Our front garden overhaul

The front garden was crying out for a handrail, to stop the postman and other folk from even possibly slipping down the front escarpment. We happily discovered like many houses, ours was built on what was only fairly recently a meadow, and with a strong slope and south facing disposition we felt inspired to embrace a proper sense of place and spirit in a meadow/seascape/alpine theme combo.  
Our front garden before the overhaul
Thirty one four x four inch posts were permanently fixed approx four inches apart to form the rail, curving by the path by the main left hand side bed. The posts were cut to make a curve on the top at a comfortable height for most people to find useful, and we took some time to sand back the tops so that water would be less likely to sit on and rot the wood. These were then painted with one coat of Cuprinol’s ‘Pale Jasmine’ exterior wood paint for a tough but semi transparent coat to let the wood grain show through. Excess weeds and rubble were then removed, the soil all turned over and twelve x seventy five litre bags of compost were distributed evenly over the two beds and thoroughly dug through to help improve water holding. A mixture of bought plants and cuttings and seeds were installed with the usual planting mix, and 3 stone sizes placed carefully around on the surface; ten large river rocks, fifteen bags of North Sea cobbles thirty – ninety mm, then eighteen bags of Scottish tweed pebbles twenty – thirty mm. the main bed is more exposed, so planting is for the more hardy, deep rooted and crazy plants, whereas the right hand side bed will be slightly more protected, so we planted more densely to create a bed that will become more lush in time.

We are hoping that this will become a fairly low maintenance garden after the initial period of settling and establishing and the regular watering and snail moving that goes with that.

The current plant list includes:
  • 2 x Viola labradorica
  • 3 x Lychnis flos-cuculi Nana
  • 1 x Viola Molly Sanderson
  • 1 x Saxifraga findling
  • 3 x Corydalis china blue
  • 2 x Saxifraga cloth of gold
  • 1 x Sedum acre
  • 3 x Lychnus as alpina
  • 3 x Astilbe chinensis pumilla
  • 3 x Sagina lime moss
  • 3 x Armeria Armada white
  • 2 x Achillia tomentosa Goldie
  • 2 x Sedum sieboldii
  • 1 x Sedum Dragon’s Blood
  • 3 x Delosperma Yellow Ice
  • 6 x sempervivum mixed Crambe Maritima
  • 1 x Erygium nanum ‘Blue Hobbit’
  • … and lots more besides
  • I’m hoping to add a few more plants into the mix in time. I have a list I’m considering, including some cheeky bulbs and either Sambucus niger or Sea Buckthorn and some wild meadow / sea / alpine grasses.  
After a year of having settled in, and being strewn with wildflower seeds, the Summer of 2015 produced the flowering alpine and meadow face to the garden which was fun: