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Planning a perrenial garden


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tippben
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 921
Location: north tipperary

PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When you say "bonsai", what kind of height do you want the canopy to start at? I'd imagine a 6" clear stem (a standard) would be most appropriate, unless you want to go really Japanese and recline under it, in which case a half standard 3' clear stem would do. Unless you buy a tree in a 300L container. Remember, pruning a tree of 1/3 of it's volume is an extreme prune.

Pruning any tree shocks them. They grow more vigorously. Even trees with a spreading habit will tend to try and grow upwards. Pruning is not a long term solution unless you want a topiarized plant. Better to choose a weeping tree, which is a "sport", or random mutation, that wants to lie flat on the ground. They are generally grafted onto a rootstock, to allow the gardener choice over where it gets to before it starts going sideways and down.

I'd say go for any weeping tree, and train it like a bonsai. Get a top grafted one on a standard clear stem. Avoid willow, unless it's Salix caprea "Kilmarnock". What you need to do is use wires, in a spiral round the branches, to train them into the shape you want. The wires help the tree defy gravity, it's genetic inclination, and allow the lignin in the stems to set, over a year, making the branch more rigid. Use supports (canes, y shaped sticks, whatever) to support the end of the branches if necessary.

Next winter, undo everything, prune if necessary (remember that any Prunus needs pruning in July, to avoid disease), and redo the wires. You really wont see them underneath the foliage any more than you notice wires on "pleached" trees.

If you can wait, smaller trees (8-10 or 10-12cm girth, measured at 1.3m) will establish much quicker, and cost a lot less than larger specimens. If you go for something like a birch, or a cherry, you could get away with 6-8 cm girth and not notice after a year. After about three seasons, you should need no more wires or supports.
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Nozebleed
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 26 Jan 2010
Posts: 751
Location: Dublin

PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok,done some research. And your suggestions are excellent. Here,s what i found looking through tully nurseries and johnstown garden centre websites. Ideally i would like a tree which grows max 8ft tall and maybe 6ft wide..something like that.

1. Weeping cherry tree (prunus kiku shidare sikura)

2. Salix Nishiki (japanese willow tree)

3. Acer "garnet" (red foliage) or acer "shishigashra" (orange foliage).
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tippben
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 921
Location: north tipperary

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, the Prunus will work well. It does have a very shallow root system, so be aware that as it grows, you will end up with large roots at surface level, so take care when siting. As I said before, any pruning or training must be performed in July/August. Pruning when dormant risks infection by "silver leaf": a serious fungal disease.

The Salix. I have never seen these perform well. They have a tendency to shoot from below the graft, necessitating constant rubbing off of new shoots. The graft point tends to split, and they are prone to both willow anthracnose and leaf blight. I'd avoid this one, as I think you'll be disappointed.

The Acers. Yes, there are many many cultivars. If you find one with the form you need, it'll be brilliant. However, they are slow to develop, so go for the biggest specimen your budget will allow. They hate wind, and they don't like early morning sunlight. Dew drops act like a magnifying glass in the dawn sun, burning the leaves. Wind (and really hot sunny weather) will dry out the tips of the leaves faster than the plant's system can get water to them. You get brown tips to the leaves. This is a very superficial thing though, and doesn't affect the health of the plant: it's more of a sensible response: better to shut down a small part of a leaf than to lose the whole thing.
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Nozebleed
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 26 Jan 2010
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Location: Dublin

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well..a friend of mine got wind of my new project and decided to buy me a gift. Now panic is setting in...the project is a go! How long can i keep this in the pot? It could be another 5 months before i start laying out the new design.

Acer palmatum seiryu.



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Nozebleed
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Location: Dublin

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How do I determine which way my garden faces? I had a look on google maps and the long back wall(left hand side of the photo) is exactly north.
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Greengage
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Joined: 09 Nov 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the inside of the wall or the outside of the wall Laughing
If you stand at your back door and the direction you are facing is north thats the aspect, watch where the sun shines on the garden and note it or photograph it to see where the shadows are.
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Nozebleed
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well its hard to say..my door faces east but the garden is left of the back door..so i say the garden faces north! Ha ha..no idea.
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tagwex
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Joined: 23 Feb 2010
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Location: Co. Wexford

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At noon tomorrow see where the sun is, that will be due south.
_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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tippben
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 921
Location: north tipperary

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We're just past the spring equinox, so at this time of year the sun actually does rise due east and set due west. At midday, it will be due south. Or buy a cheap compass. Your tree should be fine in the pot as long as it is kept sheltered and watered. Don't be tempted to prune it at all until the leaves drop.
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tagwex
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 23 Feb 2010
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Location: Co. Wexford

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My thoughts entirely tippben. To test you, just how far away will the sun be from due south at the June solstice.
@nozebleed: check for moss on the back of your new tree to give you north!!!
Alternative to you buying a compass is to use an analogue watch which can also tell you your compass points once you can see the sun.

_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Nozebleed
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 26 Jan 2010
Posts: 751
Location: Dublin

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok here,s a revisded plan to scale. Measured the entire garden today and hit easons for some nice paper!


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Nozebleed
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 26 Jan 2010
Posts: 751
Location: Dublin

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A. Rockery,lots of colourfull ground cover..early sun,shaded in evenings.
B. Bed is 8ft in diameter..gets full sun..suggestions welcome.
C. Bed is 6ft in diameter..i think full sun.
D. Bed is 4ft and in full sun.
E. Bed 4ft in diameter..early morning sun,shaded in the evenings.
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tagwex
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 23 Feb 2010
Posts: 5157
Location: Co. Wexford

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Put on the north point, dimensions are not clear (40' x ??) and tell us what the soil is like, ph values if you have them too. It will help us to help you.
_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Nozebleed
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 26 Jan 2010
Posts: 751
Location: Dublin

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok. Well as far as i know..(google maps/earth)
if standing in the middle of the garden facing plot B that is north.
Each square grid is 4ftx4ft as you look at the pic.
From the top of the pic to the bottom of plot A is 21ft.
im know a simple drawing would be easier but im in bed..too llazy to get out.
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Nozebleed
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


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Posts: 751
Location: Dublin

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dont know what the ph is...but its been manured heavily over the last few years..also a decent amount of grit added for drainage.
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