Maintaining the Garden

The early years of my garden in Thornton le Dale were dominated by major projects: hard landscaping, digging to level and tier the slopes, building, and or course a lot of planting. Now the focus is more on maintaining what has been created: painting, repairing, weeding, felling, cutting back and shaping. There are still new projects to tackle - a summerhouse, a new front garden and drive, but this talk looks at the annual cycle of maintenance, as well as the revisiting of former work to revitalise or repair.

More pictures and information - sample slides from the talk.

Garden pond
The pond in early summer
The pond in early summer - a heavy maintenance element in a garden.


Uneven path in need of replacement
Tel: 01751 476005
Mobile: 07881209459
Address: Garth End Cottage
  Roxby Road
  Thornton le Dale
  North Yorkshire
  YO18 7SX

Just 3 maintenance tasks

Uneven path
Uneven path in need of replacement

Path replacement

This path was laid with broken flagstones12 years ago. Parts had buckled and become uneven. The brick risers for the steps had also suffered spalling with frost. At the same time, I had always wanted to run electricity up to the garden shed. The result was to take up this path, lay an armour sheathed cable, re-level the base for the path, then replace the flags.

All this was completed over one summer holiday - steady work, and not particularly engaging, but the end result was worthwhile.

Overgrown heather
Overgrown heather in need of replacement

Outgrown heathers for replacement

A heather bed was planted many years ago - ericas rather than callunas, as we do not have acid soil. It has given seasonal colour over the winters, but has gradually become straggly and overgrown. Some plants were cut back, others were layered for regrowth, and a number of new plants were put in.

Beech spiral
Topiary beech spiral and box forms

Topiary beech spiral and box forms
As well as boundary hedges, there are a number of topiary specimens that need clipping, usually twice per year. Here is a standard copper beech clipped into a spiral. Underneath is clipped box, with a variegated privet ball and cone. Behind are two leylandii clipped to a cone shape. The variegated bush on the right is becoming too large, and does not clip easily. Time for felling?