The Semi-Circular Border

There is a border in the garden that was born five years ago out of prunings laid on the ground.

The potential of an expanse of grass

This half-circle of sticks crossed and covered a large part of the garden, it was the biggest border of them all.

Borders laid out with sticks

The edging was done in two parts and the border encompassed two trees and several shrubs.

The first edging of the semi-circular border (back, left)

The plan is to have the back (long straight edge) as a winter-interest garden and the front to be a herbaceous bed.

Part-covered in polythene

The whole area was covered in polythene to kill off the grass, as per standard operating procedure.

Used as a convenient dumping ground

In time, the border was expanded again with an extension to form the straight edge of the Rectangle formal area of grass (with the Urn).

Sweet chestnut tree and crocosmia removed

Over the years, other garden rubbish was piled on, then cleared off, then more piled on, and then cleared off again.

Tibetan cherry planted, hydrangea removed, border extended

All the other borders were tilled, dug, edged and planted, but this intimidating, large semi-circular border remained under polythene.

Second layer of polythene added to re-kill weeds

Over the years the polythene thinned and weathered, tearing in places, weeds sprang up in the gaps. The border cried out to be made, but the only work that was done, was to give it another layer of polythene to patch up the gaps.

Five years ready and still waiting to start

Year after year the semi-circular border remained, no work, no change, no progress.

Until now.


  1. I’m so excited to see the finished result, Sunil! Your borders are always so well considered and – unlike me – you have the patience and vision to allow the planting to grow and mature as it should. I had to laugh at the continual re-laying of weed suppressant as I too have an area in my garden which I’ve earmarked for a similar project. Each year I diligently dig out all the weeds (I am cursed with a proliferation of dandelions which appear to thrive in a heavy clay soil, to my dismay) with the intention of laying a membrane to deter regrowth and each year it defeats me as the weeds shoot up again at the merest hint of rain – and on and on it goes… Thanks to your post, I now know to be ready with the membrane IMMEDIATELY the weeds are dug up, so thanks in advance for my long-anticipated 4m x 4m oasis which I resolve to unveil next summer… Wish me luck!


    1. Hello Deborah, it might be another two years before the planting gets underway as I want to raise much of the herbaceous perennials from seed where I can. Your 4x4m border space is very large too – almost the size of my previous garden! The painful part of garden maintenance for me is the weeding, so spending time to get on top of it before it makes more work in the future is key.


    1. I certainly hope so! It might be a few years before it’s full planted up though, the area is so big!


    1. Thanks, Jason, though only a part of it might be ready to plant next year, perhaps – it’s still something. The area is so large and I’m not sure how much more I’ll be able to do over the winter, before starting again in earnest next (late) Spring.


  2. You’ve the patience of a saint, Sunil…… haha! Looking forward to seeing the planting.


    1. Thanks Mrs Mac, I have patience in spades (as it were). I waited 7 years for the Strelitzia to flower, 5 years for wisteria, 3 years for the Chinonanthus and I’m still waiting for decent fruit off the fruit trees!


  3. I am hoping all is well and that you are just hibernating…..


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