The Water Tower

The Water Tower
The Water Tower at Dusk

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Contrarian - After then Before.....Updated with Gazebo

Had a few professional pictures taken recently of the house and garden and I thought it would be good for the record to see the before and after. Being a contrarian here's the after - first.

This is the woodland side of the house showing the raised path and the planted areas nearest the decking. It's only March but the weather has been good this year and the plants are peeping through already. OK - the house looks good too! but this blog is for the woodland and the garden. Both still in their infancy for new planting and growth.

We need to protect the edges of the woodland where there's a steep drop down to the river below. Used lots of pole trees cut from another Estate woodland to create the barriers.

My blue border. I just love blue flowers of any kind and grape hycanith bulbs are always easy to grow. Softening all the edges and at the same time holding back soil from falling down from the slope above was easily achieved by placing lengths of logs on the ground. Very simple. Once the planting gets through the gaps it will look even more natural.

I found this dead tree branch in the far away part of the wood last year and used it in the central planted area to add interest. The grasses behind would normally be cut back to remove dead growth at this time of the year. The growth doesn't look dead to me so I'm leaving it alone.

These 2 "before" photos are from April 27 2010. It was hard work clearing the ground here after the house build but after much digging, lots of weeding and now mulching, I seem to have decent plant borders for the woodland plants.

The real beauty of new planting is only evident after 3 years in  my experience so next year should be even better.

Just for the record, last year I tried and failed with a wild flower border. Weeds took over. The professionals kill the weeds first or they over turn the soil to a significant depth which prevents the weed getting through before they sow the seed. This year, not wanting to do too much weed killing and not able to do the depth turning trick, I decided to use waste plastic crates from the house foundations. Filled them with compost and sowed the seed into these. If it works I should have wild flower plugs that I can transplant at my leisure. Will it work?

Finally just to add a picture from the past. The Gazebo. This photo taken from the tower. Interesting isn't it!

Have a look at the proximity of the Gazebo to the tree on the RHS. That's the same tree that the new Eco house is next to. Which proves that the Eco House and the Gazebo projected to the West by the same distance. Something we have always known but others have wanted to question. Considering individuals at Midlothian Council carried out a survey in year 2000 when the Gazebo was already built, it's quite surprising that the Council don't have their own survey report. That survey has been requested many times. It doesn't exist. There's just an "NT" reference map that anyone can get. No Gazebo shows up on the map because its just that - a map - not a survey. Yet we paid for it........... shy of £1,000 no less in year 2000. Interesting isn't it. I have a theory that the local noise created at the time of the land sale probably contributed to the lack of attention to detail by Midlothian Council at the time. The local noise was all to do with rights of way - where none existed - and that "extra" work to check for rights of way contributed to the cost. But all at the expense of the survey. Shame is too small a word for it.

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