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What to ask landscaper to do in family garden


 
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rainorshine
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 8:45 pm    Post subject: What to ask landscaper to do in family garden Reply with quote

I need to hire someone to do my garden and am wondering if anyone has ideas on what we should ask for. Basically we will be ripping whats there back to brick walls on two sides and a hedge on the other. Its not a huge garden - about 40ft long and the width of a double fronted house. We have very young kids so our main objective is to have lots of space for them to use the garden safely so no steps and lots of grass is what I have in mind. We want it to look nice too though and get better with time so maybe a few trees to add interest. We're asking for deck outside the house but after that I'm not sure.

We are overlooked so need something at the back and side and obviously want to hide the brick wall - should it be a hedge, tall shrubs, trees or just trellis? I'm nervous of relying on trellis as won't this eventually rot and need to be replaced resulting in loss of whatever is growing up it in the future? At the same time though I don't want to waste feet of the garden with a thick hedge and we need immediate privacy so maybe a trellis with hedge/shrubs growing up in front of it? If anyone can advise me on this I'd greatly appreciate it and any other tips.

We are also really bad on maintaining anything so cutting a lawn and trimming hedge/shrubs is about all we can commit to. I hate weeding and don't want anything low down that the kids have to avoid so that probably rules out flowerbeds. Thanks!
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 11:24 pm    Post subject: climber support other than trellis Reply with quote

Hi rainorshine.
A lot of fast growing climbers require some sort of support to climb on, so most people go for trellis.
If you fear trellis rotting you could instead provide support in the form of horizontal wires. Ensure the wire and bolts or nails holding it are galvinised to prevent rotting.

Posting pictures of your site to become a garden will help us, help you.
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rainorshine
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that GPI, I'll try to get photos up. Would you recommend climbers on a trellis rather than hedge and/or trees though? What would look best given that there is a hedge down one side already?
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squire1
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not all climbers need a trellis. In a previous house I put down some type of varigated ivy that climbed up the block wall by itself. AlI had to do was nail up some string/wire to get it started. I used it to cover an ugly non- plastered block wall and it looked great. It took a couple of years to establish but was low maintenance.

I'm sure there are others on here that would give you the name of such plants if you are interested. My Latin is a bit rusty. Very Happy

You don't say what size decking you are putting in but unless it is very large you might consider putting down some paving as well. Young kids love being outside even in the winter when it's not suitable from them to be playing on wet grass. A paved area would give them a clean/dry area to play on wet days. Try putting in some interesting features too like sand pits or small table and chairs to make it an interesting for the kids. Remember, fresh air makes them easier to put to bed at night Wink

Best of luck with it.
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Bugs
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

squire1 wrote:

You don't say what size decking you are putting in but unless it is very large you might consider putting down some paving as well. Young kids love being outside even in the winter when it's not suitable from them to be playing on wet grass. A paved area would give them a clean/dry area to play on wet days. Try putting in some interesting features too like sand pits or small table and chairs to make it an interesting for the kids. Remember, fresh air makes them easier to put to bed at night Wink

Best of luck with it.

The first thing to do when designing a garden is to make a list of all the things you want , eg small kids = play areas , somewhere safe etc. Why not get the kids involved in the garden , get them to grow sunflowers or something easy .
remember a dirty child is a happy child Laughing
I have been putting down decks for the last 10 years ( about 100 of them )
in the last few years I have been recommending paving as I don't think decks are suitable for Irish conditions . i have one myself and to keep it in good condition it is washed 4 times a year minimum .
over a short period of time dust forms a patina on it and when it rains it becomes a skating rink . Stay away from decks if at all possible . They are hard work .

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rainorshine
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to you both. Bugs, we are indeed very wary of the maintenance required for decking but the main appeal of it is to raise the level of the patio so theres no step down from the house. Also its softer for kids to play on. Have you ever used or seen the composite decking such as Trex? We have considered this for its low maintenance properties but its expensive and not sure how well it looks.

Squire1, its an interesting suggestion to increase the area we have decked or paved. I had been thinking grass was best for kids since our garden is fairly small but maybe another paved area would be good for the kids for wet days. I'm hoping once the garden is done they'll be out of the house for hours on end - hence we're willing to pay someone to do a good job on it - payoff will be increased down time for us!

Re a trellis - we need to have something grow up tall - higher than the wall, to provide privacy, thats why I'm considering a hedge or trees all round.
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squire1
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rainorshine wrote:


Re a trellis - we need to have something grow up tall - higher than the wall, to provide privacy, thats why I'm considering a hedge or trees all round.


Ahhh, the penny drops..... Trellis is probably your only viable option in this case so. Realistically, if you treat your trellis with good quality wood preservative before you erect it, the is no reason why it would not last for many, many years.

Bugs, is the decking really a problem. I'm planning on putting a large area of decking down as well as a paving area. I was planning on putting a good slope on it to drain away surface water. What do you use to clean it, a good stiff deck brush or do you use some cleaning product. I have small kids too so it is a concern but the missus has her heart set on decking.

Sorry rainorshine, for asking questions on your thread but I thought the answers might interest you too.
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rainorshine
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No problem, the decking debate is intriguing to me, I keep hearing about the down sides of it but still half the people I know have it and love it. Putting a slope in it is a good idea to let water run off. I've also heard the smooth variety is less slippy than the ribbed one - is that true?

Sorry for going on about the trellis thing but I hope to still be enjoying my garden in 40 years - will a trellis last that long? I really don't want to have to rip it all down in 15 years? I suppose maybe the answer is a trellis now to give short term privacy and then plant tall shrubs and trees in strategic positions which will grow up over time. Heres my concern about that though - if we have climbers growing up a trellis, will they also climb up our trees and shrubs and potentially suffocate them or do I just worry too much??

We're paying someone to do this work for us so I want to make sure we get our money's worth and don't have to come along and redo it all in a few years!! Thanks.
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 9:48 am    Post subject: Options for Screening an Overlooked Garden Trellis? Reply with quote

rainorshine wrote:
I suppose maybe the answer is a trellis now to give short term privacy and then plant tall shrubs and trees in strategic positions which will grow up over time. Heres my concern about that though - if we have climbers growing up a trellis, will they also climb up our trees and shrubs and potentially suffocate them or do I just worry too much??


The trellis for short term privacy (5 years upwards) with tall shrubs and trees in strategic positions is a good option rainorshine.
Strategic planting of trees and shrubs will also allow as much light as possible enter your garden, you are only blocking what light / overlooks you have to.
Treat the trellis with a plant-safe wood preservative as when you buy the trellis it will be treated with nothing more than a brown stain.

One other option is to grow the climbers on a galvinised wire mesh instead of wooden trellis.
You need only bring this mesh on supports above your wall when you really have too.
Or to top the wall you could use galvinised and painted steel wall cap railings to allow climber growth.
You will see examples of this in some new estates.

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Quincy
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RE decking...
I have a 20 X 15 deck off the side of our sun room. It has the "ribbed" side facing up. It does tend to hold dirt and requires washing frequently. It isn't a big deal though, power hose on with medium pressure gets the dirt out fine. Maybe once a year I use chemicals and a scrubbing brush to really get it cleaned. Muddy shoes, sand etc etc, all find their way to our deck but then we spend a lot of time out there as a family so it gets well used. I personally like the feel of timber under foot.
A neighbour of mine has a similar sized deck with smooth side facing up. He complains it is dangerous if not kept spotlessly clean. It seems to slime up faster than mine for some reason and becomes extremely slippery.

hth
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rainorshine
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks GPI and Quincey

Sounds like the ribbed deck is the better option then.

Re treating the trellis GPI, the landscaper says its pressure treated so does this mean it doesn't need further treatment by us? He doesn't seem very open to our input! I like the idea of a metal fence on top of the wall but not sure is this is alowd at the back of a suburban garden? Trellis seems very temporary to me so something stronger sounds good.
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 7:06 pm    Post subject: Deck Maintenance Reply with quote

Theres is a link to a quick article on deck maintenance within IG to be found below

http://www.gardenplansireland.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1312#1312

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