Friday, March 4, 2016

Garden Makeover to Greatly Improve the Entrance to My Home

To think these garden beds were beautifully coiffed when we bought the Beach House 11 or so years ago.  A couple of babies later, which zapped all my energy for gardening and a husband who would rather sail on weekends than garden.  Accordingly, they were a real mess.

They had been giving me the tom tits for years, but I just never seemed to have the energy to tackle the jungle.  I got a quote from a gardener about ripping everything out and starting again with hydrangeas.  He said at least $1000, without blinking.  Let me tell you, I was blinking big time too, as we don't have that kind of money hanging around to do this kind of job.  The only way, was to do it ourselves.

The beds sat around in this state for another 6 months, until I had a chance meeting with a lovely mum, with whom I was working on the school canteen.  She said in passing that she had a wholesale horticulture business.  Never letting an opportunity pass me by, I asked if she could supply me with 10 good sized hydrangeas.  Her price was ridiculously generous, so I took her up on it.


I picked them up and was now in the position where the plants urgently needed to be planted out, so I was kind of pressured into clearing out the beds.  I love working with my back to the wall.  I could do most of it on my own with the mattock, but was very grateful for the muscle of Mr Beach House, who helped me remove the bigger plants, that were beyond me.

The archaeology of the beds was fascinating.  The biggest Beach House Brat used to play a game he called 'Man Overboard', which was basically where he threw all his toys over the balcony, whilst shouting 'man overboard'.  Most of the big toys were retrieved at the time, but the little ones were never found until we cleaned out the beds.

Getting there.

Still getting there and looking sooooooo much better already.

Once they were planted up and mulched, the garden looked great.  Especially with the lovely sandstone foundations now completely exposed again.

I also plan to cut the ficus figs back really hard over Winter, so they can be topiaried  into low tight balls, which will make them so much easier to tidy up each season.

After some serious composting, the plants grew beautifully over Summer.

The shots of before and after speak a thousand words.



Now all we need to do is high pressure hose the sandstone.  The great news is we saved about 85% of the quote by doing it ourselves. Yay!!!! More money for the travel fund.

More to come.  Stay tuned for the front door makeover next week.

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  1. Oh the beds look fabulous. Love the new plantings.

  2. Lovely! So fresh and minimal. Less is more. Lovin those iddy biddy working boots ...

  3. Great work. I love the sandstone walls.

  4. I have a similar job awaiting me this weekend. I desperately need to weed and replant in all my garden beds (there are quite a few as we are on a corner block - damn!) You don't fancy coming up to Newcastle to help me out now that you're sorted out??? Seriously, your garden beds look awesome - well done!

  5. Looks great! I haven't had much luck with hydrangeas, I planted a few last summer and though they grow a bit and have a few flowers they tend to shrink back to nothing over winter and then come back to a tiny shrub and never get any bigger! We're coastal too so I'll be interested to see how you get on!

  6. The garden looks lovely. I like the smaller plants at the front and they will look really pretty when they flower :)

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