some day, but I’ll have to wait at least until it’s warm enough outside!

gardeninacity 09/11/2017 - 9:02 pm

You are an industrious soul, no doubt about it. You’ve definitely made impressive progress.

Sunil 13/11/2017 - 9:40 am

Thanks, Jason. The “before” and “after” is very striking, though I am now starting to take for granted the fact that I can reach both far corners of the garden and the massive screen of bamboo is now a distant memory.

casa mariposa 13/11/2017 - 1:56 am

This looks amazing! So different from when I was there! Did you dig up the fabric? I will be back to blogging in January. Lots going on in my life and a huge change….. Lots to write about!

Sunil Patel 15/11/2017 - 10:17 am

Hello Tammy, I’ve missed you! I’m looking forward to reading about you and catching up. I did dig up the fabric, it was a pain but worth it, I think. With all the clear up work, I’m no longer embarrassed to show my behind!

Jean 29/11/2017 - 1:27 am

What a lot you have accomplished this year! I know this sort of clearing and preparing is not as satisfying as planting borders, but it will really pay off in the longer run.

Sunil 30/11/2017 - 1:25 pm

Hello Jean, although no new borders were made, the difference at the back is still incredible. The back of the garden was a rubbish and dumping ground but now it’s been transformed and it’s actually a garden “destination” in itself – something to show off instead of something to hide and be embarrassed about.


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