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Help for a shallow garden


 
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Oacer
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:22 pm    Post subject: Help for a shallow garden Reply with quote

I have a wide, shallow back garden (13m x7.5 m approx) which faces south-east. Since we moved here (Drogheda) a few years ago, I haven't been able to spend much time in it and as a result, it's not particularly imaginative or interesting. There was a 2m tall variegated grisellinia hedge against the back wall, which gave some privacy from the houses behind. But the winter snow killed it and I have been putting off the dreaded moment of digging up the spiky remains.
My husband hates being overlooked by neighbouring houses and talked about planting conifers. I don't want a wall of conifers in such a shallow garden but I need some ideas of what I could plant that wouldn't foreshorten the garden but would grow tall enough to act as a shield. I already have birch and bamboo at the left side of the garden. I was thinking of some kind of trellis against the ugly concrete block wall, along which I might plant some climbers. And just to help matters, I need plants that are relatively quick growers, or at least not slow; otherwise the dreaded conifers may arrive!
Any suggestions as to design or plants would be very welcome! I've looked at various books and websites but they all seem to cater for standard square or long gardens and mine's more like a tissue box. I'm sure there's so much I could do but after my last garden, which was big and long and great fun, I can't seem to get a handle on what to do with it.Can anyone help?
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Sive
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Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 1731
Location: Co.Wexford

PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have my sympathy, Oacer. My first garden was long and narrow, great fun to design. My second was the shape you describe, and I found it much harder to get to grips with. A wall of evergreens will make it feel even smaller.
Can you "borrow" some cover from your neighbours.....have they planted any trees ?
If not, your trellis idea is good ( honeysuckle will grow quickly ) with some birches spaced along the long wall which will distract the eye away from the neighbours. Their light foliage will be much easier to live with than that wall of evergreens !
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Oacer
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that, Sive. I hadn't thought of honeysuckle but have looked at it and think it would suit very well, and the fragrance is an added bonus! I'm thinking of wooden trellis along the wall or is wire support better?
Either way, I'm looking forward to the end result. Thanks again for your suggestions.
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Sive
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


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Location: Co.Wexford

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure either will be fine....if you use wooden trellis, don't twine the honeysuckle shoots through the trellis....rather just tie the main shoots in with twine. The most innocent shoots can turn into quite thick woody stems after a few years, and force the trellis slats apart.
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Maeve Drogheda
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Location: Drogheda Ireland

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could try to grow some clematis up your trellis, a purple like president or a deep cerise like rouge cardinal, along with your honeysuckle, they actually work well together. I can recomment a honeysuckle called Harlequin which has a varigated leave with white, cream a pink and a wonderful perfume.

If it is very sunny could you try passion flowers? I live in Drogheda and could give you some cuttings if you like.
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Oacer
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I was wondering about the stems breaking the trellis; thanks for the tip, Sive. That'll save me some replacements in the future!

And it's a great help re the particular clematis to choose. I wasn't sure whether to go for the clematis armandii, which seems to be relatively hardy; but I think I'd prefer the purple to the white flowers. I'd really appreciate any cuttings you could offer, Maeve. I'm planning on improving the garden from its current dull state to something more imaginative, and like every gardener (or garden potterer), my ideas are significantly greater than my budget!
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Sive
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Joined: 18 Apr 2008
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Location: Co.Wexford

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have found clematis armandii to be a thug as it tends to swamp anything in its path and I don't find its leathery leaves at all attractive ( a matter of taste of course )
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Oacer
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmmm, it has been pointed out to me that our 2 pets (a cat and a dog) are minor thugs in their own rights and it would be foolhardy on my part to add to the collection. I think I might reconsider!
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