The Potting Shed by Tim Brayford Landscapes Isle of Wight

 

Tim Brayford Landscapes – The potting shed

The potting shed was full of old fashioned charm.  I didn’t appreciate it at the time. What sixteen year old would? It was built of rough bricks in a warm shade of red with a slate roof. A wooden door was on the left hand side, its bottom edge ragged from rot and rodent’s teeth. There was a window set into the brick under which grew a neat row of Box. Closely pruned for making wreaths. Stepping through the door was like going back to 1872 not 1972. A mixture of stone slabs, brick and concrete made up the floor.  An ‘economy job’ as the boss used to say, ‘left-overs from something else’. All the gardening hand tools were hung on the left hand wall on square ended cut-nails. The wooden handles worn dark and smooth by decades of sweaty hands. Hoes and rip hooks made from proper forged steel which took an edge. Spade blades and fork tines worn down from years of use in stony ground.

 The walls had once been lime-washed. Dust had accrued on the rough surface and a fine grey lace of old cobwebs hung between the wall and the exposed wooden roof beams. On the right hand side were planking shelves. These were stacked with flat pack cardboard boxes variously used for tomatoes, cucumbers and strawberries. They stuck out over the edge of the shelves and looked in imminent danger of falling off, but force of habit kept them there. There was a stout wooden workbench under the window, its surface covered with a rough grey blanket. Here, tomatoes were graded, wreaths were made and seeds were sown. The potting shed was never used for potting.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Pots

 Handy stuff was pushed out to the corners of the bench. A selection of old jam jars held florist’s wires, fine rusty dust gathering in the bottoms. They made a musical, metallic jingle when moved. A ceramic pot held pens and pencils. Odd amounts of wire were curled into circles and stood propped against the window frame. An old metal Oxo tin, its colours turning into rust, held a selection of small wooden dibbers for pricking out bedding plants. I became notorious for putting them down and then forgetting where I had put them. One of my workmates carved me a mahogany dibber with a hole in the end, through which he threaded a piece of string. He hung it round my neck like an Olympic medal causing much laughter from everyone else. I still have the dibber thirty odd years later, minus its string.

The roof beams were low enough to touch and all sorts of small items were hung there. Bags of elastic bands, bags of bags and string, lots of small bundles of string. These were a speciality of the boss’s father. He was affectionately known as the ‘Old Chap’. Well into his eighties he would shuffle out from the house around eleven in the morning and cast his pale, watery blue eyes over the contents of all the glasshouses. This took him some time as they were on quite a steep hill. He would tweak a plant here, move a tray there, and pick up string. He finished his tour of inspection in the shed. He would stand at the bench and slowly wind the bits of string around his fingers. Taking the long end he tied the bundle through the middle and put a loop in the end. He then selected a nail on the beams and hung it up. It sometimes took him a couple of goes as his aim wasn’t good. There was all sorts of string, from hairy sisal to orange binder twine. And there they hung, a flutter of bizarre butterflies. Job well done, he would adjust his flat tweed cap more firmly on his head and shuffle back indoors for his lunch.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – The Potting Shed

Please visit our Tim Brayford Landscapes  website or contact us by email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com or phone 07890 869918 to discuss how we can assist you with your landscape garden project.

 

Isle of Wight Garden Gallery 7 by Tim Brayford Landscapes

 

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Japanese Anemones provide late summer colourTim Brayford Landscapes – A lovely display of daffodils

Tim Brayford Landscapes – The vivid red stems of dogwoods in winter

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Combine spring flowering bulbs with summer flowering shrubs & herbaceous for a continuous display

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Bees love marsh marigolds

Tim Brayford Landscapes were established in 1980 and are British Association of Landscape Industries National Award Winners for Garden Design & Construction.
Our services encompass the initial ideas through to landscaping and aftercare.
We are experienced in a broad range of projects including the design & planting of entire gardens or the addition of individual features like lawn seeding & turfing, raised beds, water gardens & pools, ground shaping and cultivation, installation of irrigation systems, tree, shrub & herbaceous border planting, establishing wildlife gardens & ponds, wildflower meadows. We undertake specialist maintenance work such as fruit, shrub & rose pruning.
We offer professional garden advice and artisan hand drawn garden plans which are a particularly good starting point for the more elaborate projects.
To learn more about what we have to offer please visit our website, email us timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com or call 07890869918


How to attract garden birds & other wildlife by Tim Brayford Landscapes Isle of Wight

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Blue Tits are a popular garden bird

How to attract garden birds by Tim Brayford Landscapes

The presence of wild birds are one of the things that many people enjoy about their gardens but what do these birds like and how can they be encouraged?
Feeding birds is a good start, especially during the colder late autumn to early spring months, October to April. Place a bird table where it can easily be observed, ideally close to a thick hedge or some dense shrubs. This will help small birds to evade the predatory patrols of a marauding sparrowhawk, expect a few casualties though as the hawk needs to feed as well.
Choose a variety of foods such as seeds and nuts and fatty strips of bacon or fat balls as these will help to feed a broad range of birds. Putting the food out in the morning and during the early afternoon will allow plenty of time for it to be cleared up, spilled feedstuffs left on the ground after dark will encourage rats so is best avoided. Cease feeding during the spring as nature comes back to life, the natural foods that a good garden habitat will now provide is far preferable for the birds and their young.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Sparrowhawks feed opportunistically around bird tables

Birds and other wildlife thrive in a litter free and slightly untidy garden. Variety is they key, areas of mown and unmown grass with an array of meadow flowers and clovers will be attractive to grazers, seed eaters and insectivorous birds which will feed on the invertebrates to be found there. Mixed borders of nectar rich herbaceous and flowering shrubs will attract a multitude of insect life too, whilst the damper environment of a decaying log pile will provide a home for creatures such as toads and woodlice.

Tim Brayford Landscapes- Hawthorn Hedges feed many birds

Thick native hedging like Hawthorn will provide both dense nesting cover for many birds and autumn berries for migrants such as fieldfares to feast on. Nest boxes of different designs and sizes are available to suit both small birds even for the larger species such as Barn Owls, as a rule of thumb sight these out of direct sunlight and away from prevailing winds.
Don’t forget about water, a regularly filled birdbath is good but a wildlife pond is even better. Insects such as midges, dragon and damsel flies will feed birds such as swallows and swifts, whilst surrounding vegetation can provide nesting cover for aquatic birds like moorhens.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – A large skipper butterfly feeding on geranium “Wargrave’s Pink

To learn more about what Tim Brayford Landscapes has to offer please visit our website , email us timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com or call 07890869918

Isle of Wight Garden Gallery 6 by Tim Brayford Landscapes

Tim Brayford Landscapes – A lovely display of white peonies

 

Tim Brayford Landscapes – A decorative mix of hydrangea , golden hop & clematis Polish Spirit

 

Tim Brayford Landscapes- A fountain pool casts relaxing sounds across the garden

 

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Toads thrive around the wildlife pond

 

Tim Brayford Landscapes – A circular lawn, paving & planting make the best use of this small space

Tim Brayford Landscapes were established in 1980 and are British Association of Landscape Industries National Award Winners for Garden Design & Construction.
Our services encompass the initial ideas through to landscaping and aftercare.
We are experienced in a broad range of projects including the design & planting of entire gardens or the addition of individual features like lawn seeding & turfing, raised beds, water gardens & pools, ground shaping and cultivation, installation of irrigation systems, tree, shrub & herbaceous border planting, establishing wildlife gardens & ponds, wildflower meadows. We undertake specialist maintenance work such as fruit, shrub & rose pruning and have both a mini-digger and mini-tractor available for hire.
We offer professional garden advice and artisan hand drawn garden plans which are a particularly good starting point for the more elaborate projects.
To learn more about what we have to offer please visit our website , email us timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com or call 07890869918


Isle of Wight Garden Gallery 5 by Tim Brayford Landscapes

Tim Brayford Landscapes – A delightful scented rose arch

 

Tim Brayford Landscapes – A stumpery encourages beneficial wildlife

 

Tim Brayford Landscapes – A spring display of Aquilegia

 

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Combine different types of paving with informal shapes to create a tranquil retreat.

 

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Yellow flag irises edge this wildlife pool.

 

Tim Brayford Landscapes were established in 1980 and are British Association of Landscape Industries National Award Winners for Garden Design & Construction.
Our services encompass the initial ideas through to landscaping and aftercare.
We are experienced in a broad range of projects including the design & planting of entire gardens or the addition of individual features like lawn seeding & turfing, raised beds, water gardens & pools, ground shaping and cultivation, installation of irrigation systems, tree, shrub & herbaceous border planting, establishing wildlife gardens & ponds, wildflower meadows. We undertake specialist maintenance work such as fruit, shrub & rose pruning and have both a mini-digger and mini-tractor available for hire.
We offer professional garden advice and artisan hand drawn garden plans which are a particularly good starting point for the more elaborate projects.
To learn more about what we have to offer please visit our website www.timbrayford.co.uk, email us timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com or call 07890869918


Garden Ideas by Tim Brayford Landscapes Isle of Wight

Tim Brayford Landscapes – A tranquil seating area amongst herbs & grape vines

Garden Ideas

 Your initial  thoughts

Start by assessing your future needs for your garden, who is going to use it and for what purpose. Does it need dividing up into tranquil areas for more mature family members or perhaps play areas for children or pets, do you want to attract wildlife like garden birds ? And what about maintenance, do you simply want areas of grass or do you have the time and skills to develop the classical country house borders of mixed shrubs and herbaceous plants?

Develop a theme

Thinking in terms of the overall look if your house is of a striking contemporary design you may find that architectural plants with bold foliage and areas of gravel and paving in finely dressed stone or concrete may be suitable, whereas if you live in a traditional country cottage fragrant honeysuckles and roses with winding paths in brick or roughly hewn paving slabs are preferable.

What to do next

Keep a notebook of your initial thoughts and perhaps do a rough sketch as well. Take a walk around your garden, taking a hard look at things that are past their best. Are paving slabs loose or broken, does the pond leak, are existing plants to your liking, over-mature or gappy? Are the existing features where you would like them to be, are there views that can beneficially be opened up or things that require hiding from view? These are the sort of questions that you need to ask yourself.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – The blank canvas, after the initial clearance of the concreted over surface!

Marking Out

The next stage is to get out into your garden and mark out what you intend to do, some sticks and string are useful or the kind of marker paint that is used on building sites. This is available in a variety of colours, you can use a different one for paving, ponds, planting, or lawns etc. Take care to allow plenty of width for paths, space for seating on paved areas and lawns if required, and allow plenty of space for plants to grow and mature into. Take a few photos from different angles of what you have marked out for future reference.

Take time to reflect

Now refer back to the notes that you made earlier, is what you wish to do practical, does it fit the available space, can it be achieved and is it possible within your budget?  Do any of the features need moving around from where you initially placed them, do others need to be added or even discarded? Again, these are the kind of questions that you need to be asking yourself. If at this stage your thoughts have turned into a bit of a fog you may benefit from some advice from a professional garden designer, otherwise you are now ready to proceed to with your project.

To learn more about what Tim Brayford Landscapes have to offer please visit our website www.timbrayford.co.uk, email us timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com or call 07890869918

 

Isle of Wight Garden Gallery 4 by Tim Brayford Landscapes

Tim Brayford Landscapes – A brick edge circular lawn with mixed peripheral planting makes best use of this small space.

 

Tim Brayford Landscapes – A delightfully scented cottage rose

 

Tim Brayford Landscapes – A late summer flowering border

 

Tim Brayford Landscapes – combine herb and vegetable plantings together in a raised bed.

 

Tim Brayford Landscapes – summer flowers

Tim Brayford Landscapes were established in 1980 and are British Association of Landscape Industries National Award Winners for Garden Design & Construction.
Our services encompass the initial ideas through to landscaping and aftercare.
We are experienced in a broad range of projects including the design & planting of entire gardens or the addition of individual features like lawn seeding & turfing, raised beds, water gardens & pools, ground shaping and cultivation, installation of irrigation systems, tree, shrub & herbaceous border planting, establishing wildlife gardens & ponds, wildflower meadows. We undertake specialist maintenance work such as fruit, shrub & rose pruning.
We offer professional garden advice and artisan hand drawn garden plans which are a particularly good starting point for the more elaborate projects.
To learn more about what we have to offer please visit our website www.timbrayford.co.uk, email us timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com or call 07890869918