Site Clearance for a New Garden

Pile of logs and twigsSite clearance is best done before new planting begins

Garden site clearance is best completed before any new planting commences so that you can begin work on your new garden design with a clean slate.

An unhurried approach to the initial work on a new garden is often advisable as this gives you plenty of time to observe how the garden changes during the seasons. After some months of observation you should not only learn where the sunlight falls, and the route it takes across your garden, but well established perennials should also have had a chance to come out, allowing you to see what you want to keep and what to discard.

For my new garden, after three months I felt I had learnt enough and had the time at last to start making real changes. The first job was to clear the site of unwanted clutter. However, one thing that drives me mad is to see home improvement shows where a garden's contents are unceremoniously dumped in a skip to be replaced by inferior quality but shiny new tat. Everyone has a right to buy tat, of course, but what a shame to fill our landfills with lots of useful items, only to then shell out hard earned cash buying the same sort of thing a few months later when the need arises.

Recycling Opportunities

My first job was to rid myself of an ugly asbestos shed. During its destruction, I found very many unharmed 1950s newspapers, they will serve well as future framed mementoes of a bygone age.

As I cleared the site of rubbish, I found an old hosepipe, which has become an integral part of my new water feature. I broke down the wooden frame of the asbestos shed into wood for DIY and wood for my open fire, saving me a small fortune over the following months. One thing there is particularly no excuse for is binning wood when you have an open fire.

A pile of weathered bamboo sticks did for my first, poverty stricken runner bean frame and rotten wood was piled up in a corner to encourage wildlife back into the garden.

Conscientious Gardening

In fact, out of all the things I inherited from the previous occupier hardly anything made it to the bin. Conserving resources both at home and in the wider context is part of being a conscientious and successful gardener. Your plants need clean air and neutral rain and native British species are unlikely to do well in increasing average temperatures. All in all, good gardening is green gardening and finding new uses for old things is a very important part of that.

As you will note through these accounts, not much was instantly useful but practically everything I saved has come in handy since my first clearing a year ago.

I hope this inspires you to think before your throw things away in your initial clearing. After all, as my granny used to say, "look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves."

This article was written by Joe Munford.


Filed under Garden Design.

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