First Past the Post, How to build


First Past the Post

You need this in your perennial border.

Gardening jobs are just like any other job, sometimes they can
seem very daunting. Just where to start? What is more daunting
than starting with a weed filled field!

The Challenge
The task was to transform this wilderness into an attractive,
natural looking landscape. In the distance you can see a number
of rambling, overgrown hawthorns with a tree growing through
them. These hid a beautiful view of trees and open fields.

Before – a real jungle

After – part of the countryside


Designing the Garden
We wanted the finished garden to look like an extension of the
surrounding landscape. The most distinctive existing feature
was an old lamppost. The client wanted it to stay but felt it
needed new life.

A natural looking pond with cascade was added under the lamppost
to add interest. Since the lamp is lit at night the client could
benefit from this feature at any time.

The overgrown hawthorn made the garden dark, so we decided that
it would be best cut down to about three feet high and made
it into a hedge. This allows much more light into the garden,
which is perfect for the border plants we wanted to use. It
also opens up the stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

We used an informal, curved patio leading to a lawn. The overall
effect is a garden that draws charm from its country setting.

The first job was to clear all those weeds! There were three
options: hand weeding, removing the top couple of inches of
soil by skimming them off with a spade, or using a weed killer.

Hand weeding is very time consuming and labour intensive, and
we did not want to lose topsoil from the garden, so we decided
to use a glyphosphate chemical weed killer. This is a sensitive
issue and you have to be aware of the need to be sparing with
the use of chemicals. This particular type is sprayed on and
absorbed by the vegetation but is neutralised on contact with
the soil.

Tips from the Design Team

  • Do not to use weed killer spray if conditions are windy.
    You may risk damaging precious plants.
  • Be careful where you walk after spraying. Weed killer
    on the soles of your boots can easily rub off as you cross
    your prized lawn. Days later you will find your footsteps
    reappearing as patches of scorched and withered grass. Believe
    me – we speak from experience!



A Golden Pond
Deck Pond
Summer Deck
Hill Side
Pond Designs
Low Manintenance
From Scratch
Garden Window