So this was the front garden this morning. Regular readers will know that I have been procrastinating for some time, maybe years, about the front garden and getting rid of the lawn. I decided this year that it would go but instead of embracing it head on earlier in the year I have occupied myself with various other ‘essential’ tasks in the main garden. I suspect there was a small voice questioning whether I was making the right decision, and then there was all the work that would be involved lifting the turf and getting rid of it and really can I keep on top of the main garden so why do I want to make the front garden more work! However, the patio has been filling up with pots of plants for the front garden in anticipation of its make-over so either I donate them all to local plant fairs or I just get on with it.
Anyway I have completed all the jobs I had come up with that had to be done before I tackled the front garden and set my mind to starting work today. I have to admit that it was tough going especially as the turf needed to go to the far corner of the main garden up a considerable slope with two sets of steps and a garage in between. Luckily my youngest son popped round to help and my eldest joined in for the afternoon so between us we started to get a system going between us. We managed between us to lift about half of the lawn which is a good start and means that I can start to dig over the soil and add some compost. I have a couple of shrubs that I really want to get in the ground asap so that is the first priority. And the reason my final niggle was put to bed is because Noel Kingsbury, who visited yesterday with his wife Jo, within a very short time made the observation that the front garden just isn’t me – which I think is what I have been trying to say for a while.
Now, what to do with the turf? Yes, I should stack it neatly to rot down and make wonderful potting compost but I don’t really have space for a stacked lawn. Some of the mossy crumbly bits were placed on top of one of the compost bins to slowly rot down. Then in a demonstration of how not to lay turf I have started to turf the area in front of the compost bins – creating what my youngest has decided to call Hobbitland! It has a 50:50 chance; if the turf takes then it will stabilise the slope but if it doesn’t take then so be it. Even more amusing to my sons was that I turfed around the plants that have self-seeded on the slope – as I said a lesson in how not to turf!! If it takes then we will keep it in check with a strimmer but the intention is that it will be more wild than tidy and I would love to add crocus and other bulbs and maybe plant some primulas amongst the turf. There will be more turf to add when we lift the rest of the lawn and it needs tidying up once we have assessed whether it has taken or not – in the meantime the blackbirds are having a lovely evening looking for worms in the sodden turf and I am feeling very pleased.