A Secret Garden

Slowly I am progressing with the redesign of what were the formal beds.  I have been working on attaching wires to posts for the Trachelospermum hedge. Using wire fencing might have been an easier option but I think it would have looked very ugly while the hedge was growing, at least the wires are almost invisible.

I was undecided how I would use this space; initially I thought of it being a cutting flower garden, later I thought this would be too much work but in the end I have decided to use it for this, Cathy you were right!  I will move the swing seat here and in summer it will hopefully be a pleasant place to sit with flowers all around me (when there are very few in other parts of the garden because of the drought).

If in future I find this option too high maintenance it can always be changed into a more restful to the eye ‘green garden’.

The secret garden posts and wires completed

The secret garden posts and wires completed

The secret garden - one half dug and mulched

The secret garden – one half dug and mulched (photographed on sunny Monday)

Porous hose irrigation tubes laid but waiting to be connected

Porous hose irrigation tubes buried but waiting to be connected (photographed on grey Tuesday)

Each bed will have 5 lines of drip hose irrigation so that the beds can be planted in blocks.  I will have to use bamboo supports for some of the plants that will be grown here, I’ll need to try to make them slightly more attractive than they needed to be in the vegetable beds.

What will be the view from the swing seat

What will be the view from the swing seat

All the rods marking out centres and paths etc. are still in place, it is better to keep them in position as reference points as I move onto the next new section.  When they are all gone, I’ll know I’ve finished!

The paths will be edged with Tuffo blocks, lined with landscape fabric and gravel laid.

Looking east to the Left hand border in the distance

Looking east to the Left hand border in the distance

The swing seat will be placed centrally when I can remove the stake from the tree, which won’t be for a couple of years.

All the rods marking out centres and paths etc. are still in place, it is better to keep them in position as reference points as I move onto the next new section.  When they are all gone, I’ll know I’ve finished!

The framework will eventually be covered with Trachelospermum

The framework will eventually be covered with Trachelospermum

Just look at that blue sky – isn’t it wonderful?

All the Trachelospermum have been carefully unwound from their canes and tied onto wires

All the Trachelospermum have now been carefully unwound from their canes and tied onto wires

The central sections on each side will have ‘windows’ in the hedge to allow for glimpses of colour to be seen from the terrace and to temp me to sit somewhere different sometimes.

Are you working on any new projects at the moment?

A quick reminder that Sunday is Garden Bloggers’ Foliage day here at My Hesperides Garden, I do hope you’ll join in this month.


38 thoughts on “A Secret Garden

  1. Christina, you are creating a wonderful inspiring space, placing your swing seat here in the summer sounds very restful too. I love the idea of the windows as well. I was given an old wooden hexagonal greenhouse to restore, which will be a winter project but need to dismantle and remove an old rockery and soil first before it goes up, which is a bit overwhelming but seeing your project gives me a push in the right direction! Really interesting to follow your thought processes too.

    • Thank you for such positive comments Julie.Hexagonal greenhouses are great, they usually fit into the garden space without being over powering and with good staging I think you’ll be amazed at how much usable space you have; good luck with the project and do keep us posted about how it all goes.

  2. Now we can see exactly what you are doing. Your giardino segreto will be wonderful. What an inspiration to make the walls of Trachelospermum.
    You have inspired me, I have a new project for a secret garden in mind too, but so far it hasn’ t got any further than my head. I will start work in the spring.

    • Not having secret, enticing areas was one thing I didn’t like about my original plan; I can already see this is an improvement. One thing for sure is that this plan makes you walk around the garden more because parts are closed off from other areas.

  3. I love a new project and am awe struck at the scale of this one. I’ve re-designed two new beds here ( both measure 3 m x 1 m ) and they are filled with repeat-flowering roses under-planted with summer bulbs and herbaceous. There’s not much worthy of an image yet but I hope by next June it will look gorgeous. I look forward to reading about your planting plan.

  4. I love new projects, but no, we haven’t any planned at the moment. You have been working hard on yours and everything is coming together as a whole. It must be very exciting seeing your ideas taking shape, I know I felt like that when altering the garden here.

    • There is a bit of a let down when a project is finished; maybe I like gardening because things do change with time and there are opportunities of changing ideas as time passes.

  5. I can almost envisage it in a couple of years – it will be a cool haven for relaxing, surrounded by the hedge and flowers. Well thought-out Christina! I admire your ability to plan long- term too.

    • I do have the gift of being able to imagine how it will be; I’m not sure that is something that you can learn. But sometimes it makes me impatient to see in reality what I can see in my head.

  6. Wow you have done so much work. I look forward to seeing it completed and the views you now will have….such a splendid project Christina and to see it coming to life. I am done in the garden now. The garden is cut back, somewhat weeded (lots more to do in spring), and many plants dug out to make room. And now I look to see what projects will need to be done in spring.

  7. I like seeing how this is coming together. It’s a very ambitious plan and your implementation looks so well thought out, making it a wonderful new space for you to enjoy. (Meanwhile I have 3 shrubs I can’t seem to get planted.)

    • Only 3!!!! I have lots of plants in pots that I’ve grown from cuttings and divisions all waiting to find a home, it is always like that for me, but it does mean that I have bought any more than the structural plants for the new garden.

  8. This looks really exciting. I love the idea of a secret garden. I wonder if we have space. Those Trachelospermum are pretty substantial plants and have had an instant effect. It is going to be wonderful.

    • As one of the most popular plants to grow here, they are available at reasonable prices, these were the small to medium size available but I chose them for the number of stems coming from the base rather than the height on their canes.

  9. Oh this is coming together so well, Christina – how quickly would you expect your trachelospermum to grow in your climate? It is going to be wonderful for screening the area and the ‘windows’ will be brilliant! It has been so interesting watching how your plans have unfolded in recent months.

    • The hedge around the gas tank took about five years to become a proper hedge but I will irrigate the new Trachelospermum so it may grow more during summer. I’ll also be more diligent about tying it in so hopefully it will begin to look like a hedge more quickly.

  10. It’s going to be wonderful, Christina! I think you made the right choice with the wire supports for the Trachelospermum – it really does fade into the background, unlike chain-link fencing. I’m still working on our former lawn areas. Most of the flagstone path in the backyard is done, although the remainder is on hold until by husband recovers from a partial crushing of his thumb (the fault of inattention and those heavy, heavy stones). We’ve started work in the front area now too but there’s an irrigation problem there (roots have cracked pipes). So everything is taking longer than planned but that’s how it goes with projects, isn’t it?

    • I’m so sorry to hear about your husband’s thumb; heavy stones can cause nasty injuries, do give him my best wishes. Projects always take longer than expected, mine has moved along faster than I had thought, but it isn’t finished yet and cold weather is due o arrive for the weekend which means there will be other things that require more urgent attention.

  11. Christina that looks wonderful already. I love the window idea and can imagine the scent wafting to you on your swing seat. My project is less glamorous, scrubbing out the rough roadside boundary which contains brambles dead conifers and leylandii. A job for the man with the right equipment so I shall be supervising 🙂 Then I can get to planting out some tough plants to cope with the heavy clay, cold winds and exposed site.

    • Once the hedge has grown the perfume will probably be almost too strong when it is in full flower but for the rest of the time when there are just a few flowers it should be lovely. your project sounds like very hard work, have you chosen any of the plants yet.

  12. Coming on nicely! I like those plant supports – are they made of Corten? Where did you get them? It all looks very neat and well organized. Do you look after the garden on your own or do you have help?

  13. It sounds as if it will be a most tranquil space Christina where you will be able to relax and dream. I look forward to seeing how it all knits together over the forthcoming months.

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