Kristen's Project

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Kristen, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. Kristen

    Kristen Under gardener

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    Update: I started this Thread (in July'08) to describe my project, but I have since started a Blog, so if you are new to this thread you may prefer to go straight to my blog K's Garden to see what progress I've made

    The latest major update (30th December 2012) is described in this post


    Thanks.

    Original thread:

    I was asked in another thread what I was growing, and after typing an answer I didn't think I should hijack that thread, but in case anyone is interested I'll post it here. Bit of a long story, sorry about that.

    We've been here two years. We spent the first year getting straight, and doing what you are supposed to do and touch nothing but see what comes up.

    Last year we started the veg patch and I got a JCB in to rearrange the ponds, widen the drive, and put in some infrastructure for rainwater harvesting.

    The previous folk had a garden, but not much idea (in fairness I think he travelled a lot on business, so it was probably more of a "Good enough to have a BBQ in" type of design).

    Anyway, I'm not feeling too badly about taking a bulldozer to it ;)

    My wife and I have divided the garden into a number of zones.

    There's the original BBQ area - which is straight out of the back. Nice and sheltered because it is encircled with trees. The two original ponds, which intruded into the lawn and came right up to the house (probably was a slurry pit originally) were made from long-since-cracked concrete - water bill to try to keep them topped up in the first year was horrific. They are now revamped them into 3 separate ponds (about 50 - 100 sq m each), but not completed - liner is in, but the marginal shelves are still being sorted out (I'm sure you are supposed to do that before you put the liner in :o, but the ground was going to be too hard to work if I had left it any longer). Got to put some large stones along the shelves to retain the soil, then I can plant that (apart from a dozen or so Astillbes and a large clump of Hosta that I scrounged from my Mother, I haven't got any plants for that. I really fancy one of those huge Gunneras though!)

    Then there is an area to one side that stretches quite a way and just had a few trees on the boundary on each side and roughly cut grass. That is now divided into 3 zones left to right: Herbaceous, Sunken and Shrubbery - then connecting them across the plot at the far end a Pergola-to-be, and beyond that some woodland-to-be-planted:

    Shrubbery - planted this spring. That broke the piggy bank :(

    Sunken garden (well, to-be-sunken :) ) I've planted a hedge around, and the plan is to have some topiary and a knot garden +/- a par-terre. (3,000 box plants required :( that will be next seasons plant-raising project I expect)

    Herbaceous - currently undergoing Round-up clearance! and what I've been raising plants for this year. They aren't very special, just things that I could easily get plants / seed for cheaply; they will be replaced by more special things as I can afford / beg;) them.

    I did a site-clearance of pots and pot-carriers last year (I think I have around 5,000 pots!!), and the 3" pot-holder trays hold 20 pots - so when I've been potting out it has been in multiples of 20 :eek: - which is probably more than I need as most herbaceous design is groups of 3 or 5 :cool: but the rest may be sold on eBay to fund further expenditure. My Mother had bought 20 packets of herbaceous seeds of one sort or the other last year, which she decided she was too old to bother with!, so that was a bonus.

    The pergola-to-be across the width of the plot is just a pipe-dream at the moment. But I'm growing on 4 or 5 clematis, a couple of honeysuckle, 3 wisteria and half-a-dozen climbing roses. I don't think that was a good idea - I thought "Gain a year" but in reality trying to mange their height, in a pot, is not easy.

    By the by, I recommend the pot carriers. SO easy to just grab 20 plants and carry them somewhere else. I would never have spent the money on them but for the site clearance, and they have saved a huge amount of time. (When the plants get a bit bigger I move each alternate one to another tray so they have more growing room; unfortunately I don't have any carriers for 5" pots :( )

    There are some 150 lavender plants that I grew from plugs (going to line a path from the shrubbery to the sunken garden) and there must be 20 Clematis tangutica (from some seeds I bought of eBay:thumb:) of which I can only guess that I need a couple for myself. More climbers to try to control :p

    Hedges - I planted about 500 plants this spring, some of them were very late in the season and don't look good.

    Trees - which will be down the far end. Should have done more on that, as they will take the longest to mature, but been a bit slack on that front :mad: I got a few off ebay - a couple of Tulip trees, walnuts, half a dozen seedlings each of Handkerchief tree, Judas, Indian bean - and a few things like that. The conservatory has been a bit of a production zone, but we don't use it to live in during the early spring so I got away with it!

    The Veg patch (other side of the house) I got mostly under way last year. I've got a 30' "production" greenhouse [off eBay from a lovely old lady who was giving up her small holding], which was finally re-glazed this spring. There is a 12' x 10' (eBay again!) which is not yet glazed. Shan't need that until next spring now. (It will be to raise seeds etc., but otherwise for houseplants. I've got a fair collection of Fushias, and I'd like to grow some Cyclamen, Freesias and so on for the house in the winter.

    The veg patch is about 250 sq M (1/3rd is soft fruit, planted this spring, so nothing until next year), and there is a cut flower bed which is about 200 sq.m - about 150 sweet peas, and 400 gladioli at the moment, plus nursery beds for all the perennials that have outgrown their pots :)

    Blimey, it all sounds pretty mad now I've typed that ... sorry to have rather rabbited on.
     
  2. Anthony

    Anthony Gardener

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    Kristen.

    No need to apologise for rabbiting on as your description sounds wonderful! Do you have any pictures?

    Ant.
     
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    • Kristen

      Kristen Under gardener

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      "Do you have any pictures"

      I don't suppose I'm going to get away with "No", eh? :rolleyes:
       
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      • wiseowl

        wiseowl Friendly Owl ADMIN Staff Member

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        Hi Kristen sound like quite a project and a lot of hard work well done.
         
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        • PeterS

          PeterS Total Gardener

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          Kristen - thanks so much for your very comprehensive post. It sounds like you have really taken on a big job. But the fact that you have got stuck straight in implies that you know what you are doing and have done much of it before.

          It sounds a bit like my start to gardening. I had a completely empty garden, created from scratch, but I also knew nothing about gardening or plants. So I bought 20 packets of perennials and grew enough plants to fill my garden. Growing from seed is a marvelous way to get a large number of plants cheaply. I assumed that gowing plants from seed would slow down in subsequent years as the garden was full, .... but not so. This year I had nearly 70 packets of seed - and nowhere to put any of them. - but nobody's perfect. :rolleyes:
           
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          • John78

            John78 Gardener

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            That's some project! Best of luck with it. :thumb:
             
          • spudbristol

            spudbristol Gardener

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          • Tropical_Gaz

            Tropical_Gaz Gardener

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            Sounds a great project, would love to see some photos. I love the choice of trees your going for , the hankerchief tree is a very attractive tree. There is a really nice one at Heligan in Cornwall, i'll try and find a photo tonight.
             
          • JWK

            JWK Gardener

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            kristen: well done, it seems like a mammoth task, the numbers of plants/pots sounds more like a commercial enterprise! I guess you are doing this in your spare time, just you and OH? Looking forward to the piccies, we will keep nagging you until we see some :)
             
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            • lollipop

              lollipop Gardener

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              wow, you don`t mind hard work at all:D:D:D:D


              it sounds quite breathtaking.
               
            • Kristen

              Kristen Under gardener

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              "it sounds quite breathtaking."

              That's the plan ... looks more like a tip most of the time, at the moment though. I'll take some photographs if the rain stops ...
               
            • JWK

              JWK Gardener

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              Come on kristen, there's been no rain today, get your camera out :thumb:
               
            • The Nut

              The Nut Gardener

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            • JWK

              JWK Gardener

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              That'll teach me to nag someone else :)
               
            • Kristen

              Kristen Under gardener

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              Hehehe ... I feel like I'm in charge of some Pavlov's Dogs type experiment!
               
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