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My Garden aspirations
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Nina



Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Posts: 193
Location: Wimborne Dorset

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 7:41 pm    Post subject: My Garden aspirations Reply with quote

I have a large garden and been with it now nearly ten years. When I first took it over all it contained was a nearly dead wisteria, a few cotoneaster plants that had apparently died, the front garden was knee high in strap grass, and I found a Chanomeles (Japanese Quince) three dead rose bushes a forest of daffodils that didn't flower, snowdrops appeared the following year, and the back garden we dug out a colapsed shed, and brambles and nettles, and huge slabs of concrete all over the place!
I soon got planting and have Blackthorn, Hawthorne, Pyrocantha, climbing roses and honysuckle all closely planted in a corner, more hawthorn box and conifers, with sweetpeas and clematis all interwoven with budleas and dogwood and st johns wort! Ice plants and primroses, azaleas, grasses all attract the birds! My new prarie border gets attacked in springtime for the soft fluffy heads make great bedding for the birds! The lawn is mossy ( I refuse to kill it off as the birds make great use of all that in their nests) I have some maturing acers in the middle of the garden for the birds to hide in on their way to the feeding stations, and an orchard where the birds come to the feeders hanging in them ( feed the birds in the fruit trees and they eat the aphids!) soft fruit is the trickiest as I get very little ripen as the blackbirds have scoffed them all before they are properly ripe, so last year I moaned at the blackbirds and said I didn't mind them having some but could I please have some too! Oddly enough they then left the fruit alone! I actually had some blackcurrants for the first time!
Anyone wanting any ideas feel free to ask as I still have some wonderful ideas on birdlovers gardens! I will try and find some pictures that show what I have growing to give some ideas to others!

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Dawn



Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Posts: 2165
Location: Derbyshire

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nina, it sounds a wonderful garden. Did the wisteria survive? It's one of my ambitions to have a wisteria covered house one day.

I would be grateful for any ideas that you may have about bird/insect friendly plants. We have some mature conifers, holly and mahonia, and a very big hawthorn hedge. Our garden is divided into three parts:-

. The main garden (football pitch/handstand arena/make-believe adventure ground) which is mainly lawn with the above plants.

. A new side garden area with lawn and some new plants in a bed.

. A wildlife area which has overgrown lawn, a log pile and a trial flower meadow area.

My main problem area is the side garden. We have put in clematis, honeysuckle, hebe, buddlia, lavender and thyme, but there is still a lot of room left in the flower bed, and of course the plants are very small because they were only put in last year.

We don't have very good ground - very clayey (is clayey a word?) and I would love to cover up all the bare soil that is showing in between the new plants. I have looked on a couple of websites, but they only suggest the plants that we have already put in. I have tried to get some poached egg plant and something called Golden Rod, but the garden centres round here haven't got any.

Any suggestions would be gratefully recieved.

thanks

Dawn
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Nina



Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Posts: 193
Location: Wimborne Dorset

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Golden rod is now being sold as Solidago so I bet you will find it under that name!
Are you looking for ground cover or just amazing flowers, after all I do know about Claggy cold clay! I have nearly all the garden like that! I have used as much garden compost to lighten the soil, (so far just about managing to get the fork in) so takes a long time, but if you are lifting grass in turf chunks take this as an excellent tip! Honest! Lift the grass clods and turn them upside down or soil up and bank them as high as you can, leave for 12 months, makes the mose wonderful light fluffy soil, the best you have ever known, promise! Failing that, add as much leaf litter and corn/hay into the compost bin! Next best thing.
Sineccio is a lovely silver leafed small shrub, (has yellow flowers that I cut off as soon as they show, as I prefer the foliage. Ground cover try gaultheria as it has some lovely berries in autumn, but the main feature af this plant is again the leaf colours and form. I have grown a few grasses too as the little bird use the fluffy heads in the following spring for their nests. I also have bullrushes (not reccommended if near a water course) The goldfinches and bluetits love the seeds (a fluffy bundle that comes out from the brown sheath)
I will hazard a guess that your soil is also very acidic? if so Acers, Camelias, Azaleas and Heathers will be good, the birds love to hide in the low cover of the azaleas and heathers, and they also forage for bugs in the heathers too!
Tell me what you have a leaning towards, as I am certain I can come up with some super plants to put in.

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Michelle



Joined: 20 Apr 2005
Posts: 116
Location: New Brighton, PA USA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 7:17 am    Post subject: What to Plant Reply with quote

Dawn - What about some Bee Balm (monarda). Do you have it over there? It is a member of the mint family, but it is relatively easy to keep under control. The old standard is red - but there are also pinks and purples out there. The American Indians used it to make mint tea.

Also - Nina's advice about building up your soil is excellent. Do you guys use mushroom compost over there? Stuff that they used to grow mushrooms. It is used only once & it is sterilized. Great stuff.
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Dawn



Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Posts: 2165
Location: Derbyshire

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Nina and Michelle.

No wonder I couldn't find Golden Rod - I will now look for Solidago. I've no idea if the soil is acidic or not, things with bulbs/corms don't do very well - crocus/tulip/daffodil, but conifer type things grow very well.

Benji of course supplies unlimited organic manure for us, and we have three compost bins going, but we don't put hay and leaf litter in - will do now! You are right about digging it in though - I have to leave this to my hubby - it is so heavy and hard.

I suppose I am more concerned with covering the ground, although flowers would be a nice bonus. I never thought about heathers, and I will check out the sineccio and gaultheria (whatever they are) and also the Bee balm. I have an Acer tree - my pride and joy, and also a couple of azaleas, but if they are good for wildlife I will get some more. I think I tried camellias but the flower heads were so heavy they fell over.

I feel a trip to the garden centre coming on this weekend Very Happy I'm sure my husband will be only too delighted to get his wallet out Laughing
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Nina



Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Posts: 193
Location: Wimborne Dorset

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like you have acid soil if the acers are happy, and azaleas too, The Monarda is a great buncher of a plant and seeds itself about a bit too!
I went out yesterday and got a few more plants, I get the perennials rather than annuals, I can fill gaps with the annuals but prefer to have permanent plants.
Spent mushroom compost is a great thing if you can get it! I know someone who managed to get some now he has mushrooms most of the year! Lucky bounder! I did a little bit of (my idea of digging) and put the soils and weeds into the composter bin, and found my asparagus so I see soon having a tasty treat one day! I also managed to plant out the broad beans and peas all about five inches high into three rows and covered them with fleece, well this year the mice/ voles never ate half the seeds. I discovered that predation by wildlife can be devastatng and this wayI get to plant out nearly all the seeds in growth! Anyone tried using the insides of toilet rolls as pots? Brilliant, they root through the cardboard and hold moisture too! Cheap pots! I will try Black sweetcorn this year too as I got some seeds cheaply last saturday, so I will have to let you know how I do with them. I have also got some butternut squash seeds so I will have a go at them too, but I am debating if I should grow them in the coldframe or outside, any ideas?

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Michelle



Joined: 20 Apr 2005
Posts: 116
Location: New Brighton, PA USA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nina wrote:
Spent mushroom compost is a great thing if you can get it! I know someone who managed to get some now he has mushrooms most of the year! Lucky bounder!
Michelle wrote:
A lucky man indeed! I've never gotten any mushrooms from mine, although we did luck out one year. We had a load of apple wood chips dumped in the paths and wound up with morrels. Do you have them over there? Delicious. Laughing Laughing

They are not available commercially although you can get dried ones - very expensive. I sent away for some spawn. Built the bed exactly as they said. Never got one mushroom - oh well.


Nina wrote:
I did a little bit of (my idea of digging) and put the soils and weeds into the composter bin, and found my asparagus so I see soon having a tasty treat one day!
Michelle wrote:
I would die to have an asparagus bed. Do you have any problems with critters stealing your treats?
I also managed to plant out the broad beans and peas all about five inches high into three rows and covered them with fleece, well this year the mice/ voles never ate half the seeds.
Michelle wrote:
Fleece? I know it comes from sheep but how do you use it in the garden?
Nina wrote:
Anyone tried using the insides of toilet rolls as pots? Brilliant, they root through the cardboard and hold moisture too! Cheap pots!
Michelle wrote:
That sounds very interesting. Will start saving rolls.
Nina wrote:
I have also got some butternut squash seeds so I will have a go at them too, but I am debating if I should grow them in the coldframe or outside, any ideas?
Michelle wrote:
You mean start them in pots in the cold frame? I know the squashes like the soil warm. I warm up my beds by putting clear, heavy plastic over them in April thru mid-May. Don't know what your temperatures are over there now.
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Nina



Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Posts: 193
Location: Wimborne Dorset

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2005 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michelle I hope I can remember alkl the questions and answer them!
Fleece--------------rolls of fibre like the inside of duvets.
Asparagus...............................this will be the first year of cutting! I grew them from seed and they need to be coverd each year with about three inches of good organic mulch for three yearas before cutting.
Temperatures here are about 15C during the day now, but the pumpkin seeds I started last year in June had six good sized ones from the vegetable plot....six feet by four,thats the size and I grow so many plants but in stages, peas and broad beans first, brassicas second, more peas, runner beans in tubs, but this year I intend to grow cucumbers, gherkins, peppers, chilies, courgettes, marrow and squashes and Tomatoes mostly under cover... (I must be mad as the watering will take ages!) but with next door growing potatoes in the same bed every year they get blight and within three days I lose all my tomatoes! That is why I will have to grow them under cover and in more shade than they like!
Those mushrooms are scrumptious! I have a few looking rather messy now so they are going in the ground at the bottom of the garaden! Let's hope eh?

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Michelle



Joined: 20 Apr 2005
Posts: 116
Location: New Brighton, PA USA

PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2005 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nina,

Thanks for reply. Understand busy! 'Tis the season. Me too - if not for my husband I would not have much in the ground. Looking forward to first lettuce & spinach soon. Scallions are ready to eat.

If you have any questions re: chilis - they are my specialty. E-mail would be quickest.

Good luck with the 'maters and cukes under cover.

Remember: Gardeners dream bigger dreams than Emperors!

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Nina



Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Posts: 193
Location: Wimborne Dorset

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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2005 5:35 pm    Post subject: Attempt to post pictures! Reply with quote

Here I am going to try and post some pics of the garden so you can get an idea of what I have to cope with!
Sadly I am unable to post pictures here as my editing suite only gives me pixel sizing not bite sizing, I did try and find it in the other editing areas I have but they all do it in pixels, and the only way I can find out the MB's is through posting everywhere else. I think I will have to forget posting pictures here.

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Nina



Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Posts: 193
Location: Wimborne Dorset

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I must really update this page, the year has rather conspired against me this year,
Brassicas got gobbled up by Woodpigeons!
Pumpkins and squashes got hit by the cold, and slugs / snails and whatever else!
Third planting of brassicas finally got under way, I think I may get some Brussells Sprouts, well they are looking reasonable now!
I have some amazing outdoor cucumber and have been giving them away, as I have so many.
The Broad beans were a misesrable affair, I think I got some seeds though as the watering was not enough when I was away for the major part of July!
Tomato's sadly despite the fact I grew them in a greenhouse, they still got caught with the blight from next doors potatoes, even though I tried to kee the door closed on the place the light breeze put the spores into there and again I lose my crop! I stripped the foliage and everything I could have done, so I have just a few, but the petters seem to have overcome this problem!
I did well with container grown runner beans, peas and sweetpeas though!
I am still picking sweetpeas and runnerbeans, but have saved the seed from the Asparagus peas as they were very nice done as a stir fry, with chinese style meals!
Well I had a very strange year from the garden this year and losing a month for family matters has meant not much joy for me over my crops, oh well you can't have it all ways!
The Asparagus was delicious! specially with the forbidden butter! LOL!

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Mary Evelyn



Joined: 17 Aug 2005
Posts: 54
Location: North East

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all,



Back garden RH.JPG
83.96 KB, Viewed 1016 Time(s)

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Mary Evelyn



Joined: 17 Aug 2005
Posts: 54
Location: North East

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry everyone,

I was just looking to see how to post pics and suddenly the above happened and took me by surprise.I wanted to post some photos of my garden and I am used to doing it but I never got to say anything ha ha and would not have chosen a pic at the bottom of my back garden as a first.
Before I knew it it was there. Shock and horror Laughing Laughing
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Nina



Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Posts: 193
Location: Wimborne Dorset

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2005 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lovely picture of Rhododendron you posted there, just like those all around this area, we have an avenue of them through a place called uddens drive, really stunning enmasse!

I have been trying to get the garden upgraded this year, but having had all the chaos of this year I have not had enough time to do everything so updating the pc work has been held off until the weather broke!

The garden was not entered for any competitions this year as I was having to do major hard landscaping, the legs are getting frustratingly less capable, so I have asked hubby to put in some paths in concrete for the wheelchair, but some of those things didn't get done this year, but we have a summerhouse up, and this will have a semi-circle of concrete in front and a border all around to access clipping the bushes behind it.

There is to be a path from the patio, taking in the bird table, and leading to the summerhouse, then a large gate to be put up, leading into the lower garden area. as you go through the gate then another path leads to the rose arbour, between the bamboo bed, then into the open area, where the washing line crosses this open area, and to the bird table in the lower garden, then to the new Gazebo awaiting construction, and the working area beside the greenhouses!

The Gazebo I have asked for is constructed of wood looking like a hay barn, with a roof with beams for the Swallows and Barn Owls to use for breeding, but with a view over the fields beyond. I hope it will enable us to get a good look at all the wildlife from the comfort of a sheltered position, as curtains could be placed at the ends to shield us from the wind, using the curtains from the old canvas gazebo that is past redemption! I will post pictures when the work is complete, but it isn't the sort of thing that happens overnight! Well that is what my husband says!

I am really looking forward to seeing it all done!

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Tricia



Joined: 08 Apr 2005
Posts: 3579
Location: Surrey

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2005 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nina - your plans sound as though you are going to have a beautiful garden. I do hope you have birds in your Gazebo. What a great idea Smile Applause
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What is this life if full of care, We have no time to stand and stare?

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