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Help with going forward..

Discussion in 'NEW Gardeners !' started by Coffee, Feb 15, 2021.

  1. Coffee

    Coffee Apprentice Gardener

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    I'm in need some advice on my 5.5m wide by 20m length of garden. After doing research on trees/hedge's/plants I end up no better off or unable to make a decision on the way forward.

    Background... South facing garden. Built a shed at bottom of garden in 2017 (still unfinished) re-leveled the garden and had lawn for 2 summers. Although I like looking at the lawn, I now know It needs some colour and would like to attract some insect wildlife and birds.
    2020 dug out a space for a pond and sewed some wildflowers round it, however from late May going out in the evenings was a mosquitoes paradise. So I'm tempted to fill half of it back in. On the plus side wildflowers looked great.
    I also did a veg patch down the right hand side of the lawn, but what I planted failed to grow, I'm thinking as it gets no sun after 12:30 (summertime) was the main reason and not putting enough effort into it was the main reason.
    Also planted a Japanese fire cracker accacia late summer.

    Way forward for this year...
    Move veg patch to left side of garden (more sun 6-7 hour's worth in summer).
    Plant some hedges that attract birds in autumn winter for food down right side of garden. But type/s?
    Have an area for composting (but where?).
    Plant 2 fruit trees (thinking peach and apple), on right side of garden (Infront of the hedges I plan for). But I don't know if the 2 will work together? self pollinating/cross pollinating confuses me.

    So anyone see anything obvious that won't work?
     

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    • JR

      JR Chilled Gardener

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      Hi Coffee, I'd keep the pond despite the mozzies cos it's great for all wildlife. Not sure what veg you like, but a row of runner beans would produce well down the left, and they are generally reliable. A raised bed could be nice for other stuff. Wild flowers are great for attracting pollinators.
      Peach and apple trees should be fine, but I'd be sure to look for 'patio' size dwarf rootstock one's.
      (My neighbours peach tree is huge in it's south facing garden)
      You can check for pollination requirements.. Our Victoria plum is self pollinating but our apples do need companions.
      Composter and water butt next to shed.
      Hedge is down to taste, (i like beech), but you could consider thornless blackberry against that wall.
       
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        Last edited: Feb 15, 2021
      • Black Dog

        Black Dog Gardener of useful things

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        Well I think you have lots of potential and still a long way to go.

        First of all, you have a lot of "walls" boxing in your garden. This can be bad (less sunshine) or good (lots of climbing space), depending on your views.

        If I was you I would try to maybe plant a grape vine along the brick wall. It doesn't need a lot of space, but yields incredible crops for birds and yourself. Give it two or three years and you will have the whole side covered.

        Another, more exotic idea would be to plant a kiwi plant at the very same spot. I myself have an "Issai" and it grew 2 meters last year alone after being planted in spring (and almost froze).

        If you are not sure yet, you can always start with beans. They grow fast and high, and all you need to do is tie some strings or wire alongside those walls or fences.

        If you want to plant a tree, I might go with a Mirabelle Plum (I have a french "Nancy"). Although depending on your normal weather a cherry tree might be hardier. I Always try to go for food I can't by for a dime a dozen in the local supermarket (like apples). So maybe an Almond (beautiful flowers) or a pear tree (as good as apple, but a little more rare)

        Lastly for the real veggies. Maybe it might be nice idea to add a raised bed alongside one of the walls. It makes working and weeding a lot easier and I like to think slugs don't like to climb them.
        There you could plant everything from radishes (great fool proof beginners plant), over garlic to Sweet potatoes (really nice flowers). Tomatoes and strawberries also tolerate not being in the sun all day.

        If you just want a little bit of sunshine I can always advise for sunflowers. A nice row or even a little group alongside the fence would really brighten it up. And they don't need a lot of care whilst feeding birds and bees alike
         
      • Coffee

        Coffee Apprentice Gardener

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        Hi JR thx for the reply...
        Water butt I have already as a Christmas gift I just need to fix it all up. The composter I was thinking of doing bottom right as you said, just unsure as it gets no sun down there even in the height of summer. But if u think it should go there I'll go with that.

        For the vegetables I'd grow things I/we eat a lot of potato/leek's/onions/lettuce and salad leaves. Although some of them I consider cheap to buy from shops still so may do something like runner beans instead of potato and onions.

        I did think about raised beds, however after watching Charles Dowding on YouTube his raised beds get more slugs compared to the beds with no sides, so I'm gonna do as he does and cardboard off the grass and compost over the top and go no dig for the first couple of years.

        As for hedge I never thought about growing crops for us, I was just thinking of feeding the birds naturally through the winter with something like orange pyracantha, to save me buying bird food in plastic.
        Neighbour's gardens both sides are so over grown with wild blackberry on both sides. I pick about 2 kilo's on average a year, and that's just what I can get to without being cut up. But I do like the idea of grape's as black dog has mentioned.
         
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