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Starting the Main Border, Again

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I’ve come up with the imaginative name of “Main Border” for the very final border in the garden, this might change but I recently came up with the name and it has stuck. The Main border is the largest one in the garden, by a fair margin. It’s a quarter-oval expanse with a large ornamental cherry and camellia at one end and a Tibetan cherry at the other. The outline of the border was made four or five years ago, it was extended – rather, the shape was refined – a few years later. It’s had rubbish dumped on it, then cleared off, then dumped on it, then cleared off again, but not to the extent of the recently completed Willow border.

Main border at the end of 2019

Towards the end of last season, I had just started working on it but it wasn’t long before the days got too short and the weather too bad that I stopped for the winter. I had intended to continue working on it this year. Those plans changed though and the usual “Spring” clean of the garden got extended to sorting out the paths around the Landing Pad and throwing out long-hoarded rubbish. That extended to clearing rubbish off the to-be Willow border and with the rubbish cleared I was on a roll so I just carried on and ended up making that border instead of continuing with the Main one.

Main border at the end of 2020

We’re at the same point with the Main border now as we were this time last year. I’ve only just started to take away the landscape fabric and restore the border edge. With the roots from established trees coming into this border, particularly with the ornamental cherry, I’m not sure I’ll be able to dig over this border like I have done with the others. I do need to aerate it and don’t want to just dump soil, manure and compost on top like I did with the Willow border so it’s going to be a bit of a hybrid (also known as “making-it-up-as-you-go-along”).

There’s not long for this season and soon I’ll have to move on the autumn and winter jobs but in the mean time, I’m still dashing out between rain showers and working piecemeal on this final border and it is a strange feeling to know that it’s the last one I’ll be creating in the garden. There’s not much grass left in the rest of the garden to add in more, certainly not the size of the borders we have at the moment.

Restoring the Main Border edge

I get a bit overwhelmed if I think of all the prior work that has gone into the other borders and so I’m mentally blinkering myself while working on this last one otherwise I wouldn’t be able to face it. One aspect of this border I’m looking forward to is growing the plants for it from seed. I already have a list of what I want, somewhere. I made it a few years ago so availability might have changed since then. I’m imagining a sea of herbaceous perennials for this border, perhaps with a small sinuous path curving through it (no cross-shapes, I can’t standing folding so many edging pieces). The time to start sowing will be next Spring and it will be a race to have the border ready for planting by next autumn 2021, especially now that there are five other borders to maintain, not including the front garden and the patio.

For meeting the challenge I have a little more time on my side, I also don’t have an endless list of distraction jobs or final “polishing” jobs as I dealt with those this year. While there is maintenance to do, I’ve already factored that in to the usual late Autumn/Winter/early Spring months. There’s also nothing I need to deal with that will die or get out of control if I don’t see to it. In the years since I first marked out and covered over the Main border, I’ve always avoided working on it, always preferring to create another border or sort another area of the garden out. The Main border was just too large and intimidating to start. Perhaps it needed the rest of the garden to be in a reasonable state with no attention-grabbers for me to be able to wholly focus on a border of this size. I’ve no choice anyway as there’s nothing else in the garden I can procrastinate with anymore.

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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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