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Working our way up the hill

Adam2

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Seeing as we were going to be using the whole plot width and the overgrown garden would then be impossible to access (sensibly) with machinery we bit the bullet on a big clear-out. Getting our soakaway in also meant this was a good thing to tackle before the house so we've spent a few months of stripping things out so we could create the soakaway area, building a lot of gabion walls and laying artificial grass. Oh and we built a shed - a very fine shed indeed 🙂

 

The soakaway is deep under the ground in the foreground - which helped to elevate this end of the garden to create quite a nice level area with space to the side for us to run drainage down and to plant some trees & other screening plants.

 

The gabions are part filled with rubble and faced with local gabion stone. Gabion steps are a great idea but they aren't very durable left unfinished so we'll be designing a top surface for them later. 

 

We managed to redistribute a lot of the very sandy ground from the main plot area to level up the ground down here.

 

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Everyone needs a shed and every shed needs a base. Unfortunately there was a misunderstanding somewhere and the orientation of the slab didn't match the shed footprint hence the add-on on the right! 

 

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we have some large over-hanging maritime pines which endlessly drop needles - grass would not last so after much research decided on artificial grass. This is mid-way through installation over a bed of 50mm compacted sand on top of the mainly sand base.

 

 

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From the top looking down

 

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I am curious. If you think pine needles are a problem for grass, what makes you think they will not be a problem for artificial grass?  are you going to hoover it regularly?

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24 minutes ago, Mr Punter said:

It must be very tempting to fell those trees!

Every time I hear a chainsaw I look hoping someone is doing that 🙂 But no, we really like the combination of the pine trees and the water. From the house elevation that's a nice combo and the risk of doing anything without permission is not worth it. There was a fairly recent case which I think ended up with a 75K fine!

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17 minutes ago, ProDave said:

I am curious. If you think pine needles are a problem for grass, what makes you think they will not be a problem for artificial grass?  are you going to hoover it regularly?

We found that a blower does a good job - if you blow in the direction the grass naturally (ironic) falls then the needles go past without too much bother. My neighbour has tried grass for 4 years and it's clearly not working - the needles are very acidic apparently so we'll need to factor that in to planting decisions. 

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2 hours ago, Russell griffiths said:

I’m very jealous of your gabions, I keep looking at where I can use some. 

 Thanks - we're planning to plant a mix of lavender, grape vines and olive trees in front/above them which will soften the look and add some colour. We've a few baskets left so am sure we'll add to them

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You could have some blueberry bushes near those pines, assuming they get a modicum of sun. They may not need an acid top dressing there. Unlike  mine ☹️.

Edited by Ferdinand
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What is the aspect of that slope, and how long are you planning to stay there?

 

If it is a sun trap then I am wondering about eg figs.

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19 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

What is the aspect of that slope, and how long are you planning to stay there?

 SW - the pines/other trees nearby create some shadow until middayish but afternoons through to evening we have good sun exposure.

 

I had a fig at my last house - grow very well (I planted in a bucket with holes in IIRC), may well get some of these in early so they can get established.

 

If you like you can collect as many pine needles as you can carry :-) After the current winds we're going to have bags and bags of them!

 

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Unfortunately I am three hours away.

 

At my parents last house they had a yew tree with about 100 years of needles underneath; ditto Scots pines. Amazing compost.

 

if you need a disposal point, try @pocster‘s lift shaft. Then he can get his fridge down there just by dropping it.

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