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Covering farmhouse ruin with wisteria.


 
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dinahdabble
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:56 pm    Post subject: Covering farmhouse ruin with wisteria. Reply with quote

There's a ruined farmhouse in the next valley. I want to plant wisteria to grow all over it, inside and out. It has no roof, but a few remaining beams, and a bare earth floor inside. It has several half collapsed walls, and the old doorways, lintles intact, stick up on their own like stone archways.
There is a little story about the building which goes:

"The man of the house built it, but his wife never trusted his skill as a builder, and refused to go through the doors in case they collapsed. It was her constant clambering through the windows that brought down the walls, and left the doorways standing.

Anyway, enough of that, I've 4 blue, and 5 white Wisteria Sinesis plants that I've grown from seed. Considering the sheltered aspects of the interior of the ruin, I was thinking that inside the building might be better for planting. Unusualy, no trees, nettles, brambles or Ivy have reclaimed the interior yet, which I susspect may be due to a compact ash floor, or to flag stones burried benieth the surface. Has anyone else experience of planting inside a ruin? If so, what problems have you encountered? Also, I am not sure when (considering the sheltered aspect) I should plant out my seedlings. They are about 6 inches tall at the moment with 8 or more sets of leaves per plant.

The ruin is in a vally that has no road access so I don't think there's a risk of them being trampled by humans, but there are sheep in the vally. Does anyone know if Wisteria can poison sheep? I really don't want to do any harm to them. I can block off the holes where they get in with a few old boards and branches that are lieing about, but I am thinking, in future, when the plants start growing up, over and down the sides.

Dinah
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Protein
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I would hedge my bets and plant a variety of climbers and creepers like Virginia Creepers, unusual Hedera's (Ivy), Cotoneaster - basically low maintenance stuff, and let the fight it out.

And you have to have a rambling red rose along one of the corners Very Happy

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dinahdabble
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 11:44 pm    Post subject: I like the red rose idea! Reply with quote

I want to put unusual looking plants in so that shepherds, children, hickers and new residents in this valley, stumble on a strange plant event, out in an otherwise wild place, while they are about their explorations.

I do like the rambling red rose idea very much! There is no reason why I shouldn't plant a collection of different plants. I will look through your list and see what might fit in. Even a small tree? If Elder and Mountain Ash can set themselves up in old ruins, there's surely others that would do well. :D

Is there an unusual fruit tree that might do well in there to enchant and refresh the tierd traveler?

One other thing beside the plants having to be non-toxic - I have to be carefull of planting something that's so ravenousely invasive that it will collonise the nearby burn. :shock:
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Garlicbreath
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Dinahdabble, I'm afraid I have serious reservations about your plan to cover a ruin in a "wild" place with introduced species. There are loads of native plants that would look wonderful and also provide a refuge and food source for hundreds of creatures. Some of the climbers you could try are honeysuckle or woodbine, woody nightshade, wild clematis or travellers' joy and there's a wonderful article on wild roses here http://www.gardenplansireland.com/forum/about1077.html

I'm sure there's loads more you could plant and the ruin would look all the more enchanting and part of the landscape for being shrouded in native plants.
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dinahdabble
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RE: garlicbreath suggestions - That sounds like a very reasonable consideration. I'm not sure what would have most aesthetic impact without looking out of place. I plant a lot of native plants and trees in and arround the burn with the permision of the National Trust who own it. (sloes, hyperecium, woodland mallow, wild fox glove etc.) There are quite a few ruined farmhouses in the area. They usualy fill up with nettles and brambles though they sometimes sport non-natives from old gardens, including especialy buddlia and dandilion. The brambles are a great food source of course. I think the same effect could probably be achieved with the plants you suggest if I can organise and arrange them in an interesting way. I have it in mind to celebrate the fact that it [i]was[/i] once a habitation, to comemorate the people who lived there - an event. I don't want to fill the place with something that will cover the floor and make it inaccessible, so it is not just an attempt to create a habbitat for wildlife in this instance - though that is undoubtedly the priority in many areas. I want to put it on the cusp, between human ex-dwelling and a place were nature has taken over. Honeysuckle and wild roses sound very evocative of this kind of relationship. The wisteria idea came from the fact that the plant often covers and then outlives the structures it grows in. Would roses and honeysuckles do this do you think?
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Wisteria seeds.

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BlackBird
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dinahdabble wrote:
The wisteria idea came from the fact that the plant often covers and then outlives the structures it grows in. Would roses and honeysuckles do this do you think?


If not with the intial plants then surely with their offspring from fallen seeds. Very Happy

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