Sunday, June 12, 2016

Rain Didn't Stop Play

The weather forecast here over the weekend was adverse. A little disheartening last Friday especially as we were both really keen to start sorting both sides of the top patio, where the fences are that demarcates the boundaries of our property. The top patio is the last area of our garden needing a makeover, from its original state anyway. I suppose the conservatory built two years ago was a major change but it needed more than that.


Plan B was already in place in case the weather was too wet but we were hoping Plan A would still be feasible. Fortunately that was the case and the weather turned out to be good enough to get a lot done especially last Saturday. Phew!

From the house facing the garden to the left is a border that already contains some plants in the ground. They are on the whole effective already in screening and framing the garden. However, the planting is in a straight line, lacked depth, and you can walk from the side entrance down to the garden in straight line. A little bend on the pathway would make for a better journey. So we lifted more flagstones in the centre to create the bend and add depth in the middle of the border.

As it was, before we got started
First in was one of the four tall trunked Trachycarpus fortunei we bought earlier in the year to improve the screening.

The palms, subjected to bondage when delivered earlier in the year
Slabs were lifted
First palm in
A few more slabs out to reveal the new layout of the border
Then next would be the fibre stripped Trachycarpus wagnerianus at the front but that will have to wait until next week or so as it will be a big hole to dig. The palm would be a nice plant focal point in this border. Both palms are the two definite plants on our plans, we haven't figured out what else to put in the new spaces we created, apart from 'decorations' (to feature on a separate post).

The fibre stripped palm will be planted on that bare spot beside it, jutting out of the border

To the other side of the garden, opposite the border/fences above almost nothing is planted apart from a clump of bamboo near the house. This area usually is the home of some of our potted palms during the summer until the area finally gets planted up. That time has come finally. 


We've always wanted a row of trunked palms here so the next two of the trunked T. fortunei went here as well as a T. wagnerianus that's been languishing in a pot for years, finally liberated. Our largest Jubaea chilensis was also planted out, so no more lugging it in and out under cover as the seasons change! J. chilensis, the Chilean Wine Palm has a big girth of a trunk and grows gigantic however is very slow so I don't think we'll have to worry about it destroying the brick wall anytime soon. The tough trachies will also provide it some extra shelter during the colder month.


Again we lifted paving slabs, loosened and fortified the soil underneath them then positioned the palms as they will be planted before removing their pots which had to be cut off in situ. Blocks were then started to be built in front of them to form a low raised bed.



The raised bed will have grey sandstone coping, rendered then painted white which will tie in the top patio to the raised beds in the koi area. The palms will have better root run, all within the raised bed and underneath from where the paving slabs were removed.

Saturday was cloudy, humid, but dry enough to cement on the base blocks of the raised bed. Sunday was much more damp but there was enough interval in between light showers to put on the second layer of blocks. They had to be covered by the end of the day to let them set even if did rain during the night.



Next weekend we can put on the coping stones and do the rendering, weather permitting again hopefully!

Mark :-)

24 comments :

  1. It looks fabulous. I envy your neighbours too, the borrowed landscape must be sublime!

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  2. Maneuvering those huge palms can't be easy. You guys certainly aren't afraid of hard work!

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    1. It wasn't too bad, although I do feel sore today...

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  3. Excellent on both sides but I especially love how the short white "wall" will blend into those behind, and more palms is always a good thing.

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    1. Indeed, can't get enough of them :)

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  4. Lots of work (and expense I guess) but the result is well and truly worth it - dinner parties in the jungle.

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    1. It wasn't too bad, and got a good deal for the palms :)

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  5. So many awesome palms - just wonderful!

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  6. Another big project? You two are amazing! The new palms look fab already!

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    1. I did miss doing projects! It was nice to do 'something' again :)

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  7. Great post, Palms look very impressive. Like the idea of the fibre stripped waggy! Looking forward to the next instalment.

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    1. Thanks Paul! Hopefully we can continue next weekend.

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  8. So.... You bought a job lot of Palms at a very good price and then had to redesign the top terrace to fit them in :-) It looks excellent as always xx

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  9. I love how dedicated you area to everything you need. There's never any cutting corners.

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    1. Thanks Gerhard! We sometimes cut corners but avoid it if we could :)

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  10. I love those big palm.It looks like a lot of work,but it is well worth it!

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    1. It wasn't too hard...compared to the pond build anyway :)

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  11. I'm exhausted after reading that. Glad that the weather held so that you didn't need to revert to plan B and hope that you're able to complete the outstanding tasks this weekend.

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  12. You guys are such pros - always an inspiration! It looks fabulous even now, and will no doubt look even more so once coping and paint are applied. Just beautiful!

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  13. I wish I had a 'Gaz' you don't rent him out do you Mark? lol!

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