From Leylandi to a floral garden

In 2018 I moved to the Hampshire coast following retirement, the outlook from my ground floor flat was on to three enormous leylandi trees on one side of the drive and another three on the other side. Imagine my joy when in 2019 the ones to the right were removed and in 2020 the ones on the left came down. The difference was amazing!

Whilst not everyone is interested in gardening, my neighbour and I miss having our own gardens. There is a regular maintenance contract gardener who mows the lawns and trims the hedges around the drive. There is a large garden area at the rear mainly laid to lawn but our gardening time is spent mainly at the front, not just because we look out on to it, but to have a good looking entrance pays dividends.

We found the soil under where the trees were was wonderful to work, a product of many years of pine needles composting down. So we started to turn the bare soil into flower and shrub beds with colourful, shrubs requiring little maintenance. The tree surgeons left the tree stumps and we put large containers on them, filled with plants such as fuschias and small shrubs.

Gardening was a lifeline to many during lockdown and it certainly was for us. We sourced plants and shrubs from friends and donations as well as sowing seeds for herbaceous plants. When full lockdown was lifted we bought spring bulbs had a planting session. The garden is now in its fourth year and looking established.

Right hand side flower bed March 2022
Left hand side flower beds March 2022
Spring border along the drive March 2022

The side bed between us and our neighbours has had no planning, we have just planted with gay abandon from cuttings, plants turfed out of patio pots as they’ve outgrown them, the odd shrub from the market and moved a few things around. I had a small alstroemeria ‘indian summer’ on my allotment garden which was not happy so brought it down here and now it’s thriving.

March 2022 – alstroemeria coming through despite the thug behind it.

This mishmash of a border looks glorious in the summer, a complete patchwork of colour.

The side bed in May 2021
The side bed in July 2021

This year will be one for sorting and moving now most things are established and we can see our mistakes. Now I’ve started blogging again you will be able to follow our progress.


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