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Planning a perrenial garden


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Nozebleed
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 26 Jan 2010
Posts: 751
Location: Dublin

PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:57 pm    Post subject: Planning a perrenial garden Reply with quote

Hey all..need your help,theres a big project in the works.i,ve decided to transform my veg garden into a flower garden! At the moment im drawing some shapes for the beds..now i know nothing about perrenials,in fact i know nothing at all about flowers,maybe you guys can give me some pointers. Ive tried to draw a rough plan,nice curving beds from the wall out towards the lawn..i plan on sowing grass seed around the curved flower beds for a nice clean look.


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Last edited by Nozebleed on Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sive
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 1731
Location: Co.Wexford

PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My first reaction to your drawings would be to be careful that you don't give yourself a lot of fiddly work keeping the grass cut, if the shapes are too complex.
Second thought would be to think what you'll do with the walls, as they will be the backdrop to your flowers........maybe trellis and climbers( ?? )....better to get all that sorted before you plant up any beds.......and then maybe a specimen tree as a focal point.
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Greengage
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Joined: 09 Nov 2011
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Location: Kildare

PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My advice is stop and think very carefully about what you are going to do. The curves look really nice but very tight for turning lawnmowers, You will have a huge amount of work there maintaining it.Get a long garden hose and lay it out around the design and look at it from many angles even from an upstairs window if you live in a two story. I will post some pics of my garden, I started out with a similar design but redid it within a year due to amount of edging, As for the planting it depends on what you want, Plant low growing plants to the front and taller to the rear, also plant something that will give you all year round intrest eg tall garsses. All my plants do not require staking if they fall over out they go next time around, have a look at the pics and if you need any more advice let us know.


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Nozebleed
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 26 Jan 2010
Posts: 751
Location: Dublin

PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies. I large rope will be purchased for mapping out..im gona start saving for trellis! Never thought about covering or disguising the walls..will keep you guys posted..work wont start until the end of summer..plenty of time to do my research.
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Good guy
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 11 Feb 2013
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Location: Donegal

PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try going to as many gardens, open to the public, as you can. There are loads in your area. Take a camera and notebook and figure out what you like. The National Botanical Gardens have brilliant herbaceous borders which would give you plenty of ideas. Helen Dillon's garden in Ranelagh and Jimi Blake's at Huntingbrook in Wicklow would both be inspirational.

If you see stuff you know you want, buy it! Garden centres only sell perennials when they are blooming, so by the autumn they are not displaying many of them. You can always plant them in a temporary location, let them grow on for the summer and then lift and divide them before planting out finally - as many perennials work best in groups of three or five, this way you get 3 for the price of 1! And take heed of of a gem from Gertrude Jekyll: "If in doubt, plant a geranium".
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tippben
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 15 Jan 2011
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Location: north tipperary

PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nozebleed, don't give up on a productive garden! Perennial crops like climbing berries(Tayberry/Loganberry etc.), or Passionflower would be great for flowers and fruit. If you put vine eyes and wires on your walls, they would be brilliant. Asparagus. Great structure there. You can get perennial broccoli. You can eat the flowers. Maybe put one as a centrepiece amongst some sedums (ice plant). You can always plant small groups of annual crops within your framework, similar to a french "potagér".

Great flowers often look best offset by foliage, so remember leaf structure. A few Cavalo Nero look practically Jurassic, and will feed you in winter. "Bright Lights" chard. By the time the seedlings are ready to be transplanted you will be able to see their colours. Even the foliage of carrots will add interest, where you might've used a grass.

Don't neglect herbs. They are fabulous flowers in their own right. Rosemary, Sage, thymes, mints, bergamot, lavender, chives, summer savory, even sorrel and the counterfoil of bay. They don't need to be in a dedicated herb bed as long as you know where they all are. You can use them all.

Trees. Plant an apple, a cherry or plum, a sorbus, a quince and an almond.
If you have limited space (even for the smaller dwarfing root stocks), just do apple, cherry/plum and sorbus. That will give you continuous flower from spring to summer, and the fruit and autumn colour. I personally love the flower of the quince, so I'd try to find a space for that if I could.

Research edible flowers. The one's I know of the top of my head are: Calendula, Chives, Nasturtiums, "Day Lillies", any of the squash family, Violas, elder.

Regarding the need for mowing grass. If you have a solid edging to your beds, you can mow the big bits, then clean up the rest with a strimmer. Alternatively, you could use chamomile as a lawn instead of grass, and eliminate the need for mowing. See here: https://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/Profile.aspx?pid=281
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Nozebleed
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 26 Jan 2010
Posts: 751
Location: Dublin

PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Definitely gona visit some gardens with the camera over the summer..bloom and botanic gardens are on the agenda. I would like to invest in some nice steel edging but its gona cost a pretty penny.
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tagwex
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Location: Co. Wexford

PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The subject of metal edging came up about a month ago. I don't remember in which thread but I think Good Guy started it. Can anyone point Nozebleed in the right direction.
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Good guy
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


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Location: Donegal

PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup, it was me. See below, under "Hard Landscaping...."
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Nozebleed
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 26 Jan 2010
Posts: 751
Location: Dublin

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Found the thread..impressed with your edging,curves are nice..looking at my lawn i may dig up the existing grass and re'sow the entire garden with grass seed..just sow the grass looks right! Couldn,t have two differesnt shades or something.
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Nozebleed
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 26 Jan 2010
Posts: 751
Location: Dublin

PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you guys recommend a tree that can be shaped/pruned to create a nice over head canopy effect. I did have a dwarf japanes maple but having looked at pics online they kinda look a bit mushroom like.
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tippben
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 15 Jan 2011
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Location: north tipperary

PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, what height and spread can you allow in ten years time?
The one that immediately springs to mind is Cornus contraversa "variegata", aka the wedding cake tree. https://www.google.ie/search?q=wedding+cake+tree&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=mZAtU8KkNuSV7Aa_2YHwDw&sqi=2&ved=0CC4QsAQ&biw=1366&bih=638 Being a dogwood, it doesn't mind pruning, and has wonderful flowers. However, it is slow growing, so larger specimens are appropriately expensive. Well worth it as a one off purchase if it will remain whatever you decide to do with the garden in future, as the slow growth makes it ideal for a small garden.

Weeping trees, including Cedrus atlantica "glauca pendula" can be pruned to achieve that effect by pruning the outer branches to an outward facing bud. The only problem there is that they tend to get wide quickly, especially cheaper trees like birch, so they end up casting a lot of shade. Repeated prunings can leave you with fairly thick pruned branches with fringes of twigs hanging off them.

A weeping mulberry will give you summer shade and fruit, and is slow growing. You could train the branches with wire, similar to bonsai, but you will have to redo any wiring every year. This tree would need minimal pruning, but again would be quite pricey, though it is available as a standard (6" main stem, top grafted).
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Nozebleed
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 26 Jan 2010
Posts: 751
Location: Dublin

PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the post tippben..not sure about those treea..they might just be too big in the long term. The weddinf cake tree would work..looks great. But In my mind I have the picture of a bonsai! Completely unrealistic no doubt. Might look at a cherry blossom..
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

what about putting a pergola in the corner fan shaped and training a wiateria over it or laburnum.
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Nozebleed
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Joined: 26 Jan 2010
Posts: 751
Location: Dublin

PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thats an option alright..id be a little reluctant to build any major structure..maybe down the line it would be an option for the shaded right handside corner of the garden. Better get my pencil out again.
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