Dr. Mark Gardener
Dr. Christine Gardener

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Our Back Garden..

We have two gardens, a small back garden next to the house and a larger plot just down the lane. The garden is surrounded by conifers. They haven't been looked after terribly well and have got too large. They must go. We have some plans for this garden and the first step is to remove the conifers and put in a few fruit trees. As this project develops we will update the page so you can see what we have been up to.

The back garden in Aug. 2007 and May 2009


November 2007

I have made a start. I decided to tackle the largest first. It was nearest the window of the sitting room and cut out quite a bit of light. I have taken down the stems and chopped them up for firewood. The smaller pieces and all the foliage has been chipped up for mulch or taken to the local recycling centre.

The tree loses it's greenery

A lot more light comes in now

The wood stacked up ready to burn


December 2007

Despite the wet weather I have managed to pretty well remove all the conifers now. At least I have taken off all the side branches and removed the greenery. All but one tiny bit that will make our Christmas tree this year. I also removed a couple of boring deciduous trees and have made holes ready to take the fruit trees. The holes have been back-filled so that I can easily remove the soil just prior to planting. The plan is to get 3 apples (2 eaters and a cooker), a Victoria plum and a damson. All will be on MM106 semi-dwarfing rootstock. I think there is just about room to get them in at about 8 feet apart.

The back garden looks a bit different now the conifers are gone


March 2008

The trees are now in. I got them from Thornhayes nursery near Cullompton in Devon. I have also managed to take down the conifer stems rather more and all the wood has been chopped and stacked ready for burning on the fire next winter. A few bits remain, the bottom couple of feet mostly, but these can be dealt with later.

I am starting to make a herb garden and construction is well under way.

The herb garden is nearly ready

The first phase involved measuring the area and removing the turf. The bricks that divide the beds were replaced and the beds themselves dug over. There are plenty of conifer roots that need to be teased out. I have added some sharp sand to improve the drainage a bit and the garden is nearly ready to plant up. The bricks are not very level and I need to put in a bit of effort to do that. I already have some herbs ready to go in - Sage, rosemary, oregano, fennel, lovage. I also have some herb seeds ready to sow - parsley, basil and coriander.


April 2008

The herb garden has been tidied up (roots removed, brick edging levelled) and a few things planted up. I've also generally tidied up as there was still quite a bit of rubbish lying around from my tree felling activities. As soon as the weather dries up a bit I will edge the border at the back and move in a few plants from the nursery bed.

The herb garden looks a bit better with some plants added


Winter 2008

Not a lot done over the winter except that I added a trellis to the wall. The panels were secured to battens rather than added to posts. At present they seem pretty secure (they have survived a few gales) but I may give them extra support in the future.

The trellis should provide a bit of privacy as well as a good climbing frame for plants

I planted some friut trees early in the year - a damson, plum, cooking apple and three eaters. They are establishing nicely. In the picture above you can see that I let the grass grow over the planting area but I have now cut this back and created some 'breathing space' for the trees using a few bricks and some composted bark.


April 2009

I have managed to do a reasonable amount in the garden over the past year although I was concentrating on getting the vegetables up and running. The herb garden is maturing nicely, especially the lovage - which has sprung up with vigorous growth this year.

The Herb Garden is looking a bit more mature



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