Monday, June 09, 2014

It's a Jungle out There

Almost a year after that fire, the garden is starting to feel like a jungle again. The plants that were damaged but not killed have in the main shrugged off the damage and are full of vibrant new foliage. The areas that needed replanting have welcomed new plants and in the main have knitted back into the jungle.

One of the original tree ferns sending out lots of new fronds.

Ground cover explosion!

Mark blogged the other day about the new tree ferns which will soon hide the new fence and provide a canopy. That side of the jungle hut almost looks as if nothing has happened. Only a few bamboo canes stil show damage - scorched on the side closest to the heat but still alive. These damaged canes will be removed as the summer progresses and new canes grow to replace them. We didnt cut all of them down to allow the living but damaged canes to still support leaves to give screening as well as photosynthesize to help the whole plant recover.

Jungle pathway, you can still see some of the damaged canes on the bamboo on the left hand side. There are plenty of new canes emerging.
The middle patio area will take longer, our approach to garden design here was to imagine a courtyard in a tropical garden, perhaps a private place in a large home or even a hotel. With low box hedging and then layers of planting, this all used to merge into the background with fence totally hidden. That look will take a little longer to restore, however we have enjoyed selecting the plants to go back here, and it will be good to see the evolution of this part of the garden.

Those fences and shed will disappear eventually!


We sat in the now completed Jungle Hut yesterday evening and contemplated the restoration of the garden, culminating in the jungle hut (we will share the photos soon I promise!). This year should have been an easier gardening year, no major projects had been planned, but events beyond our control changed that. However to be at the start of June and have the garden replanted, Jungle hut, and pergola all back how they should be, feels like quite an achievement. 
Generally we are always active in the garden, rarely sitting back and relaxing, we know we should "chillax" a little bit more but particularly when the garden "needed" us we wanted to get it back to normal. It felt last night that we were back at that stage, so i suspect we will spend more time enjoying sitting, relaxing in the garden and not just working.

However there is no point being unrealistic, we both love projects and have a a mental list of a whole bunch of  things to do (repair the old shed, finish the quarantine pond, make over for the top patio...... ) 

Gaz

29 comments :

  1. It's a good feeling to have got to the point where you can afford time out from it. But the beauty of gardening is that there is always something to tinker with. It's never finished. One day I will get to the tinkering stage!

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    1. Indeed Jessica :) it's about finding the right balance between relaxing and tinkering, although tinkering can be relaxing too.

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  2. You have risen, phoenix - like from the ashes . It must have been a terrible time for you, after all your hard work. So pleased that all is restored. Relaxing and enjoying the fruits of your labour sounds great... I never seem to get to that bit !

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    1. The process of gardening on the whole is enjoyable Jane, even if sometimes we all have to remind ourselves to just stop and take in the fruits of our labour :) the latter part of last year was so intense for us it actually took awhile for the event to fully sink in. Anyway repair almost over thankfully! :)

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  3. I can't get over how fast things have recovered from the fire. I wouldn't have noticed the scorched bamboo except that you pointed it out. I LOVE the jungle look. it really is fabulous. (So how do you keep the bamboo from taking over the planet?)

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    1. Thanks Deanne! Some of the bamboo gets some rhizome pruning every so often, others we just take off wayward shoots. Once new shoots for this year have leafed out we'll take off the scorched culms :)

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  4. Amazing recovery! I'm so happy for both of you that the jungle is looking like a jungle again!

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    1. Thanks Peter :) not quite as lush as we'd want it yet but we're getting there.

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  5. Really is an amazing recovery, so kudos for a job well done!

    When I scrolled to the image of the new tree fern fronds, I thought "an orangutan! -- that really is a jungle!" :)

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    1. Thanks Alan! Someone also pointed out on a previous post that it looked like an orangutan head and now everytime I look at it I think the same :)

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  6. The garden is looking great! The recovery is incredible.

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    1. Thanks Evan! We still have space for one or two more rhododendrons like the ones you've featured :)

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  7. You've made phenomenal progress in a relatively short time, especially given the competing demands of the work inside your house. Your photos certainly convey the jungle feel even if some plants still have some growing to do. Congratulations!

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    1. Thanks Kris! We're getting there :)

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  8. I must say if I saw these photos with no captions or geographic identity I would never guess they were in the UK. San Diego all the way !

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    1. That sounds fab! Glad to hear the sense of exotica came through :)

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  9. I don't know which force is more amazing, that of nature or the power of you guys when you put your minds to something. I can't believe how jungly your garden is already and the positive attitudes you've maintained through it all.

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    1. Thanks Loree :) it was an adventure but so glad we're at a calmer stage now.

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  10. Hi Gaz, it's a jungle out there, indeed and it looks fantastic! I am so glad that your garden has recovered so well from the fire. It's not hard to imagine that you guys have put tons of work into it to bring it back to its former glory. But seeing the photos its so worth it. Still, hope you take the time to enjoy what you have achieved.
    Christina

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    1. Thanks Christina! Yes taking some time to enjoy it now but the mind is still buzzing with ideas :)

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  11. What an amazing recovery...it's hard to believe there was ever a fire there (and I wouldn't have noticed the damage if it hadn't been pointed out)!. Kudos to you two and your undaunted spirits!

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    1. Thanks Scott :) and looking forward to meeting you next month!

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  12. Our son told us we needed to strive for equilibrium. You guys have got it in spades. I'm always impressed by your balanced approach: enjoyment v toil, and enjoyment of the toil.

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    1. Thanks Ricki :) we do try as much as we could. Sometimes it's the body itself that says we have to relax and not do any further for some time. And it's good to listen to it every so often.

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  13. That really has bloomed amazingly well. Do you realise that if we get yet more rain and a bit of warmth you will need to spend so much time chopping things back :-) (I can lend you a few machetes) It all looks fab.

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    1. Hopefully we'll have a great summer this year Don, with a fab growing season :)

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  14. Gorgeous. As always jealous of all the tree ferns.

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  15. Wow! Yours is one of the most beautiful gardens I've seen. It must be relaxing to sit there and contemplate all the lush leaves after all that hard work!

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