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Chilli-head
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Post by freebird on 2nd November 2015, 11:19 am

A project that is coming to fruition at last, and serving several purposes. We had a driveway and patio laid a few years ago, and had nothing but problems since. Won't bore you with the details, but the latest issue was that the ugly, badly made concrete patio edge was starting to fall away, causing blocks to subside. In the meantime, I had been trying to grow things in front of the concrete to hide it, but it became infested with bindweed which rooted into the blocks. So about 18 months ago, dug the plants out and have been treating the bindweed.

Back in July, the man's friend The Driveway Doctor came and fixed our patio. This is what we had before he mended it.

The loggery Patio10

And this is what I have done over the last couple of weekends. I call it a loggery (sort of rockery, but with logs).

The bulk of soil and logs will help support the new patio edging. The logs used were from next door's massive bay tree. Unfortunately we found they ruined the chain saw blade and were unable to cut them, and they've been lurking around the garden for a couple of years now. And now, finally, I have somewhere to grow those plants that like dappled shade such as primroses, anemones, hellebores, cyclamen, violets etc. Planting not finished yet as the left side is hotter and drier in summer, so I need to find things that will tolerate that.

The loggery Logger10
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Post by Ploshkin on 2nd November 2015, 9:44 pm

Look forward to seeing some pictures of that when it matures. I think the primrose family is one of my favourites and particularly suited to our less than sunny conditions here. The plants you list are the very ones that I am getting going in my riverside plot ( extended this year). Something else that might go in your loggery are some of the small varieties of hardy geranium, I've got a couple that are really pretty. I also have a low growing polemonium with blue flowers but can't remember what it is called
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Post by Chilli-head on 3rd November 2015, 1:33 pm

Is the hotter, drier bit near to the the kitchen door ? I am thinking of herbs.

I presume that the chainsaw-defeating bay will take a long time to decay, but as it does it will provide a home for all sorts of mini wildlife.
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Post by freebird on 3rd November 2015, 2:26 pm

I have, since the photo was taken, put in some low growing hardy geraniums, Ploshkin. Great minds and all that.....

And funny you should mention herbs CH. About 5 feet even further to the left is a very hot, dry bed against the garage wall. So the herbs are going in there.
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Post by FloBear on 10th November 2015, 2:41 pm

That's such an improvement already, Freebird. And something lovely to look forward to come Spring. Are there any bulbs that may be suitable there too?
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Post by freebird on 10th November 2015, 4:16 pm

Yes indeed - already planted with crocuses, snowdrops, chinodoxa, anemone blanda and snakes head fritillary.
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Post by FloBear on 11th November 2015, 9:19 am

Oooh, love them all. Snakeshead fritillary a special favourite.
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Post by Chilli-head on 18th October 2016, 4:07 pm

A year on, how is your loggery working out Freebird ?  I'm interested in the context of my Hugelkultur experiment.  Any sign of benefit or detriment from the (presumably decaying a little) wood ?
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Post by freebird on 18th October 2016, 9:12 pm

Oh thanks for asking, CH. I'm really really pleased with it. Tried a few times to photograph it, but never looks like anything in the pictures. It runs from shady to sunny, so the planting has to vary accordingly. More hellebores up the shady end, primroses in the middle and some sprawling hardy geraniums at the sunny end. Lots and lots of bulbs, so it is prettiest in spring.

The bark has fallen away from the bay logs, but as I've bark mulched it all, it just matches in. The logs are splitting, but not showing any sign of quick deterioration. The main downside is that slugs find the underside of the log retainers conducive to a comfortable existence. The other downside is that the dog thinks it is a convenient 'stepping stone', up ton the patio.

Don't think I mentioned that in the spring I made a mini loggery the other side of the path. That is very sunny and can be dryish, so has Mediterranean herbs and a cistus.

Will look out the pics I took and see if any are worth posting.
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Post by freebird on 18th October 2016, 9:16 pm

Ah, I didn't really answer your question, did I. I would say that at this early stage, the wood doesn't appear to be decaying. That was partly why I used it. We found it impossible to cut with chainsaw, and those bits we did manage were hopeless for burning unless bone dry. So we were left with some very large pieces of bay tree taking up space in the garden. I reckoned, being so hard to cut and to burn, it wasn't going to rot too quickly.
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