Before And After: The Dragon Bed And The Head Gardener’s Walk

Front garden planting

Here is today’s photograph of Jackie’s up to date planting of the front garden featured yesterday. The gravelly soil has been supplemented by earth dug out from around the corner.

Cleared area

When we cleared an area rampant with bramble beneath a ficus so leggy that its limbs sought comfort in the neighbouring fir, holly, and bay trees, we revealed choked camellias and other plants cowering against our neighbours’ fence. This photograph is from 19th May 2014.

Stepping stones

The thought then was that we would create a further bed with stepping stones for access. These were dropped into place by 27th July.

Jackie walking by her path

Two days later, a serpentine path was taking shape. We had levelled the soil and countersunk these concrete panels scavenged from other parts of the garden.

Stones in path

In order to achieve the sinuous shape we created triangle spaces filled with stones found in the flower beds.

Path round fir tree

What was now named The Head Gardener’s Walk wound round the fir tree.

Beach stones in path

A trip to Milford on Sea on 31st July was required to complete the insertion of pebbles. A hip young gentleman would have been proud of the effect of the weighing down of my voluminous work trouser pockets as I clambered from the beach to the car.

Head gardener's path

By 24th February 2015 the Dragon’s Bed, created in the cleared space, was becoming established.

Dragon's bed

 This is what it looked like four days ago;

Head Gardener's Walk

and the Head Gardener’s Walk yesterday.

This evening we dined on the milder dishes from Hordle Chinese Take Away. Jackie drank Hoegaarden, and I finished the malbec first opened five days ago.


  1. I guess the environmental police weren’t around when you collected those beautiful stones by the sea….lucky you! The story of your garden is such an amazing one.

  2. I’d love to see an aerial photo of your garden to visualize the size and scope of your work.
    How was the Malbec after 5 days of gasping for air?

  3. Wow! Derrick, you and Jackie have created such a wonderful and creative garden….a real encouragement. As we transitioned to move into our place, I was collecting chunks of bush sandstone to make a circularly garden in our front lawn. So I can relate to your pockets full of pebbles and just be thankful you’re not a character in one of Geoffle’s novels or those trousers full of pebbles would have had a catastrophe! It seems to be a good idea to stay out of novels. Characters seem to end up with complication on complication and I have enough trouble managing things as it is! xx Rowena

  4. Aha, back on the Malbec, you must be feeling better! I love the image of you in your ‘hip’ trousers. And of course, the garden is looking lovely. Those pebbles are beautiful amongst those slabs.

  5. Lokks lovely. We particularly like pebble effect. The dragon’s bed quite befits his status. But we thought they were partial to gold. Is this an ecologically conscious dragon?

  6. Putting stones into the triangle portions between stepping stones is a great idea. It makes the path look complete. The curves are serpent-like, and suit a dragon garden, even though it’s the Head Gardener’s Walk. Does the curving walk go anywhere near the dragon bed?

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