The first rockery wall I built on the corner border had me single-handedly hauling the sizeable stone pieces from next-door’s garden across to mine (they wanted rid of it so I got it for free). There was probably well over a tonne of it and it put many permanent dents in the wheelbarrow. I’m sure I said at the time that I would never do it again.
I was kind of right as the new border under the trees that I’m working on at the moment also now features a rockery wall. We had to pay for the stone this time but at least I had help moving all the pieces to the back, making the job much, much easier. It was all carted in the same wheelbarrow as well, for nostalgia. This border at the back doesn’t have a name yet, so I call it the Willow Border, because there is a large goat willow that marks one corner of it and this tall, spreading tree spans most of the border, giving it some dappled shade, making it suitable for tough woodland plants.
The new “Willow Border” is the area that was used as a dumping ground for all sorts of garden rubbish, that’s now finally all gone. It was also covered in weeds, stones, branches, sticks, leaves and other detritus. That’s all gone too. There was a short section of fence that divided up the space with a sort-of old compost heap on one side and what was an old “border” on the other. The fence was all a bit bent and mangled. That’s now gone too, deep rusted metal ground stakes and all. So have a load of self-seeded trees that would have caused problems.
The border was taken back to a blank canvas with the exception of a small, bedraggled white rhododendron, which I cut back and is now growing strongly, free from the surrounding rubbish and weeds. I spent some time carefully edging the side facing the Rectangle, and the side facing the Landing Pad. However, as I got toward the large pines at the back, the border became more difficult to edge with all the tree roots getting in the way. I solved the problem by artfully switching to the low rockery wall. This sweeps towards and in between the two large pines the border edge sits on.
Along the back, I set a couple of sleepers bracketed by left over rockery stone to mark a path against the back fence. With these securely in place, I filled the path in with wood chips (also known as woodland mulch), keeping the sleepers proud because they do look nice and weren’t cheap. The brand-new, just-made, pristine appearance all looks very nice (even if I do say so myself). We’ll have to see how it ages over the years as the border is filling in with planting.
We won’t be able to dig over the Willow Border with our electric tiller – as we have done with the other borders in the garden – because of the tree roots from several pines, beech trees, rhododendrons and of course, the large willow. Instead, I’ll decant the compost out of the compost heap and top-up the rest with well-rotted manure. This will be a large “no dig” border so it will be interesting to see how the plants put here establish and grow compared to the rest of the garden.
The edging of this border has been more involved than the others, but it’s done now. There are no other borders to edge – other than for maintenance – and so another domino falls on the way to completing the garden restoration.