Circles, spray paint and another plan for my garden

Well by now I'm pretty sure you know just how much I like a plan!

Our long held plan for our grass - or lawn if we're feeling posh - has been to give it more definition and shape it into a series of intertwining circles. We know that doing this will make our garden look better as our grass has sadly lost its edge and is looking a bit ragged.  

The thing that has been holding us back though is getting it wrong. What we realised this weekend is that it's only spray paint.

We'd bought a can of spray paint with the intention of marking it out and getting going a while back, but after getting all low-tech with a bit of string tied to a stick to mark out the circles, we sprayed our first circle and then came to a grinding halt when it all got a bit too tricky. 

And now a year or so on the grass isn't getting any better. The edge isn't righting itself and I knew we needed to do something about it. Even our gardeners (who cut the trees, mend fences and lay patios) advised us to give our grass an edge the last time they were here. I think they were angling for more work, but have obviously been disappointed!

So there was nothing else for it. We found the now rusting spray can of paint in the shed (miraculously) and set about trying again. This time freehand. What was the worse that could happen?  Well, yes we could have a lawn full of random white marks, but if we got it wrong it would wash off in the rain...

So with spray paint in hand, off I went.  And then I popped upstairs to view my handiwork:

marking out circles on the grass


I wasn't happy with a couple of the circles:

  • the first one (at the bottom of the picture) as the gap between its edge and the patio was too big - even with the small extension I have planned for our patio. Yes it's a new patio, but as I have enough slabs leftover to extend it by one slab's width and to add a dedicated spot on the right for MOH's barbecue, it seems rude not to. And it saves me a job of getting rid of them elsewhere... because they're far too nice to use at the allotment.
  • and the second one which apart from not really looking like a circle, was probably too big. Making it smaller (see the picture below) looks more balanced I think.

So with these changes marked in my head off I went and sprayed some more.

take two

Yes, that looks better. 

And yes we now have lots of random white, sometimes circular patterns marked on our grass and you know what? I'm now more certain it's the right thing to do. What do you think?

This is what it looks like looking back to the house:

circles everywhere

In the gaps between the beds and the edge of the grass circles we'll lay some slate. We probably don't have enough but we've been harbouring a tonne of the stuff since we bought our patio slabs so it'll be nice to see it spread around at least part of the garden at last.

Our next job was to measure how much edging to buy.  This involved MOH and I draping a 5 metre tape measure around the outside edges of the circles - the ones you can see here and a larger part-circle which is obscured by the in-flower yellow forsythia which also hides my greenhouse and MOH's shed from view. 

With a ten percent addition for slack measuring and some leeway, we made it sixty five metres which is quite a lot of edging. Eek!  I'm between two companies right now who both sell metal edging which sinks into the ground with the help of a mallet. If you've got something similar I'd be interested to know what you used,  what you think of it and if you'd use it again.

And all of this not only confirmed how much I like a plan, but also how much of a visual person I am. I could have measured the slabs to make sure we had enough for the extra row of patio, but oh no it made much more sense (to me) to lug the slabs down the length of the garden and lay them roughly in position. Then when I was happy it would work, we took them back again. If our neighbours were watching I'm sure they'd have been amused with all of our gardening antics last weekend.

planning the patio layout

So with a rough plan in place, I now need to:

  • contact the gardeners about laying the patio extension
  • find out how much skips cost
  • look for a random piece of paper which is a deposit we put down on some edging at the Chelsea Flower Show a good few years ago which of course I've now misplaced
  • decide and order the edging and get started.

And then I can move onto the next phase which involves sleepers and even more digging.  I'm definitely feeling inspired and I think this year we could actually get it done. Wish me luck!

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