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Gardening in Mediterranean Turkey - help please

Discussion in 'Tropical Gardening' started by Lantana, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. Lantana

    Lantana Apprentice Gardener

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    I have an almost empty plot of 1500 square metres on a steep slope in south west Turkey. The soil is poor almost all rock. We have 25 well established olive trees and not much else. I am fairly new to gardening and am a bit overwhelmed. We do not have garden centres here as such, just places which sell plants and mostly the seller doesn't know the name of the plant or how to care for it. I have bought lots of books and looked at dozens of websites and have divided the land up into various sections with dry stone walls to retain soil and create some semi raised beds.

    None of my neighbours grow plants, only vegetables and they all think I am mad to want trees, shrubs and flowers, so no help there

    Would now really appreciate some planting ideas from experienced gardeners. I want to fill lots of space on a relatively modest budget and i want a natural garden with appropriate plants for the region. Is this an impossibility do you think?
     
  2. strongylodon

    strongylodon Old Member

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    Welcome to GC Lantana, (a nice plant).
    Perhaps Victoria will be able to offer some advice as she is a Med gardener although in Portugal she has a lot of experience in dry climate growing.:smile:
     
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    • Phil A

      Phil A Gardener

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      Welcome to Gardeners Corner:sign0016: I've worked in Turkey, but not gardened there.

      Did see the lads out there grow a lawn from seed in just 3 days though:thud:
       
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      • longk

        longk Total Gardener

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        I know that you get reasonable heat and not a lot of rain in the summer, but what about winter?

        One of my faves that may work for you is an Isreali native, Cerinthe palestina...........
        [​IMG]

        [​IMG]

        Others to consider (winter conditions permitting) are Sage/Salvia, Isoplexis canariensis, Verbascum, Echium (maybe?).

        Your best bet for a better choice is to grow from seed by the sounds of it though.
         
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        • longk

          longk Total Gardener

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          • Madahhlia

            Madahhlia Total Gardener

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            I'd have a good look round the neighbourhood and find out
            a.What grows well in the wild - a botanical guide to Turkey would be an asset
            b.What grows well in gardens - look at the nearby towns/villages

            Try to make two lists of these things, then think about whether you could grow any of these things easily from seed. Then you could set about buying some seed in and raising your own plants. Spring will be a little earlier than here, possibly, so get going soon.

            Also, you could harvest and replant a few things from the wild - not allowed in the UK, I believe, but may not be a problem, in moderation, in Turkey.

            Get good at taking cuttings as that is an excellent way of propagating a plant you have seen and liked without spending lots of money.

            Bulbs would be a good way to buy plants in the UK and transport them out to your new home. (Hopefully they won't already have been stripped from Turkish hillsides by unscrupulous growers.) Many species originate in and grow well in the near East.
             
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            • HarryS

              HarryS Eternally Optimistic Gardener

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              We have garden centres like that in the UK as well :biggrin:
              Hello Lantana , welcome to Gardeners Corner . I am sure our Mediterranean expert Victoria and others can give you some advice :dbgrtmb:
               
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              • clueless1

                clueless1 member... yep, that's what I am:)

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                Why not fill it up with Rosemary? You can never have too much rosemary. Looks pretty and smells divine, of and you can use it in the kitchen too.

                In a med climate, Rosemary grows into a very impressive bush, decked out with little blue flowers throughout spring and early summer. It also doesn't need much. If it gets rained on a couple of times in a year, it will be happy.
                 
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                • Victoria

                  Victoria Lover of Exotic Flora

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                  Hello Lantana and welcome to GC.

                  I have owned in Portugal since 1988 but have only been 'living here' since 1995 and actually permanently moved here in 2001 ... gosh, has it been that long ....?

                  I have decided to 'do' tropical in a sub-tropical environment in the last 6-7 years and it has been difficult. I went through the neighbours thinking I was 'bonkers' not growing veg. I don't want veg and only tropical plants as veg is so cheap here it is not worth growing. It may be more difficult with you with your amount of land as you do need shade.

                  What do you want? I immediately planted trees such as Jacarandas which grow exceptionally quickly here, as do Albizias. If you tell me what you actually want, around the house and perhaps other places in the garden, I am sure I can come up with some quick-growing trees / shrubs for you.

                  You can PM / e-mail me if you want so it goes more quickly as I don't often respond quickly here these days.
                   
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                  • strongylodon

                    strongylodon Old Member

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                    Acacia (Mimosa) Longifolia is tolerant of poor soils and I have seen it everywhere in southern Turkey. Scented flowers, fast growing but can be invasive.
                     
                  • Scorpio68

                    Scorpio68 Apprentice Gardener

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                    Welcome Lantana. Jees, what i'd give to be where you are, plants or no plants. (Obviously with would be better).

                    I have a thread here. There's a link to a folder in my Dropbox where you can see images of plants etc from my most recent visit to Northern Cyprus. The terrain is similar in places and many have been identified by members on here, (use the list view). Might be useful. I have another thread too but way back in August somewhere.

                    In fact i've just realised, you can see Northern Cyprus in the background of my avatar.
                     
                  • Jitka

                    Jitka Apprentice Gardener

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                    • Jitka

                      Jitka Apprentice Gardener

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                      Hi Lantana,
                      I think that really the best would be to study your surroundings first and get familiar not only with the climate but also with the flora that naturally grows around you and how it behaves trough the year.
                      I would imagine that winters could be frost free but perhaps wet with lots of rain and of course summers scorching hot and dry. So typical Mediterranean conditions.
                      Lots of people suggested Acacias , Pinus would be option too, Cedrus, Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides), Bay tree, Tamarix.
                      Shrubs I would suggest anything with grey foliage is a safe bet like: Artemisia, Santolina Chamaecyparissus, Lavandula, Helichrysum italicum, Phlomis italica, Rosmarinus, Thymus, Oreganum, Nepeta, Salvias, Scabiosa, Euphorbia beselicus, Euphorbia characias wonderful plants!!!
                      You can try some Agave for a bit more wow factor.
                      Alpines may be good also, some crawling Sedums should cope with the heat in summer.
                      So good luck and take time with observation first!!
                      Jitka
                       
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                      • Lantana

                        Lantana Apprentice Gardener

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                        Thank you all so much for taking the time to post so many very helpful comments. It is true that gardeners are the most helpful people, always willing to share their knowledge.

                        This year will be our second with the garden. Although we have lived here for ten years we only bought the adjoining plot of land to create the garden last year. In the first year we had some successes, but lots and lots of failures and I am trying to work out how to eliminate the failures, partly because I feel so guilty when a plant dies.

                        We have had an unusually wet winter this year and our plot, 300 metres above sea level gets a lot of wind damage. The spring is very early here. The garden Is currently full of Euphorbia, which grows wild everywhere, tiny cyclamen, anenomes , poppies , osteopernum , geraniums and large white daisies. All self seeded. Did try growing plants from about 100 packets of seed last year bought from UK and chosen for suitability to local climate but almost nothing germinated. I think I should have planted a couple of months earlier than instructions on packet.

                        Between May and September we get maybe 2 cm of rain. Temperatures in July and August can be as high as 45 and all plant life becomes dormant. In late September we have a second spring and lots of plants burst into life having done nothing for 4 months.

                        So I am now going to try to buy small plants here to grow on but as I don't know what conditions they like, I asked for suggestions and you have all given me so many ideas that I know I can put into practice.

                        Thank you particularly to those who suggested Pm's , websites and other links. Will follow them all up.

                        If I find and plants that I think might work in these conditions but cannot identify, could I post a picture on here and ask all the experienced gardeners for advice?

                        Good luck with all your own gardens. I have found this whole site totally inspiring and I'm in awe of all that dedication and knowledge.
                         
                      • Madahhlia

                        Madahhlia Total Gardener

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                        Heh, heh, why?It's the silly plant's fault if it chooses to keel over and die!

                        One volunteer is worth ten pressed plants!

                        That is very discouraging - but you never know, some might make an appearance this year. I only sow half the packet first time round, so I can have a second attempt. Did you sow direct into the ground or into seed trays or pots, because the latter might be more successful as you can try to ensure optimum care.


                        I think we'd all enjoy the challenge!
                         
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