Our annual end-of-summer contest is here, come on down to the Dave's Garden County Fair!

Suburban Right Angles to Cottage Garden - Year1 Planning

(Susan) Xenia, OH(Zone 6a)

I've been posting in other DG areas about my situation which I will try to summarize here when I get back to wifi. But here's my start-- beginning to sculpt out new future planting beds with mulch, and container-gardening on top of the mulch to start learning what plants I like together.

The beds shown here will start curving (and extending out sideways) in the spring. In the meantime I have enough measurements to create a proper site plan.

In one foto are PA bluestone flags to be laid in (also in the spring). In slushy weather they already get me to the driveway with dry feet!

The third foto is the view from the breakfast table (bless you Margaret Roach).

~Susan

Thumbnail by poolrunning Thumbnail by poolrunning Thumbnail by poolrunning
(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Lol, Margaret certainly has some great ideas! I look forward to seeing more of your plan.

(Susan) Xenia, OH(Zone 6a)

Thanks Pam. For now I have fotos of spaces waiting to be filled and ideas about how to fill them. Is it too soon to post a few?

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Never too soon- the more pics the better, I say.

(Susan) Xenia, OH(Zone 6a)

OK you're on.

This corner is begging for the heirloom but worthless white enamel/cast iron stove full of herbs, across from my kitchen door, set at an angle with flowers spilling out of the open oven door. All thus above doggie-play height.

That's the neighbor's privacy fence and our lattice (to make white asap), and a makeshift dog gate which divides driveway off from asphalt/concrete/paver patio.

This message was edited Oct 8, 2014 2:49 PM

Thumbnail by poolrunning
(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Cool. Great Before pic. Now the herb stove?

(Susan) Xenia, OH(Zone 6a)

And this is the other end of the patio that was once a driveway. The previous occupants had their bbq under that window. Obviously tho this focal point location is screaming for red shutters and overflowing windowbox!

Forward of that garage window (middle ground) is a raised section of concrete we will use as a music stage with occasional canopy. Forward of that is a narrow concrete section level with asphalt. I see a curved wall of raised containers in a wooden raised-bed-type box, to get above dog height. Full sun there.... tomaters n peppers and portulaca, all covering the rough transitions in height and paving material. When we retire here fulltime, bed that out in soil in same curved wall. Wavy curve. Odd curve.

This message was edited Oct 8, 2014 2:51 PM

Thumbnail by poolrunning
(Susan) Xenia, OH(Zone 6a)

The herb stove is at the PA house so no pic-- I'm planning at Ohio retirement-soon-please-God house.

This pic is the long stretch of neighbor fence along patio. I see our portable fire pit or people in chairs all up the asphalt, and ladder-type planter shelves leaning against neighbor fence. There's a 6'x6' existing bed to hold I'm not sure what, yet, next to the bench that needs to come out. Have wicker to throw around as desired, instead.

Thumbnail by poolrunning
(Susan) Xenia, OH(Zone 6a)

This is the last of the patio views for today-- back to bed areas tmrw.

This is a 12' x 25' (30+?) .... dogfree grassed area and OUR privacy fence. I see bbq in front of gate sitting on concrete sidewalk not shown, plants climbing the fence, corners planted in curved beds, surrounding lap pool. Zero to very little grass when done... paths and arbors to pool and around to beds. Maybe same pavers used in patio perimeter.

Thumbnail by poolrunning
(Susan) Xenia, OH(Zone 6a)

General sz/type of herb stove. Ours older, more basic model. Base on ours all oven, not all those shiny compartments. Hand tools in overhead warming shelf.

Overflowing with basil spilling out of planted burner lids!

Thumbnail by poolrunning
(Pat) Kennewick, WA(Zone 5b)

I LOVE the idea of the herb stove visible from the kitchen! Above doggie level I'm sure is a good thing!

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Really great pictures- and a wonderful vision. I'm looking forward to seeing the curved beds and the other changes you're planning.

(Susan) Xenia, OH(Zone 6a)

No wifi here to run laptop with garden planning software or photoshop or I'd draw in what I see. I hope to be able to do that when I return to PA home base. All I know for sure is that all the neighborhood gardens I'm loving look a lot like the cottage style I see here.

First time homeowner. But in rentals where I've had any lawncare role, I've tended to have a pretty good eye for pruning so that plants can do what they are created to do--- reach, extend, but stay strong. So NOT a fan of clipped hedges or sculpted bushes or straight lines. IMO the hardscsape is the province of straight lines and our job is to soften them with grace and abandon.

What I can do short-term is lay out mulchy beds and start to shape the many "rooms" this corner lot offers, with that grand old Maple presiding.

Let's see. The patio is one room with 3 rooms in it...
Another is the front yard shade zone around the maple, on one side of the front walk.

Here's a longer shot of the tree area. I laid out the mulch line myself.
There is another room on the other side of that walk.
The side yard forms another huge room adjoining the tree zone.
The grassed eventual pool area is another.


This message was edited Oct 6, 2014 2:31 PM

Thumbnail by poolrunning
(Susan) Xenia, OH(Zone 6a)

Oh I forgot. ... in front of the garage window there is a weird wooden hatch cover in the raised concrete. It's the hatchway to an abandoned tornado shelter, now stuffed with years of dead brush. But I have a plan for that hatch. Look upthread at the foto and imagine an enormous, black cast iron farm bell rising out of that hatch on concreted-in 4x4s.

I saved it after a housefire burned down most of the PA laundry-room addition, and the second floor dorm above it.

That bell was built into the wall that burned, and had been the whole valley's trouble alarm for decades before the farmer's widow sold that property, and her house became the rental we've been in the last 20 years. I used the bell (before the fire) as a dinner bell when we created a blended family with 3 wild teenagers in hormone h $/^. That bell became a battle bell and the demo crew saved it from the dumpster. ... the bell but not the metal frame it hung in. But by golly I can figure out how to hang it in sedate suburbia as handsome decor! The bell is about 20 inches diameter. I may need to sink 6x6es in that hatch to hold it!

This message was edited Oct 4, 2014 10:31 PM

This message was edited Oct 8, 2014 2:57 PM

(Pat) Kennewick, WA(Zone 5b)

Awwwwwww the things we love and salvage!!

(Susan) Xenia, OH(Zone 6a)

Of course before I totally fill up the hatchway with concrete to set those posts I'll have to throw in a dog-safe climber.... something not exactly poisonous but.... discouraging. And a column of radishes set between the supports, on shelves. Yeah, the radish garden. Or bird-attracting grapes.... hm....

(Susan) Xenia, OH(Zone 6a)

Salvage... I have the headboard and footboard to an old cream-painted iron double bed. Nothing fancy, more hospital bed type. I always thought those'd make great garden gates or a backer for climbers....

No bedrails so best use unassembled... one bed used twice. I do need gates!

This type frame:

Thumbnail by poolrunning
(Pat) Kennewick, WA(Zone 5b)

I had a toddler bed that was metal, the footboard and headboard were the same height. I used them as "handrails" on my path thru one of the flower beds, it looked great.

I got a 12 foot metal gate free of craigslist and stood it on end, secured it to a normal 4 ' chain link fence, and used it for a clematis trellis. It helped block the view of my neighbor's place. I LOVE repurposing stuff into the garden.

(Susan) Xenia, OH(Zone 6a)

Yeh I just missed a toddler bed... hauled it to the dump for a friend a few days ago. But in PA I have a flourishing FreeCycle network to plumb and in Ohio I know where scrap metal is dumped. I can buy stuff outta there but first I must go spelunking thru our PA house and shed. When we leave that house it'll free up a milk can and prob other salvaged dairy stuff. Have to look with fresh eyes.

(Pat) Kennewick, WA(Zone 5b)

A little town an hour from here has a flourishing freecycle, but here, with a population literally over 10 times as big, does less than a 1/4 of the postings Walla Walla does!

(Susan) Xenia, OH(Zone 6a)

Love FreeCycle. Best item received was electric lift chair when I really needed one that also held up post-op till I didn't need it. Second best-- very close second-- about a dozen black nursery pots, 2-4 gal sizes. Good thing too-- the potted mums I set out blew over. I can weight a nursery pot and then set the lightweight mums in them, back out where I had em!

(Susan) Xenia, OH(Zone 6a)

OK this pic will really call upon your imagination. I've discussed this with neighbors and think it will work.

A few yrs ago I bought a pair of 3' tall dolls for diversity workshops. I dressed each in modern afterschool garb, jeans and hoodies. I also have some dressier outfits for them. The first thing I did with them was de-cute them, removing or covering up the mob caps they come in like obscenely huge imitation Raggedy Anns.

I'm gonna seat them at the little table in the front holly bed. Tea parties in warm weather, ice skates and thermos for winter. They'll do fine under the eaves and fade only slowly in full shade. They can garden when I'm not looking.

The whole neighborhood has Halloween/harvest dolls-- scarecrowlike-- of similar size on sticks posing with corn shocks. Mine are more. ... substantial.

This message was edited Oct 5, 2014 11:11 PM

Thumbnail by poolrunning
(Pat) Kennewick, WA(Zone 5b)

What a GREAT idea! Go for it! You could use any many "holiday ideas" as there are holidays, or stick with the more universal seasonal like you have mentioned.

(Susan) Xenia, OH(Zone 6a)

Since they're already in hoodies and represent contrasting races, they'll jiggle quite a few attitudes. I thought I'd let them stay on the secular side, greeting folks of any culture arriving from the driveway. Hoping for "subtle," emphasizing how much good clean fun they're having.

Maybe add a third empty chair to show their welcoming hearts. My next Goodwill shoplist is complete. I also need some old fashioned metal milkman-delivery boxes, cuz one rule here is all toys n equipt-- incl doll accessories-- must live in the relevant room, indoors or out. So two chairs, milk boxes, used skates, thermos. Sellers left mugs better left outside! Plant in em.

The dolls can preside over that "room," while St. Francis blesses the adjoining room. Each of these rooms is actually a small cottage garden. I been eye-candying Wifeygirl's mix of beds with containers and climbables.


So I need to think who are the welcomers in the other "rooms." Probably birds and such. Birdbaths cuz no kittehs in this family.

This message was edited Oct 8, 2014 2:48 PM

(Caitlin) Fresno, CA(Zone 9b)

I'm LOVING your enthusiasm and ideas galore, Susan! You can do it!

For your bed headboard and foot-board, you might want to consider making them into a "Garden Bed" - setting up headboard and foot-board, then planting in the middle! Fun garden art.

(Susan) Xenia, OH(Zone 6a)

Regarding the yard dolls described upthread at http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/p.php?pid=9953924...

Left here by sellers was a way-cute tiny "little red wagon." It floated past my eyes again yesterday in a garage project.

I awoke to realize it's the perfect scale for the dolls. What to set IN it... duh, a mini-flat of annuals-- making their tea party a gardener's breaktime.... making that whole garden room a child's garden, with carrots tucked in among the flars! And a grape temater bush!

~S~

This message was edited Oct 12, 2014 12:24 PM

(Pat) Kennewick, WA(Zone 5b)

I like your wagon idea!

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I love your 'vision' for the new gardens...

(Susan) Xenia, OH(Zone 6a)

And I am appreciating the encouragement from folks at DG, more than I can say. I have used up my data plan for this trip so more pix soon are unlikely, but my camera will go home with me to PA in a few weeks so planning with you excellent guides can go on all winter. I may get one more future bed mulched in before departing... I'm just abt strong enough now to do one without paid help, and the BIL/SIL w/kids may be here my ladt wknd to help fan mulch out of the back of the van so no heavy lifting for anyone. And my garage project ydy netted me lots more used black plastic bags to help kill the 'grass' under the mulch. I've seen enough sunlight in the yard to place a curvy, mixed-sun bed!

My stay here got extended, but it's probably just as well that I didn't know I could have put in some stuff and gotten it started.... I'm thinking now that every shrub I want had better be a dwarf to keep me outta trouble. ;-) Cuz y'allses have been commenting on a lot of plants I think I want here and there is a certain scale to this neighborhood.... as well as sq footage boundaries! ;-)

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Hahaha... You're hooked! And what fun it is!

(Susan) Xenia, OH(Zone 6a)

But I need to confess though..... One of my alltime favorite plants is fine in mountainous, wild, far-north PA but considered a scourge in civilized neighborhoods-- crown vetch. Is there any way to contain it? Does it burrow under pavement for instance?

(Susan) Xenia, OH(Zone 6a)

Or what looks similar but is safe?

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

I just looked around the net a little... Crown vetch does sound really, really scary for a garden. Spreads fast and far, wipes out everything else and is really tough to get rid of. But there are other vetches, like hairy vetch, which is used agriculturally as a cover crop. I don't know if the look is similar enough to make you happy...

I go for hardy geraniums, myself. Lovely soft colors, good weed surpressors, some are really good weavers around other plants. But not really the same :/

(Susan) Xenia, OH(Zone 6a)

Hello!!!

I'm back from the Ohio home under discussion, at our PA house, where I've been sick. (Gallbladder, ewwww!)

Tho I haven't been posting, planning has continued.

One of the property's several garden "rooms" has taken shape in my mind, fortunately before digging, LOL... I'll get a picture of the blank canvas up soon, but it shall be.... The Butterfly Garden!!!

Foundation plants will be lilacs, and a wisteria arbor that will shade a new picture window (placed far enuf from house not to eat off the siding), a white wicker love seat and coffee table, potted impatiens and other butterfly-friendly blooms, flanked and/or backdropped with hollyhocks (all this closest to house). Spreading out from there to sidewalk..... hmmmm.... suggestions welcome.

It will connect to the driveway and come around the corner of the house to the front door with butterfly-shaped pavers made in concrete molds and decorated by neighborhood families at an annual ice cream social.

~S~

(Pat) Kennewick, WA(Zone 5b)

The stepping stone butterflies will add an interesting twist. Looking forward to pics!

Staten Island, NY(Zone 6a)

I think it is called hedge link weave fence, it looks like pine branches weaves in the fence.

(Susan) Xenia, OH(Zone 6a)

???

.........

Dwarf hollyhocks will fit into that arbor, which means I can have them without making the arbor too tall for the roof line.

~S~

(Pat) Kennewick, WA(Zone 5b)

interesting.. I'll have to look for a link to see it.

(Susan) Xenia, OH(Zone 6a)

Yeh, I'm back in Wifiland but not back to desktop quite yet, where I can multi-window, sprinkle links, add pix still on my camera, etc.

I keep visualizing tall-house plants; our PA rental is very, very tall! Then the warnings about overgrowth in small areas chime in and I remember the neighborhood's scale.... and that if I get EVERYTHING in dwarf form I can have more plants per sq ft.... and google for a dwarf and there they are! Bob's your uncle!

Among upcoming pix will be those neighborhood shots I stockpiled for frame of reference. I wish I'd gotten addresses so I could write for potential plant swaps, but I think I shall enjoy calling on them with my road-cycling husband when he can be there with me. Maybe some of the 'hood will be walkable when we drop back in for a quick early-February visit.

(Susan) Xenia, OH(Zone 6a)

Hm, I can fetch links on this rarely-used tablet. Here is a plant I am not sure yet where to use, unless maybe along the sunny second driveway.... oh dear, another "room" I missed! ;-)

There's not room for much but a narrow border along a low fence belonging to the nice neighbor on that side... I will have to check on his plan to replace that fence first. There is one rose on our side, and weeds to eradicate. In their place, portulaca and this:

http://gardening.about.com/od/treesshrubs/ig/Top-Shrubs-for-the-Home-Garden/My-Monet-Weigela-.htm

I think that shrub may also get enuf sun to serve as a low hedge along some of the sidewalk.... have to pick out partners to live with it for that....

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or sign up to post.
BACK TO TOP