Shady, windswept, coastal, heavy soil - new garden plan and we have it ALL!(4 Posts)
I'm after a bit of advice. I'm new to gardening but very keen. I have around half an acre I want to make a garden out of.
Here are the problems I can think of. If you can answer any or all I'd be much obliged!
- One side of the house is very shady and I want some kind of climber that is flowery and looks OK in winter. Heavy soil.
- I've planted 7 fruit trees and I don't want them to die. How do I care for them??
- I need some shrubs for the entrance which will do well in a windswept, coastal area, but with a lot of sun in summer. I've planted hydrangeas - mistake?
- I need a proper hedge that will live in windy coastal place, but semi sheltered behind house.
- I've done a load of fuschia cuttings. Can I make fuschias into a kind of hedge/boundary on top of a bank? If not, what is a good idea?
- we're making raised beds in one bit for a bit of veg - what kind of soil should I put in?
We have some topsoil but it's a bit stony, and endless supply of well rotted cow shit.
Really grateful for any help, thank you
HALF an ACRE
OK, yes fuchsias will make a hedge along the top of a bank, particularly the riccartonii type. What have you got cuttings of?
For a coastal windbreak, Tamarisk are very nice. Finely divided foliage and pink plume-like flowers.
Climber that looks OK in winter that flowers in shade - Clematis armandii (this is evergreen). Or climbing Hydrangea. Try to add grit and organic matter (of which you abound) to the planting holes.
Soil for raised vegetable beds - get digging that organic matter in, and try to chuck out the large stones if there are loads. Look out for any roots of perennial weeds, best to get them out at outset.
What are the fruit trees? What sort of situation are they in: sheltered, sunny, rubbish soil?
I'm still reeling with jealousy at the half an acre part
I think landscaping on that scale is a different kind of challenge altogether than doing a smaller garden. You have real opportunities with that kind of scale to do an awful lot - you've really got space to do virtually anything you want. And even though you do have some challenging conditions in there, you can make them work for you.
I'd begin by listing the things that you want to have, then work out how you might lay them out in a way that's persuasive for your site. For example, if I had your space, I'd want a veg-growing area, an orchard, maybe a wildlife pool that it was possible to swim in (very a la mode these days), an area for the kids to play football, a bit of a wooded area, and a more formal garden. And if you're going to garden on that scale, you most definitely need an infrastructure area too - for compost, leaf mould, to rot down the cow pool, and for polytunnels/greenhouses and any other experiments you want to conduct!! (Also for logs if you're burning those).
I'd then work out the way the site lies with regard to sun and climate. Where are the views that you want to frame or preserve? Where are the things you want to screen out? Where's the wind coming through? This may determine where you put things like your wooded area, as that could double as a shelter belt or a screen.
It doesn't all have to be done at once, but a little bit of planning can save an awful lot of work later on, when you discover something's in the wrong place! I find that even with my very much tinier suburban garden!
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