‘Our garden was a real mess. Being a busy working mum, the garden had not been able to be a priority. I love flowers and plants of every kind and my dream was to have a garden that would take on a life of it’s own with flowering perennials blooming throughout the seasons. I was also looking to make my life a little easier with some weeding and pruning but less than now.
A large lleylandi hedge had taken over the back end enclosing everything into a dark featureless space where only weeds and a sorry looking eunonymous and yew would grow. We’d taken down a long trelliss down the middle of the garden to open everything out and decide on what to do. The elongated rockery had turned into a weed and moss mountain with very little colour or interest. The shrubs along the back fence were old and unfruitful so a new solution had to be found.
Our first job was to erect a new fence so that restoration could begin. This is where Susan came to our rescue. I had spent hours trawling over which plants I wanted and it seemed the list was endless. I found it very difficult to sanction the removal of established shrubs even though they were completely past their best – I’m not very good at throwing things away or making decisions. Susan arrived in February with her assistant Campbell to remove the vast area of weeds, bramble and ground elder which I’d given up trying to eradicate. She helped me organise my ideas and persuaded me that I needed to make the garden more manageable for the next few years. Her efficiency is remarkable.
There were certain shrubs and plants that I had firm ideas about such as a beech hedge, alliums, hostas, hellebores asters and iris as well as chaenomeles and hibiscus but after that I was open to suggestions .Susan persuaded me to have more grass and just a small rockery. I liked this idea eventually when I realised how much time it would save me and how well it would fit into the established shape of the garden. I had chosen certain shrubs which probably wouldn’t have worked well but I didn’t have to worry as Susan spent time selecting alternatives like Autumn crocus. Several of the shrubs uprooted from where the beech hedge was planted were rescued and are starting to re-establish themselves like ..geranium, escallonia and spirea snowmountain.
The most noticeable thing a few months after it was all cleared was the condition of the grass under the large apple tree – it became lush and healthy. The lleylandi and large weeds had previously prevented the light from penetrating the ground over a large area of the garden.
My herb garden ,especially the rosemary has flourished since the old badly shaped pyracantha was removed from the hedge and the lovely July flowering clematis is now able to fill the space.
Susan showed me how to keep on top of the ground elder and weeds in general. My lovely floribunda wisterias and brambly apple tree have now been pruned properly for the first time. In October we had our best apple crop so far. I have only just used the last apple in an apple tart.
This year so far the garden has flourished, from winter aconites and snowdrops, to primulas, saxifaga, african poppies, wisteria blooms, alliums, dicentra, helianthum, lobelia, roses, nepeta, and delphinium. Now I am waiting excitedly for my asters and echinecea and hostas , and japanese anemone as well as holly hocks and sedum.
With the weather being so beautiful this June, I have been able to sit outside every evening to enjoy the perfume and glorious colours. I love coming home now…..’ KB June 2014