Sunday, January 16

Gardens plans for 2011 (or maybe beyond)

Fer at My Little Garden in Japan is holding another blog carnival. His challenge this time is to write a post about what you plan on doing in your garden this next year. He suggested that a renovation plan will do so I’m going to limit myself to explaining plans for our garden although we have plans for the plot too which will no doubt feature in our blog posts at an appropriate time.

We all have areas of our garden that are not as we would like them to be – some areas are out of sight out of mind, some areas are just reaching the end of their use-by date, some are in need of replanting and for others we just haven’t yet come across that ideal solution. Although our garden isn’t particularly large compared to those of other fellow bloggers we have areas that fit into all of these categories.

1. We just haven’t come across the ideal solution for:

a) The filter system into our pond: the pond itself has been a source of enjoyment and during its lifetime has undergone several transformations but its latest transformation is incomplete due to us not being able to decide how we would like the water to flow from the filter back into the pond. We tried running the outlet pipe through a large bamboo tube but this wasn’t really successful. At the moment the water just flows out of a black plastic pipe which although functional has only really looked somewhat attractive and interesting during the big freeze when it housed an ice sculpture. So far we haven’t come up with an idea that we like maybe this year we will.

b)  A dark space in the middle of one of our borders: this space is shaded from all sides by bamboo, a large crab apple tree and a large camellia. We look straight onto it from two of our house windows and so need some sort of focal point – something that won’t be dominated by plants growing around it. Any type of plant would struggle to compete so we thought maybe some sort of garden ornament or statue. It needs to be a light colour to stand out but something subtle too – any ideas? So far we haven’t seen anything we really like maybe this year we will.
These photos show views from upstairs in spring  and downstairs in winter respectively with the ovals indicating the space to be filled.

2. In need of replanting:

The bed in front of the house: for reasons best kept to ourselves the bed in front of our house had to be cleared completely and is now ready to be replanted. As mentioned in a previous blog post this will be planted with perennials and bulbs to try and give some interest for most of the year. A definite ‘will do’ plan for this year. Any advice on good varieties of hardy geraniums?

4. Passed its use-by date:
a) The patio: the paving slabs are uneven and wobble when we stand on them so the whole patio area needs to be re-laid and in the process we intend to redesign it. The patio although quite small is on three levels which isn’t as practical as we would like so the three will become two to hopefully provide a better sized sitting area. This rates as a ‘hope to do’ plan for next year.

b)  The arbour beside the pond: the arbour was erected to divide up the garden but also to hide the filtration tanks to the pond. Filters have become much smaller over the years and so this area needs a redesign so we can make better use of the area that no longer is needed for filtration tanks. This is probably a long shot for this year!


5. Out of sight out of mind:
The area behind the greenhouse: this houses our cold frame and anything we want to dump. The intention is to use the paving slabs from the patio here and buy some new ones for the patio. Then we want to create a tidier, more attractive area but are not too sure what this will be like yet. It will still house the cold frame and is a useful area for hardening off plants and will hopefully evolve as we fiddle about with it! As this is tied up with the patio renovation it also is a ‘hope to do’ plan for next year.

I wonder how much we will actually manage to achieve - to find out you'll just have to keep popping by to visit our blog!
So having shared the worst parts of our garden just to balance the picture we did renovate several areas of our garden last year as shown below to prove it's not all a disaster area. 

new year gardening resolutionsApologies for the length of this post - blame Fer! He shouldn't have started me off.

Visit New Year Gardening Resolutions Blog Carnival at my little garden in Japan 


  1. I love the crab apple tree what a burst of colour. I'm so relieved to see that I'm not the only one with an ever expanding to do list! Mind you, you achieved so much last year I've got no doubt you'll have it whipped into shape before 2012!

  2. I think all of these items will take a couple of years! I really think it's fun to plan and fix the garden spaces around the house.

    All of our items on the "to do" list here at the house are not garden related...a new roof, all of the trim needs to be painted on the house and some other not so fun things. We have decided to actually hire someone to do these not so fun things!! Thank God!

    Keep us posted!!

  3. I don't know much about perennial flowers or bulbs that suit your season Sue. But I did imagined the one that I have planted before like the holyhocks, poppy and larkspur in that spot. Rosemary is evergreen in winter too? can't wait to see what you will be growing there in spring.

  4. Winter is a great time to sit down and actually see what needs to be done and plan the activities.
    I hope you will be able to do some of these things this year, but some might take longer.

  5. You have some great plans for your yard/garden! I can't wait to see the progress!

  6. I'm sure you'll soon get your problem areas sorted out after seeing the other renovations you've already done. I think a nice sculpture would look good in your dark space, it's just a matter of finding something you like.

  7. Goodness that's a long project list! Your crab apple puts mine to shame, and your question about hardy geraniums sent me riffling through the mess on my desk hunting for the piece of paper I scribbled the name of one that kept coming up last year. Of course, I can't find that piece of paper, though apparently "Campanula poscharskyana" rated a scribble, but it had reddish-purple foliage and beautiful purple-blue flowers...

  8. Hi FRG The crab apple looks spectacular for about a week and then has reddish brown leaves. - short and sweet.

    We have some house related to dos as well Robin - mostly to do with decorating

    I'm hoping some poppies will self seed Diana. YOur hollyhocks are beautiful but may be a bit tall for just in front of our (and our neighbours) windows

    I think definitely longer Vrtlarica,

    I can't wait either Holly.

    I think some sort of sculpture too Jo but we have been looking for a year and seen nothing appropriate yet.

    It's probably the variety of crab apple Janet "Profusion" and it is very well established. We have a John Downie too with pikish white flowers. The trouble is the display is so short lived. I have that campanula but it is a very low variety so I have popped Campanula lactiflora 'Pritchard's Variety'on my list which looks to have the same colour flowers.

  9. You got a long list too this year but I see that your garden is beautiful as it is functional as it is now.I like your bird bath, but more of using it as a small fountain,as stagnant water will breed disease-born mosquitoes in our tropical climate! I feel like having it in my new going-to-be rock garden...see how its going to be like.Looking forward to the progress in your garden this year.

  10. When you talked about that dark space I immediately thought - a statue! Here's hoping you find something lovely that fits the space.

  11. Your garden is beautiful, I am very jealous.

  12. Lots to do as always, best of luck with your plans.

  13. okay, that sounds ambitous but certainly do-able if you work HARD! Best of luck and wow love those last photos :)

  14. Your garden is so big!
    I think you have a lot of great projects to keep you busy trough the year.
    May I recommend some globe amaranth for the background of your empty patch.
    Best luck with all! I am sure it will turn out just the way you want it>

  15. The water tends to dry up too quickly in warm weather or the birds empty the bath so no problem with mosquitoes P3chandan. WE are more likely to need to keep filling it up.

    Now that's the problem Marguerite - finding a statue we both like.

    It isn't very beautiful at the moment Fran

    You have to keep occupied don't you Damo?

    Have to admit some were on last year's list Carrie and the tear before and ...

    It isn't as big as it looks really Fer but compared to a balcony it maybe seems bigger.

  16. aloha

    what a beautiful tree, i love it - all the projects around your garden is making my head spin..good luck with all of those :)

    thanks for sharing that and showing us your garden today

  17. You've got quite a list! I love your greenhouse! Good luck on your resolutions..

  18. Well you certainly have lots of projects you want to partake in...and yet I think everything looks so much better than mine...and yet I am quite happy with mine so does that make you too picky or me too lackadaisical???

    Well good luck with all your plans...I am curious to see how much you accomplish before the year is out!!

  19. Hello Noel. The tree looks like this for just a short time I'm afraid but I guess everything has its season.

    The greenhouse is getting a bit old now Rebecca and maybe should be on the list for some remedial work!

    We are always more picky with our own things Tanya and things never look quite as bad in a photo. From the photos of your I would say your garden is lovely. I look forward to seeing how much we manage as well maybe the bed at the front as I am busilt choosing plants for that now.

  20. Wow, you have your work cut out for you. I know it sounds trite, but I have an antique garden angel in a dark spot like yours and it really works. I would surround it with silver-leafed plants that like full shade like Pulmonaria 'Majeste' or 'Diana Clare' or Brunnera 'Jack Frost'.

  21. That's a good suggestion Carolyn. My alternative to a statue was a large stone urn with fern of something in but the silver leaved plants would stand our from the shade more. Depends whether we find a nice statue or a nice urn first!

  22. Great list of garden goals! I know what you mean about the area behind the greenhouse (or in my case, shed) becoming a dumping ground. I'm resolved to actually put things away in a tidier place this year.

    Your recent post listing tomato varieties would be fantastic for the next issue of How to Find Great Plants. If you're interested in submitting it, here's the link:

  23. I wonder if we will manage to keep our resolutions Eliza - must admit that at the moment the area behind the greenhouse looks even worse than on the photo!

    I'll add the link to your site Eliza thanks for inviting me.


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