Kerrie Lloyd-DawsonEvery corner counts in a small garden

It is easy to neglect a dark, overgrown corner and to think that nothing useful or attractive can be done with the space, but with a bit of courage and creative thinking you can transform something like this…

The dark neglected corner of the garden under a large conifer

The dark neglected corner of the garden under a large conifer

into something like this:

Building a new water feature and replanting created a place we can now enjoy

Building a new water feature and replanting created a place we can now enjoy

This corner of our garden is shaded by a large Acer and a Noble Fir (Abies procera), which we understand had been a Christmas tree re-homed into the garden many years earlier. It was not until we removed the evergreen shrubs filling the space underneath the trees that we discovered a sizeable area crying out for development. The previous owners had mentioned a pond, but we were surprised to unearth a damaged fiberglass pond liner and lots of rockery stone. We put our thinking caps on.

Finding part of an old fiberglass pond during our excavations

Finding part of an old fiberglass pond during our excavations

It took a few weeks and many cups of tea before we had with the idea of constructing a water feature with its sump in part of the pond liner, and making an alpine bed in the rest. However, things didn’t quite go to plan. The rockery stone didn’t provide the right look, so a ton of blue slate was ordered. Once the slate had been arranged we filled behind it with compost, but later learnt that topsoil and grit would have been much better. We then planted lots of alpines, but discovered that the area was too wet and shady for most of them.

Excavating for a new pond and positioning the new slate

Excavating for a new pond and positioning the new slate

After many plant losses we did our research properly and started seeking out plants suitable for the conditions. The planting continues to be challenging, and our bantam chickens cause some destruction as they treat it as their own miniature garden, but the area is now well-established and provides much pleasure.

So much more to enjoy with new plantings and the rectangular pond

So much more to enjoy with a tapestry of new plantings and the rectangular pond

What was once a dark and neglected corner now contains a bench which catches the afternoon sun. The chickens perch on the arms of the bench, the cats sunbath on top of a wooden water barrel, and we enjoy a cup of tea and a lovely view of the garden framed by the tree branches.

Beautiful view with the new pond and plants

Beautiful view with the new pond and plants

The plants that have been successful on the sunny, sloping edges:

Erodium Stephanie
Lithodora Heavenly Blue
Crassula sarcocaulis
Sempervivum – various
Sedum spathulifolium purpureum
Sedum Blue Cushion
 

The plants that have been successful in the shadier and damper areas:

Trifolium repens Dragons Blood
Rhododendron Patty Bee
Campanula garganica Dickson’s Gold
Saxifraga umbrosa variegata
Sysyrinchium Janet Denman

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Kerrie Lloyd-Dawson

About Kerrie Lloyd-Dawson

Passionate gardener, plantaholic and garden blogger. Kerrie gardens in England and, with the assistance of her partner, cats and chickens, has turned an ordinary medium-sized garden into a something much less ordinary; described by one visitor as a beautiful botanic garden in miniature. Kerrie is always looking for plants that are rare or unusual, trying out new planting combinations and visiting other gardens for inspiration. Kerrie writes about plants and projects on A Garden Less Ordinary

3 thoughts on “Every corner counts in a small garden

  1. Amanda Commins on said:

    Hi Kerrie. Your ‘hidden corner’ looks really beautiful now. I can imagine it is a wonderful place to sit and relax.

  2. Kerrie on said:

    Yes it is, made even more special by the fact that it had been ‘lost’. Every time we sit there we can’t believe that it took us years to appreciate the potential.

  3. David on said:

    Brilliant , thought provoking and very helpful. Thank you. Keep up the interesting articles please. David and Sue <

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