In July we started to do some serious work on the whole
site. We needed to return it to its former state - following a dispute
with a local farmer. The driveway,
the patio, paths and slabbed areas, the ornamental gravels around the
house, and large parts of the grassed areas of the garden - all needed
to be restored to their former good state!
But before work began on all this, we decided to tackle
a somewhat neglected area of the garden - the rockery. This lies in
front of the bedroom 'wing' of the house, and was originally designed in
two parts with stepping stones along the back, and steps down between
the two parts of the rockery. Originally it had been defined by log
borders, and had been planted with heathers and also some trees. Over
the years the heathers and other hardy ground-cover plants had spread
into a huge tangle, and the trees had grown too big for the location,
and were blocking the light into the house, as well as overhanging the
main path to the front door. The stepping stones too had been lost in
the over-growth of the undergrowth!
So we asked out garden maintenance team, John and Ricky
to asses the project, and give us their ideas. And then they started
Here is a shot of the 'before' and beside it is the start
of the work. The first stage was to remove all the unwanted
plants, old tree roots, and everything that was hiding the 'bare
bones' of the original design elements.
Next they had to lift
all the rocks and stepping stones, so that they could re-lay
them with good weed-suppressing material, and start to re-lay
everything ....... and part way through the work we decided to
remove the fir tree from the far end - as it blocks all the
views of the garden from the front door .....
|the basics are left in place here
||and then we asked them to remove the fir tree from the front
door. The root takes some lifting!
And we decided to keep some of the tree trunk, as it shows our
life here, we plan to get it polished, and it is 'our life in
And the new weed suppressing layer is laid, and cut-outs made for the
stepping stones and steps.
Then the blue chips are laid and the new rockery takes shape.
|And they start to place curb stone edging round part of the
rockery to give it definition. We like the idea, and think it
might be a great idea to extend to other areas of the driveway
and paved areas too.
|So now it is nearly complete, only the area close to the
house remains to be covered in the blue stones.
and it all looks completely transformed!
|One unforeseen outcome has been that the local cats took to
the rockery with great delight, and used it as an enormous
cat-litter tray! Hey ho! Life is never simple!
So we searched online and found a range of cat/dog/animal
scaring devices. We decided on one called PestBye.
It uses 4 x AA batteries, and has a simple spike to stick in
the ground. There are 2 sensors to set, and we chose settings
recommended in reviews on Amazon UK. They have an 80 degree wide
range, and about a 40ft reach. They work by emitting a high
frequency sound that the animals can hear but we can't. And when
activated there is a slight clicking sound and a blue light,
that tell us that they ARE working, and also alert us to when
the batteries need to be changed.
Happily, since we placed two strategically to more or less
cover the rockery, we have had no more votive offerings from the
We have developed the habit of 'walking the range' every few
days to check that they are working (we have more now - see the
driveway page) and to
reassure ourselves that the new work done on the site is not
being despoiled by the local dogs or cats!
On to the driveway
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