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Plant Suggestions please

 
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matt44



Joined: 18 Mar 2008
Posts: 28

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 8:05 pm    Post subject: Plant Suggestions please Reply with quote

Hi guys, I only have a small garden and plants only occupy 2 narrow beds down the side of the lawn.

I want plants/flowers which attract wildlife/birds but as I don't have much room I would like pretty ones which can serve both purposes.

At the moment I just have a few crocosmia's and a clematis so I have quite abit of planting to be done.

If anyone can make suggestions it would be great.

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terratoonie



Joined: 22 Jun 2008
Posts: 164

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



http://www.butterflygarden.co.uk/az_plants.htm

The above website has a list of plants which attract butterflies. Very Happy

Ice plant - Sedum spectabile is very easy to grow. You can plant it most places and split it up to make more plants. Smile

I hope this helps. It would be interesting to see photos of your garden and birds etc, which are attracted by the plants you choose.

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Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't ! - Eleanor Roosevelt
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matt44



Joined: 18 Mar 2008
Posts: 28

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a pic of my garden currently.

http://i127.photobucket.com/albums/p139/mattthekid/15082008244.jpg

I've been doing it up over the last 2 years as when I moved in it was 3 levels of slate/shail.

As you can see I have the 2 narrow borders. The left hand side has "crocosmia corner" at the top and a Spirea at the the bottom. The right side has a Clematis at the top (which you can't see on the pic) and a Japanese maple at the bottom.

There's also a small japanese maple next to crocosmia corner. And 2 Alalea's on the wall.

Beyond the decking the next level down is my veg patch.

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terratoonie



Joined: 22 Jun 2008
Posts: 164

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 11:47 am    Post subject: berries for birds Reply with quote


Interesting photo, matt44. Smile

Your plot is on a very steep slope, so I guess has good drainage.
Plants would require a lot of watering, especially while getting established.

On the internet you can find various hedge plants which have berries attractive to birds .

In your picture there is a young child, so you might want to avoid any plants which have too many prickly branches or leaves, such as holly. Shocked

If you wish to plant berry hedge plants in your narrow borders, they would need regular pruning so they don't get too wide for your garden.

I hope these hints are of help Smile

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Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't ! - Eleanor Roosevelt
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matt44



Joined: 18 Mar 2008
Posts: 28

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank, will have a look.
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davevikingr



Joined: 18 Aug 2008
Posts: 97
Location: Ryedale, North Yorkshire

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One great thing to put in your garden, however small, is water! Even if a small pond won't fit a water-feature with even a little standing water (like a small fountain for instance) will be of great benefit.
Plant wise - the native Hemp Agrimony (don't worry about the name it's not that type of hemp at all!) attracts butterflies (Eupatorium cannabinum - so named as the leaves look, vaguely, hemp-like). It does grow to about 5 feet high though. The smaller Yarrow is good for hoverflies. Goldenrod attracts small flies, foxglove for bees, and especially origano/marjoram, left to flower. Ours is stuffed with bumble bees.
Do you have a fence or wall you could grow a climber against ? - They are great for wildlife cover, especially ivy - and no ivy does not damage walls - that's a myth. Choose a climber that grows to a sensible height (not Russian vine for instance - blooming huge).
PS - I'm a landscaper who specialises in water and wildife gardens !
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matt44



Joined: 18 Mar 2008
Posts: 28

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

davevikingr wrote:
One great thing to put in your garden, however small, is water! Even if a small pond won't fit a water-feature with even a little standing water (like a small fountain for instance) will be of great benefit.
Plant wise - the native Hemp Agrimony (don't worry about the name it's not that type of hemp at all!) attracts butterflies (Eupatorium cannabinum - so named as the leaves look, vaguely, hemp-like). It does grow to about 5 feet high though. The smaller Yarrow is good for hoverflies. Goldenrod attracts small flies, foxglove for bees, and especially origano/marjoram, left to flower. Ours is stuffed with bumble bees.
Do you have a fence or wall you could grow a climber against ? - They are great for wildlife cover, especially ivy - and no ivy does not damage walls - that's a myth. Choose a climber that grows to a sensible height (not Russian vine for instance - blooming huge).
PS - I'm a landscaper who specialises in water and wildife gardens !


Thanks for the suggestion, am googling them right now.

In terms of climbers I have just added a clematis and hope to get another one asap to go with it.

A water feature is something I have considered but just thinking of where to put it etc..........

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terratoonie



Joined: 22 Jun 2008
Posts: 164

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:41 pm    Post subject: safety Reply with quote



Sounds like you are doing the right thing.... Lots of research before you work on your garden ! Smile

I think I'm right in that you have a toddler Question

With your smallish garden, it's obviously especially important that any water feature you consider is VERY safe. Neutral Likewise you might want to start with plants which attract birds and butterflies, and get plants which entice a greater number of stinging, flying things once your youngster is a bit older.

What an odd day. I've just given birding advice on a gardening forum, and now here I am talking about gardens on a birding forum. Shocked Laughing

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Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't ! - Eleanor Roosevelt
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matt44



Joined: 18 Mar 2008
Posts: 28

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:55 pm    Post subject: Re: safety Reply with quote

terratoonie wrote:


Sounds like you are doing the right thing.... Lots of research before you work on your garden ! Smile

I think I'm right in that you have a toddler Question

With your smallish garden, it's obviously especially important that any water feature you consider is VERY safe. Neutral Likewise you might want to start with plants which attract birds and butterflies, and get plants which entice a greater number of stinging, flying things once your youngster is a bit older.

What an odd day. I've just given birding advice on a gardening forum, and now here I am talking about gardens on a birding forum. Shocked Laughing


Haha, shows your multi-tasking is up to scratch. Yes I have a 2 year old who jumps in any water he see's so thats one of the reason I am carefully considering a water feature. Would have to make sure he can't get easy access to it. lol

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Strixaluco



Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Posts: 5464
Location: Mayford, Sy

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:23 pm    Post subject: Re: safety Reply with quote

matt44 wrote:
Yes I have a 2 year old who jumps in any water he see's so thats one of the reason I am carefully considering a water feature. Would have to make sure he can't get easy access to it. lol

I have one "proper" bird bath - a shallow fibreglass thing bought many years ago from the RSPB - and a large plastic plant pot saucer. The birds use them both regularly - but I think a plant pot saucer might be best in your case.

Perhaps you could show your two year old how to refill it after she/he has finished jumping in it? Laughing

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Dawn



Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Posts: 2165
Location: Derbyshire

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Matt we have the same problem, just not sure about kids and water features, although mine are bigger now and we will probably get a pond or something sorted next year. We do have a nice stone bird bath, which is really heavy and can't be pulled over, and only holds an inch or so of water, but the birds love it. You can get them in most garden centres.

We have buddleia, clematis and honeysuckle, ceanothus, hebe and a few other things that I can't remember the names of Embarassed that attract all sorts of insects in the flower beds.

We also have quite a lot of plants off Terratoonies list (like Sweet William and Lobelia) but in pots on the patio, they also do well for insects.

We have got some Foxglove seeds for next year, but as they are poisonous, we have waited until the kids were older before we decided to have them.

Dave - I got some Goldenrod last year, but it isn't happy. I've moved it from two different beds and now it is in a pot and looking a bit livelier but still not brill. Where is the best place for it to grow? Sorry Matt, hijacking your thread for advice!

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I can confirm - Bitterns DO exist, and they are brilliant!!!!
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terratoonie



Joined: 22 Jun 2008
Posts: 164

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 6:46 pm    Post subject: Re: safety Reply with quote

Strixaluco wrote:

I have one "proper" bird bath - a shallow fibreglass thing bought many years ago from the RSPB - and a large plastic plant pot saucer. The birds use them both regularly - but I think a plant pot saucer might be best in your case.

Perhaps you could show your two year old how to refill it after she/he has finished jumping in it? Laughing


The plastic saucers seem a great idea. They're comparatively inexpensive so you could place several around the garden, filled with water by your youngster. Then even if some were tipped over during play, the birds would be sure to find one full of water somewhere.

The saucers wouldn't work in my garden : my Sheltie performs trick routines at charity dog shows, and one of his favourites is collecting up a row of plastic saucers in his mouth, until he is holding all six saucers stacked inside each other. He then puts them in a larger plant pot and parades around holding the whole lot. He would be tidying up the saucers as fast as I put them out Laughing

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All best wishes from terratoonie.

Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't ! - Eleanor Roosevelt
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davevikingr



Joined: 18 Aug 2008
Posts: 97
Location: Ryedale, North Yorkshire

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These folk are absolutely right - water features and children can mix well but for very small children I would recommend water features that have no real depth at all - i.e. flowing water not more than a inch or two deep. These still serve wildlife well without being a risk.
For folk with bigger gardens ponds can be made safe - there is a strong plastic grib available that fits above or just below the water surface and is strong enough to take an adult standing on it. You can lift off a section to allow supervised pond studies.
Streams are good too - these can be made using regular pond liner. A local water garden specialist (me if you're in North Yorkshire please!!!) can make one or you could give it a go yourself - there are books and websites that will help. With a stream you get a dynamic water-feature without the depth of water to be a danger to small children.

On the plant front I agree, avoid very prickly plants etc although a little gentle adverse 'experience' can be valuable and safe learning.

Goldenrod comes in varieties - the native plant Solidago virgaurea, is a plant of open woods and heaths, growing on moist to dry soil, not limey, and in mid to no shade.
The common garden plant is Solidago 'Goldenmosa' or a variety of the native species. THe RHS says 'grow in poor to moderately fertile soil, well-drained and in full sun.' Divide in autumn or spring when too bushy.
My venerable Everybody's Gardening Guide says 'they thrive in sun or shade in any soil.' It also recommends staking them to prevent 'flopping'.

We have two clumps - one in the back garden in shrubby shade which does ok but a little straggly - and the other in an open border in full light but with only morning sun and it's a lovely specimen. The soil is fairly good, well drained and never too wet.

So it seems - avoid heavy shade and very limey soil (although we are on limestne bedrock here so there is some lime) and boggy ground.
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Neil



Joined: 30 Mar 2007
Posts: 107
Location: Staffs

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Matt

Nice job so far, if you can find time Natural England's Gardening with wildlife in mind is a very good site, very extensive wildlife facts. You can browse by creatures or by plants, i found it very very helpful.

http://www.plantpress.com/wildlife/home.php

Hope this helps

I've just found a copy of the sites free CD rom i could do you a copy and post it to you if you wish.
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