Jamie Oliver

New House, New Garden

SEP 15 @ 03:57

by GeoffP

Well, not strictly true, the house is 50 yrs ood, and the garden has been only lightly maintained for a good few years.

We brought over many plants from our previous place - mostly herbs, but also anything moveable. We also brought the greenhouse. Unfortunately the contents of the greenhouse didn't survive the move sad.

First job in the new garden was to fell three Leylandii to open the place up - I don't normally fell trees, butfor these weeds I make an exception. Then came the ivy - which ran the full width of the garden at the bottom, and concealed a dry-stone wall (which we didn't even know we had). The ivy was over 8 ft high, and spread out nearly 10 ft thick, in a vast tangled mass. It has taken 4 weeks, we've had to borrow a truck a few tines just to transport the ivy clippings to the composting centre. There were  couple of trees, several trunks which had been felled and dumped, as well as all sorts of bushes which had been completely swamped out.

We're going for complete clearance of the area, as it will be our vegetable patch, so we've had to poison the stumps, preparatory to digging them out (don't usually go in for poisoning, bu ivy is notoriously difficult to clear. Once the stumps are out - about 4 weeks time - and the ground levelled, we'll cover it with some old carpet, and leave it over winter (that should kill all the weeds). Next spring we'll lay out tge beds andget planting.

Next job is to site the greenhouse, which will be on the south east side of the garden (where the Leylandii were. At the moment its sitting in the middle of the lawn! The roots are now dealt with - 1/2 a days work for two of us with axe & spade - and next weekend (hopefully) we'll be digging the foundations and and laying the floor, and it should be in position by the end of the month.

Meanwhile, we've got the herbs (in pots) growing (and being used) in a temporary "herb garden" near the kitchen door, and some baby spinach and mixed leaves growing in containers (planted rather late, but nevertheless seem to be happy).

The greenhouse isn't heated, so we don't get a great deal of use out of it over winter, but we have a south facing double-glazed heated conservatory, which we are going to use for crops as well as decorative planting. It has a sort of "jungle" feel to it at the moment, with an 8' umbrella tree, swiss cheese plants, a couple of dragon trees, aspidistra, etc. etc. etc.. Also a wall full of succulents and cactii. I think I need to build some staging for trays to getting some planting done (I think I need to get rid of the settee that's in there at the moment smile ).

And then there is the house to complete. Most of its done - kitchen finished, living and bedrooms done,carpers laid, curtains almost finished, paintwork done. Once that's all over, there's the garage to tackle  - its a glory-hole at the moment, stacked floor to ceiling with tools, equipment, computers, furniture.

One day I'll get to put my feet up!

12 replies

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SEP 15 @ 05:28

by Cindy

I hope you have taken heaps of before and after shots Geoff to post here - even 'under construction' photos would be great.I'd love to see the dry stone wall.

I understand how you feel about the Ivy. We had a smallish one in our back garden and it took (after poisoning) 3 days of non stop hard labour for OG to dig the blasted thing out!!! We did gain 3 sq metres of ground though and it cut down on the mosquitos too.

I should try and dig up the photos and put them up here.

SEP 27 @ 10:52

by jeena

Hi there you have a great blog,lovely recipes. Feel free to visit my blog too smile 

Jeena xx

APR 30 @ 12:27

by eric


JUL 25 @ 16:13

by Osvaldo

I am really happy for your house and the way you are carrying things !

It is really good to prepare the garden by your own !

Congrats !!!

JUL 30 @ 23:42

by Maree

Geoff, the front of my house is "ivy over-taken". Don't "do" herbicides/pesticides due to a small dog and the brush and ring tailed possums etc who call "my place", "their place".

Suggestions? Apart from cutting the wretched stuff off at the roots and pouring boiling water on same?

JUL 30 @ 23:43

by Maree

Geoff, the front of my house is "ivy over-taken". Don't "do" herbicides/pesticides due to a small dog and the brush and ring tailed possums etc who call "my place", "their place".

Suggestions? Apart from cutting the wretched stuff off at the roots and pouring boiling water on same?

JAN 10 @ 08:30

by butcher

Hi geoff sorry you had to go to my blog but it was my first time doing this.
About the mallee roast yes the plate can be longer but not to long it make it hard to roll and why mallee well it is a tree here and the bark falls  off and the plate represent the bark.  i will post photo later  so you can see i hope

FEB 06 @ 19:58

by runwestierun

Hi Geoff,

I've never really communicated directly with you on a forum, but I wanted to thank you.  I have learned so much from your posts and I really appreciate how much thought and knowledge you put into your replies.  It really came to light for me when I was reading the no-knead bread post.  "Well,"  I thought,  "Mark Bittman likes this bread.  It's probably good."  But then I saw that you liked it and that sealed the deal for me, I made it and I love it.  But then I thought, "Wow, I value Geoff's opinion over Mark Bittman's.  I should probably tell him."   Thank you very much for sharing what you know.


MAR 19 @ 15:50

by margidenchef

Dear Geoff I am writing on this to see how you are as I haven't seen you lately.  It looks as though you had a great big job with the house and garden.  I wonder is it finished now.  I'd love to hear from you.  Margidenchefwave

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