Saturday, November 14, 2009

Need your ideas PLEASE!!?

Hi, i am in need of some fresh and different ideas to finish my garden. I hope you can understand my explanation of what i have done so far...My garden is 26ft x 19ft, From the back door there is a semi-circle which is 11ft wide x 6ft, then surrounding that is a larger semi-circle which is 19ft wide x 10ft. Both semi-circles are edged in charcoal pavers and filled with plum slate (20mm in small, 40mm in large). At the bottom end there is a shed and kids play area which covers 19ft wide x 7ft. The problem is the middle area, about 19ft x 9ft. I don't want a lawn, i want something interesting and different with a dark feeling, i'm using mostly white flowering plants. Also it needs to be quite cheap and fairly easy. In the play area i've got bark but the dog keeps eating it. The soil is clay, very hard to dig. Please help i've had 8 weeks of thinking due to broken foot and all i come up with is a headache. Thanks in advance. Any ideas welcome.

Need your ideas PLEASE!!?
In California nurseries, anyway, you can get all kinds of ground covers that work in a wide variety of soils. I had one area next to my house (about a 20 ft X 2 ft strip) that was left over from a room addition there. The soil was very clayey (yes that's a word) in some places and nearly solid decomposed granite in others. I ended up getting this creeping ground cover with dark green oval leaves (about 1-1/2 inches long) that puts out little pink clover-like flowers. It stays low to the ground and grows like a weed.

But, I did have to amend the soil first. For clay soils, you need to get a bag of gypsum powder (sold at home improvement stores), sprinkle it on top of the soil, and water it in with a fine spray so it doesn't wash away. Repeat this every week or so for about a month. You'll be shocked and amazed at how easily that clay soil breaks up.

You may also consider putting in rock garden plants. These are succulents that spread out and stay low. Since they are succulents, they don't require much water, and they can take full sun to partial shade. They also produce a variety of really cool little flowers in various shapes and colors, depending on the type of plant you get.
Reply:hire a gardener
Reply:i liked the secret garden idea, but why not go a bit further, you dont mention climate but presuming your not in the north of scotland what about a tropical / jungle theme.I'm thinking bamboos for height and sound, maybe the big gunnera plants if you have a damp area and then underplant with ferns and hostas. One or two big plants can really work. Also the jungle theme can be long lasting and it will give height and interest from april right through to october and then you'll need to take care and protect anything tender. your clay soil just needs loads of well rotted manure. whenever I plant anything in my heavy clay put a handful or gravel at the bottom of the planting hole.

The other thing is the white garden theme is very difficult to pull off on a domestic scale, i've tried, it can seem a little bland. why not try to play with the leaf colour and texture of your plants? this can make a bit impact, and be fairly low maintenance with planning. check out jpparker online they have great plants. Also buy small plants now and grow on for a year if you have space it can save you loads. Good luck i hope it turns out just the way you want!

ps sorry dont know what to do about the dog.

Reply:You have lots of room for some stepping stones.........and big flower pots.......

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PS Mock Orange is a good shrub and smells good as well.


Pittosporum tobira 'Wheeler's Dwarf'

2 to 3 feet high, 4 to 5 feet wide.


Reply:I'd go for something to provide some height, so that you don't all the garden all at once. perhaps some cordon fruit trees, or make a 'secret garen' with bamboo etc
Reply:A garden pond with some nice fish but put a net over it to keep out the dogs and to stop the children falling in
Reply:Bless your heart! I hope you heal fast. is a link: is a link:;r...

Covered patio

Dogwood tree in the middle.....or a pear tree. They have pretty flowers in the spring, pretty leaves the rest of the summer.
Reply:Ouch, your poor foot.

How about a circle filled with dark pebbles and a water feature in the middle?
Reply:Try 'golden creeping jenny' for low ground cover. Its golden all years and has tiny golden flowers. Tolerate foot travel. Grow fast any soil. Sun or part shade. Try also 'lemon balm' for a taller all year round spreading bush. Scented and a herb, also easy grow anywhere.

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