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DIY Landscaping a concrete backyard, advice needed please!


 
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doire
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 08 Mar 2011
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Location: Galway

PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:19 pm    Post subject: DIY Landscaping a concrete backyard, advice needed please! Reply with quote

Hi all, I bought a cottage in galway two years ago and have been fixing it up, insulation, windows, roof etc. I'm concentrating on the large old concrete back yard this year as we look straight into it from our kitchen window and would love to turn it into a courtyard type of thing with built in bbq,seating etc.
I have just cut two large trenches out of the concrete, which is three inches thick, with an angle grinder and have dug out the hardcore and subsoil underneath to a depth of eighteen inches.
These trenches are basically planters cut into the concrete and are to form the outline of the courtyard.I will put up fencing/trellis to act as a screen until the planting gets established.
Now I've never done this kind of thing before so I'm wondering if I can enrich the soil/hardcore mix which was under the concrete with lots of compost from my garden and add fertiliser and use it to grow plants like climbers and shrubs, or will I have to order in a load of topsoil (which will probably be expensive).
Any advice would be greatly appreciated,
Thank's, Doire.
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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It depends on hoiw good the "soil" underneath is and also what you're going to plant there.

I did the same with a concrete section out at the back of our house. I disposed of all the "soil" underneath because it was rubbish and actually filled it up with 20 year old horse manure and planted bamboo there.

The only thing I have found is that it gets VERY dry. Obviously there is a whole pile of soakage underneath the rest of the concrete.

Here's a pic. I've tarmaced over the concrete now.


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A little garden in Co. Limerick.Some non-gardening photographs.
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doire
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Kindredspirit,
Thanks for the quick reply and great photo.That is exactly what I'm doing,I was thinking that if I lined the sides of the trench with a waterproof membrane I may reduce the wicking effect that the drier soil will have (but I could be wrong) and I plan to cut a circle in the center of the yard to plant some sort of slender type tree as there is always a large pool of water there after rain which will soak down into the soil.I'll try to get a photo up, I was saying just yesterday before seeing your post that maybe we could plant bamboo around the oil tank, as you already have it, does it form a thick screen to block out the tank or is it kind of wispy and is it evergreen, questions, questions !!! each solution seems to throw up more of them, lol !!
regards,
Doire.
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aine
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i'm going to watch this thread with interest Doire! sounds like a beautiful retreat you have

would also be interested in hearing suggestions for the tree

fabulous area Kindredspirit
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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wish I'd thought of your idea of a waterproof membrane. Ah, well!

Bamboos are evergreen.

The following two might suit you as they make a thick non see through barrier. The first stays fairly upright but the second leans out a bit at the edge. Both appear to be as tough as old boots.

Pseudosasa Japonica.



Phyllostachys bissetti.



Remember that bamboo runners can travel along underneath the concrete.

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doire
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Kindredspirit,
I actually popped in to a nursery in Galway today to buy bareroot whip trees for the front garden and while I was there I priced Bamboo.I didn't realise they were so expensive!! When the guy said 70 Euro per plant I had to grab hold of a railing.
Now I wouldn't mind spending that much on something really exotic or whatever but for bamboo!! I was a bit shocked!
I may need to rethink that one.
Part of the joy in all of this for me is a) doing it all myself and learning new stuff as I go and b) achieving something really special without just throwing loads of money at it.It's probably a tall order seeing as I've never done this before but I'd get more satisfaction from looking at my diy oil barrel bbq and diy seating etc. than if I just went out and bought all these things new,they might all look a bit wonkey but I'm hoping my guests will be too polite to mention it, (and that's never going to happen knowing my friends,lol!!).
So now I'm thinking of a climber to cover the oil tank instead.Maybe I'll get back to the bamboo idea when either the price comes down I have a lot more money.
Regards,
Doire.
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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

70 euro! They're nuts!

Two places you can buy Bamboo from (but they a good bit from you) are

Alley's, Dundrum, Co. Tipp.

Stam Bamboo, Lismore, Co Waterford.

Also, when you buy the bamboo, you can split it in half or quarters with a spade, if you get a nice bushy piece.

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Maeve Drogheda
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Doire,

I took kindredspirit's advise and have bought the pseudosasa japonica from my local garden centre, and he advised me to buy the 4 foot bamboo for €29.

So maybe your garden centre could adivse you if that is possible. I am due to collect it on Saturday and I will take kindredspirit's advice re dividing it in two.

Good luck with your plans, I will watch and read with great interest.

Maeve
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doire
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Kindredspirit, I'll keep an eye out for some more reasonably priced bamboo as I go along and thanks also to Maeve and áine for your encouragement, it puts diesel in the tank!!
Regards,
Doire
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Geranimojess
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any more comeback from anyone on the Bamboos ...I'm kinda getting hooked on the ideas being thrown back and forth.... Crying or Very sad
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forest flame
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

they have a few nice looking bamboos in bnq for about 34
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