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Brian Higginson, My Garden (TN35)

Soil types: Clay, Loamy

Soil drainage: Moist but well-drained, Moisture-retentive

Soil pH: Alkaline

Light: Full Sun

Aspect: North, South, East, West

Exposure: Sheltered

Hardiness: Hardy (H4)

Landscaped in 1.3 acres of land which surrounds a barn built when wooden pegs were used to hold the beams together ?1600. There is a pond surrounded be a small courtyard area and some attractive very old stone walls. The beds are shaped like the waves of the sea. There are a number (4) established trees including a 300 year old oak tree.

Brian Higginson's garden plan


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Brian Higginson

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Gardening expertise
Very Keen

Biggest gardening accomplishments
Converting a field previously used as a home to pigs, horses, cows and chickens surrounding a barn into a garden. We have assimilated old stone walls and extended them. With the help of a professional garden architect and structural engineer have introduced a pond, a 10,000 litre water harvesting tank, a pump system to keep the pond clear and a sprinkler watering system which comes one for a few minutes at dawn and sunset. Some of the electricity comes from solar panels in the garden which are south facing. We have foxes, badgers, ducks, pheasants and a multitude of small birds which come to feed off the seeds provided in the feeding area

Biggest gardening frustrations
Having put down Ipe decking we unfortunately used "Low film build, deep penetrating moisture resistant timber oil" (very expensive but strongly recommended) called Rystix on wood that had not dried out properly. The oil did not penetrate the wood and has been removed in large patches with the snow. It was also the wrong colour. Our experience is that mahogany should be avoided. We wish we had tested an off cut first and would probably have gone for natural/light yellow or clear. http://www.rystix.co.za/ Second big frustration is not employing someone who knew what they were doing to build the pond. A water proof membrane was not used behind the cement structure and the roman bath effect cannot now be achieved because of leakages

The gardening project I am currently working on
Paving the courtyard behind the barn, adding one more bed in front of the decking and completing the walled meditation garden.


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