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Beginner Landscaping: Front yard / corner lot needs help for British pocket garden

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Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 4, 2008
2:09 AM

Post #5505554

FINALLY!!! Wahoo!! Four years coming. The summer following treatment for breast cancer 4 1/2+ years ago I began preparing the front yard of my home of 30+ years by killing the bermuda grass. My neighbors have had to live with the bare or dry weed-filled landscape since then. I have simply not had the physical energy to engage in the physical labor needed to do the work. And while I am still "puny" relative to my pre-treatment state, I will, I will, I will start the layout and early plantings this week. I must do it a bit at a time, but at least I'll be doing the work.

Bear with me here . . . I have wanted to lay out an urban British pocket garden since my trip to England, specifically The Cotswolds (Cirencester), in the fall of 2003 with my then-85YO mother. Her father, my GF, was born and raised there and I just fell in love with England. The town harkens to Roman times and is built largely of stone, something I am unable to replicate. But I've some ideas I'd like to share and ask my gardening brothers and sisters to help me with the planning.

So I'll start by posting the few images I have of the area, describing the layout briefly, and then tell you of my overall plan.

I hope you're game.

So . . . here's the first image, facing northwest corner, concrete block fence to the north (surrounding the patio I nearly single-handedly designed and built in 2000), white single story 1940's stucco house with two 40++YO Fruitless Mulberries standing guard against the summer heat. They're going NOWHERE! That's non-negotiable, folks!

You'll note that I've laid out stakes and yellow tape which hopefully protects my liability insurance against injuries in the recently-dug (little Bobcat tractor with 10-inch-diameter drill bits was just awesome to watch work) holes for fence posts. This ground is solid hardpan (clay) across the 70X40 foot yard. So I had Aardvark Bobcat drill holes for both the stakes and any major plants I will put out. So see the fence move from the concrete block fence, heading south and then due-east across the entire front of the yard.

Do you see the clay pavers stacked against the fence?






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Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 4, 2008
2:15 AM

Post #5505578

Here's the southwest corner, facing east. You see why the Fruitless Mulberries are non-negotiable? I NEED those trees in the summer.

Follow the yellow tape and stakes headed south and then east. The stakes are placed in each "posthole," next to which there is another holed in which to plant a vine of some sort. The vine is a yet-to-be identified plant. As much as a dense visual barrier is desirable, I'm wondering if household security suggests a less dense plant so that you could actually see movement behind it, perhaps a motion detector light mounted in such a way as to light it up in the case of an intruder . . . just thinking aloud.

Ummm, how about a pink Star Jasmine, which has a tendency to be thin out at the lower end of the vine, leaving a billowy top with sweeping branches bouncing around in the breeze. Thin the top out annually as winter or spring approaches? They can die off here in the winters if it gets too cold, tho.

This message was edited Sep 3, 2008 8:31 PM

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Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 4, 2008
2:18 AM

Post #5505588

OK, here's the same corner from the corner directly across the street on the south.

Note the tape/stakes moving straight across the yard, crossing the walkway to the front door. Same fence . . . oh, about 4 feet tall, metal for vines to creep around on, perhaps hog fencing like I used in the back yard, or a roll of metal animal wire pulled tight. No need to use wrought iron, as it will just be covered up.

Note the holes in the street parking strip. Those are for some type of low maintenance, short/wide shrub, walk-on bark.

This message was edited Sep 3, 2008 8:36 PM

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Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 4, 2008
2:20 AM

Post #5505599

And this is the same side of the street and facing due north.

Oooops, this is the walk toward the front door facing due north. You probably won't be able to spot it, but note that there's a "break" in the concrete about midway up the path. It's clean, straight across at a seam. I've placed the holes for the fence right here in order to take advantage of the plan to provide a step made of the pavers. I mean . . . how clever can one be??!!!!

This message was edited Sep 3, 2008 8:08 PM

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Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 4, 2008
2:23 AM

Post #5505616

Ooops, a duplicate. I'll send the other "due north" pic at the end.


And here's the walk moving toward the front door.

This message was edited Sep 3, 2008 8:11 PM

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Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 4, 2008
2:27 AM

Post #5505633

Facing south from the front door down the walk toward the street.

Remember . . . thinking about a British pocket garden here . . . formal . . . how about little mini roses? mini tree roses? straight lines up each side of the walk?

The crack in the walk? My plan is to lay them atop the walk beginning at the fence/crack, run 'em up to the wall. Then . . . place a layer atop each of the two steps, adding a decorative layer to the top of the concrete landing at the door, which is cracked and such, kinda like having wrinkles from age . . . like me .

Then . . . THEN . . . and here's a likely controversial part of my plan, folks . . . using all of those pavers to cover the much of the ground behind the fence between the fence and the house.

I'd leave the beds next to the house intact, encircling the trunks of the two pom pom'd Wax Leaf Privets (trimmed of their lower pom) with British-style wood "planter" boxes -- soooo coooool! Not sure what else to put in there with the privets, but with your help it will come to me.

And a little perhaps-contemporary knot garden using the pavers and low lying plants (ummm ajuga? two different colors??).

Potted plants. Rose bushes which can be moved as the sun moves throughout the summer, perhaps? I have two large basketweave concrete pots . . . outside the fence at the entry to the pocket garden where the step-up pavers start?



This message was edited Sep 3, 2008 9:25 PM

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Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 4, 2008
2:31 AM

Post #5505654

Here's a view at the sidewalk facing due west.

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Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 4, 2008
2:40 AM

Post #5505678

And here's mid-center facing due west.

THIS is the area I am really struggling with. Layered, short little shrubs in front of the vines and a ground cover? My creativity fails me totally with this section of the yard which faces the street on both sides in front of the fence .

I don't want to use a lot of pavers here, although a walk-through across the parking strip makes sense, leading to the walk up to the door. And perhaps a "square" curve alongside the entry walk on each side between the sidewalk and the concrete pots standing guard at the step-up? Square curve? huh? What's that, you ask? Don't know how to describe that except ummm perhaps rather than laying a curve, cutting those delicate pavers (and breaking many of them in the process), laying them out two at the top, then three, then four, then five . . . got that?

This message was edited Sep 3, 2008 9:39 PM

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JasperDale
Long Beach, CA
(Zone 10a)

September 4, 2008
2:58 AM

Post #5505736

Wow ! Kudos to you for your determination and stamina. You've definitely been through a lot and this new project will bring you much joy.

While I completely understand the need to keep the Friutless Mulberries, given the heat in Fresno summers, they do have extremely invasive root systems which may or may not present problems for you as far as being water "robbers" for your new plantings. They seem to be worse with heavy clay soil as far as their surface rooting tendency.

You didn't mention any specific plants you want to grow, so are you interested in the "traditional" English garden (flowering) plants? If so, your summer temperatures may limit your choices...but you could still achieve a similar effect with more heat tolerant choices.

Hard to tell from the pics. how much direct sun those areas get, which will determine what you can or can't successfully grow.

Are you planning to ammend the heavy clay where you want to plant or do you want to stick with more "native" type plants ?

Also, are you going to incorporate a watering system?

This will be an interesting project to watch evolve. Keep us posted with photos of the progress.
Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 4, 2008
3:01 AM

Post #5505750

And the southeast corner from the same spot, facing northwest.

Note a second stack of clay pavers, the second of three stacks. The third stack is probably twice this size and hiding in the driveway behind the concrete block fence. I have approximately 600 square feet of these pavers. The maker of the pavers, Hans Sumpf, closed just a couple of years ago after nearly 60 years making them. If I recall correctly, he and his young'ns were the last business to be making clay pavers in California. It seems to me that they can only be found today as far away as Texas now.

The earliest pavers were not "fixed," in the sense that they would melt and in fact several houses near the nearby canal did melt many many MANY years ago during a flood. My parents, BTW, had a patio made of these unfixed pavers and over the years they did melt down, revealing the concrete set higher than the pavers . During occasional heavy rains hereabouts I used to tease my father (the house was also made of unfixed clay bricks) about his house "melting" . . . oh, I'll spare you the rest.

They are actually quite valuable, pricey, and a local woman GAVE them to me! Can you even imagine such generosity?! I'll lay out the plan for you in a bit.

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Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 4, 2008
3:15 AM

Post #5505807

And finally . . . the pic of the larger yard from across the street to the south facing north.

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ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

September 4, 2008
3:56 AM

Post #5505944

I'd recommend holding off on planting until the rain starts--temperatures will be cooler and once it's rained once or twice you'll find that soil a million times easier to dig holes in! I have clay soil that's probably pretty similar to yours, it's practically impossible to dig in without a jackhammer in the summer if it's dried out, but as soon as we get a good rain or two it becomes super easy to work with. I know it's hard to wait, but you and the plants will be happier in the end!
Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 4, 2008
10:01 AM

Post #5506360

Aaahhh, ecrane 3, but that it were only clay soil. Hardpan as I understand it is rather a phenomenon of either mechanical or chemical compaction of soil, most typically clay, leaving it impenetrable by ordinary gardening methods. I have spent days soaking and pounding repeatedly in attempts to dig my way through our community's widespread ribbons of hardpan. You can soak it forever and still get no further down with a shovel. You should have seen me dig out my sprinkler system path, which lies only 4-6" below the surface.

I remember one desperate attempt to get a hole deep enough to plant a small tree in a hole I'd managed to locate in a spot where the ribbon was further down than the more often shallow ribbons around my house. After filling the hole 2 or 3 times (overnight in each case) and digging out an upper level of clay soil I filled the hole one last time, a hole probably 2 feet deep, and it took two full days for the water to soak in. I'd awaken each morning to find the water still sitting in that stupid hole as if it were simple a pot without holes. Now, mind you, it didn't soak in vertically, but apparently horizontally, as I never did get any deeper. The soil surrounding the "dig" was waterlogged, soupy, and the bottom of the hole . . . still impenetrable.

You can often plant garden plants, nevertheless, expecting that the moisture will wick horizontally and your plant doing well. But if your rootball is large enuf to require a deeper hole you either "forget it," or plant it hoping that its roots survive under such circumstances. Doubtless many of my rose bushes live in such shallow holes and roses hate wet toes .

But your point is well taken and at the rate I'm going it WILL be cooler as I finish this early stage of my landscape . Thanks for the suggestion.

Linda


Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 4, 2008
11:22 AM

Post #5506451

Perhaps not obvious, but visible in the photo of the message posted at 7:40, is that the fence doesn't end in a true 180 degree angle corner and that I've cut the corner off at an angle at each end of the south-facing fence. The Bobcat drilled huge 30" wide hole for me in order to plant a multi-trunk pink Crepe Myrtle tree outside the fence at the east end.

I haven't figured out what to plant in a similar hole at the west end, although a shrub rose appeals to me . . . thinking of perhaps a white. I like the growth pattern of the J&P Simplicity rose. How about a mini rose shrub which is self-cleaning of its blossoms and is allowed to grow wild into a round shrubby shape? ack . . . too small short/wide! Or perhaps a white Crepe Myrtle shrub, altho I've never learned how to prune these so as to keep their growth under control, resulting in a desirable shape. Do you suppose I could learn? ;) Both such plants in these corners would lose their winter visual barrier foliage, thus leaving the perpendicular nature of the formal layout intact? I suspect this would be a desirable goal, keeping in mind, again, our formal British garden plan.

And, as the west end of this fence is only 8 feet from the curb on that corner, the shrub will have to be low to secure the traffic visibility around the corner, as well as to keep the outside corner "open" rather than "closed," which the taller tree at the east end will do visually.

Is my design thinking on track with this attempt to control the seasonal changes and sizes as they affect my planting design decisions.

Linda, awake at 4 a.m. and facing an 8-hr workday
Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 4, 2008
12:07 PM

Post #5506580

OK, JasperDale, you got my juices going here. “English” and plants? I’m satisfied with using more climate suitable plants which provide the same effect. And as an urban British garden I’m thinking that the degree of “flowering” needed is potentially less than a more cottagey style from the country. Perhaps one of our British members can help me out here. Certainly what I saw in “old Cirencester,” in town center, was absent the heavy flowering in the front yards and more in the backyards, which my whole-house design incorporates with all the plants with which I’ve already filled the back.

Plants? Relatively low maintenance, on the whole. There’s plenty of maintenance required at the back side of my house. And, as a leading-edge Babyboomer, I doubt I’ll be spending the kind of time on maintenance in 5 years that I have heretofore. Evergreen shrubs in the layering effort on the street side of the fence, perennials in the knot garden and in front of the fence in layers. The purple flowering plants in my neighbor’s yard on the east? Wrong color, but right lifecycle. Hmm, Star Jasmine at the very front of the fence as the lowest growing plant. Need to plant something between StJ and the green vine on the fence. Something to provide some visual depth of field?

Geez, so much to think of. There is no way I can do this without enthusiastic input!

Linda

Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 4, 2008
12:12 PM

Post #5506597

Aahhh, yes, JasperDale, I've fought those roots for years. They are UNBELIEVABLE!!! But let me tell you what I did about that.

Fifteen or more years ago I hired an arborist to come over and consult about managing these trees with regards to pruning (so-o-o many people around town prune them back to sticks each fall) them so as to take best advantage of their heat protective qualities in the summer and sun-exposing qualities in winter, as well as their watering needs (there was grass underneath at one time--ha!). And I've always HATED seeing them pruned back to nubs . . . YUK! She advised me that these guys'n girls (there are two, one each covering the roof and the patio) were both living in the aquifer below us. HUH, I asked? Yep, she said. And so it seems she was right.

You see? In 2000 I took the 20 X 30ish backyard immediately behind the house and covered it in concrete . . . yes . . . really! My goal? Don't encourage those guys to extend their roots under the concrete block fence any further than they did at the time. Nothing was growing under either because of the water-depleting qualities of those stingy roots, not to mention the shade for the first 10-or-so feet behind the fence. So I covered them up with concrete and use, mostly, potted plants back here. It's my mini version of a little British backyard before I'd ever seen one in person. There is a 10 X 10 concrete pad for a patio. That pad is surrounded on 3 sides by pavers . . . you know? the ones you make out of that plastic form and fill with concrete, laying out paths and such? Heaven knows I’d not be able to do that kind of work today, only 8 years later. Age certainly increases one’s limitations. Anyway, my point is that I’ve tried to encourage the trees to benefit from the aquifer water and the trees don’t seem at all to be suffering from that effort. I’ll try to find a pic to show you tonight.

Linda
Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 4, 2008
12:39 PM

Post #5506677

Sun? Oh my, there are the Mulberries on the west end of the house. And the large tree in the parking strip is a City tree, a Modesto Ash, diseased yet still vigorous, but likely to fail before the end of another 10 years. All three trees are 40-50ish years old, tall and wide. Between the mulberry and the ash the yard is probably in full sun, alternately, 6 hours daily. So there's enuf sun for roses. The shade from the two trees doesn't overlap. And from spring to late summer, the sun pretty much moves across the entire yard, north to south. But there's enuf sun to eliminate the possibility of shade-loving plants except for the area directly under the canopy of the house/mulberry. And if they'll tolerate the water limitations, azaleas would fit nicely in the bed against the west wall of the house. I've no experience with azaleas. Ummm, gardenias? camelias? Again, only in this west-most area.

Keep the questions coming . . . Linda
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

September 4, 2008
2:17 PM

Post #5507050

OK, if you really have hardpan then that is more of a challenge. I've seen people sometimes call things hardpan that really weren't, so I thought you might have just been calling it that because of how impossible it is to dig through when it's dry. You might consider building yourself some raised beds, that could make your life a lot easier, you won't have to work as hard to dig holes plus it'll open up a wider range of plants that you can grow, heavy clay is not the favorite soil type for most plants to do well! Although you need to be careful in the areas where there are tree roots, some trees do not do well if you pile up soil over their root zones. I'm not sure if mulberries are picky about that or not.

I'm not sure about azaleas, gardenias, and camellias--they all need acid soil and typically when you have hardpan the soil tends to be pretty alkaline, so unless you've got the energy to be constantly monitoring the pH and amending when it starts to creep up I'd probably go with something else. I've also had trouble with gardenias here, they do not seem to enjoy really hot dry weather. Do you have some pictures of the style you're going for (either your own photos, or post links to some websites)? That would help coming up with plant suggestions.
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

September 5, 2008
12:28 AM

Post #5509286

Hi twincal, May I also wish you a speedy recovery from all the trouble and strife you have met with thus far, you need to know that what you have been through, your body will take longer than your brain to manage such a big task you are about to take on, however, I know that working on this project is a great healer also, just dont go at it like you need it done tomorrow or you will end up with a pile of plants and not the energy to attend to them, been there, done that and got the T shirt.
Are you talking about the type of British Garden where the whole garden is laid out into square box shapes , triangles etc, where narrow pathways made from clay pavers meander around each section, these sections being planted with flowering shrubs / flowers and herbs etc, or am I way off the mark here.
The traditional British / English gardens long ago were in fact filled with flowers /roses, Honeysuckles and herbs of all kinds for medicinal purposes, Hollyhocks etc, then when WWar 2 came, we all had to dig up these gardens and grow food plants to feed ourselves, men were off fighting and the women were left to grow any food they could,
Fashions changed after this and pollution arrived with the motor cars etc, so the front gardens were left with more tolerant growing plants that pollution would not effect, so the back gardens became the areas where you could grow all your pretty flowering plants etc.
but there is a great demand now to return to the cottage gardens and styles of old, Fortunately I began gardening with my dad when we still had the old fashioned cottage gardens, veg plats in beside the flowers and the layout of these gardens are still the norm here for a lot of people who live in the more rural areas where we dont have pollution etc to worry about.
I will be able to help you with your layout and planting schemes but first I think you should go along to your book stores / library or wherever to get a couple of books on OLD ENGLISH gardens as the American version of this style is not really close to the English style, but never the less, you will be able to grow a lot of the plants required, it is the layout of the garden you will need to look into books for to give you a better understanding of this style and it should make it easier for you to understand better what it is you really want to take from the design, you need to listen to Ecranes advice though about planting this new garden inn the heat of the summer and perhaps concentrate on the layout till the cooler weather comes before planting it all out to save you cost and plant wastage, I promise you, there is no way will you be bale to lay this garden out in a week, especially the type of soil you have, the plants would die overnight probably. get back it you think the style I am talking about is the one you are trying to achieve. good luck. WeeNel.
Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 6, 2008
11:13 PM

Post #5517834

WHEW, WeeNel!! You are taking my breath away. What an amazing bit of history you’ve outlined. And, of course, given the proximity of England to the war, what you’ve outlined makes sense. Thanks for this awesome overview.

Hmmm, I must go look at the history of Cirencester to see how it fits. I seem to recall that there were some Army camps nearby and Cirencester was something of a center for such intrusive presence into the country in WWII. The house I am thinking of was, in fact, a business as well in the 19th Century. So the family home filled a portion of the building and the business was at another side of the building. It was, BTW, a woolstapling business and the business side of the building included a second floor where the wool was taken in, sorted, and then dropped down into a cart for movement for sale. This, of course, was prior to the falling out of the wool business in England as Italy began to fill the need internationally.

And, BTW, there were a number of businesses run out of similar homes on the same street, as well as others in Cirencester. It’s a decidedly different style of living than we presently live in. As a matter of fact, in US cities as a rule, neighborhoods full of houses, do not permit running a business out of the home in this manner.

So, ok, what do I want? Those gardens are built behind a stone wall between the wall and the building. It’s an entry garden. The ground is covered with tiles similar to what I have stacked up around my house. The contents are laid out in a formal fashion in that there are identical trees in the ground with a painted wood “surround,” looking as if they are in pots, if this makes sense. I can’t think how to describe this better. Doubtless these are a specific named product in the UK, as they were common. I thought I’d take the lower pom off the wax leaf privets now overgrown on each side of my entry in those pics, making them into trees. Make sense? The point is that there was a pair of them, one on each side of the walk up to the front door. I’ll try to find my pics of these.

And, as I’m not going to put a stone wall up I’ll use the 4-foot high fence to grow vines . . . a short architectural barrier. I like the idea of pink jasmine, which grows into a billowy cloud at the top of its standard. Star Jasmine is another plant which appeals to me. Ivy, I suppose, would work, but I've never been much of an ivy fan. It needs to be an evergreen, tho.

I thought also that I’d include a miniature knot garden, filled with ground cover plants, or perennials, or? How about a tiny box hedge around the knot garden? or at another critical design location?

And perhaps a small bistro table and chairs. We’ll see if they disappear [chuckling].

Small pots of miniature roses and perhaps some flowering perennials. I’ve had several azaleas growing in the dark under the tree at the west side of the house, never any sun, never. How sad is that? But they are still alive and have leaves despite the neglect they’ve suffered. So the soil must be adequate for them and the roots from the mullberry aren’t stealing enough water from them to kill them. Pretty amazing, in fact.

I actually have several books from the UK speaking to entry gardens. You’re right, they are different than the US version of those same gardens. I’ll cruise through them again. Actually, I AM working on the design layout and hardscape now rather than the plantings, as Ecranes recommends. I must plant the fence vines and the plants at the outer parking strip in order to protect the condition of the soil content of those holes. Otherwise the winter rains will turn them into hardpan plugs once the water gets down to the dust of the hardpan Aardvark dug up for me. I have to fill them with soil and plant. Otherwise I’m perfectly happy to work slowly. Layout and plant in a WEEK? A WEEK??? Nah, that isn’t going to happen. I’ve been contemplating this for a year or more already and anticipate it will be fully another 12 months before it’s all together. Both you and Ecrane are right, of course, and it has never been my plan to try to get this done in just a month or so. I obviously didn't articulate that clearly [chuckling].

You are very kind to offer to help with the design/layout. As best I am able in between full time employment and treatment-recovery chronic fatigue leaving me with limited energy in the evenings I WILL get this done. I appreciate your offer. Thanks, WeeNel
Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 6, 2008
11:22 PM

Post #5517871

Ecrane, yes, it is hardpan and our local nurseries are always reminding us of this when we contemplate purchasing trees. I hadn't thought about the alkaline soil of hardpan, and of course you're right. Hmmm, as I noted above, the azaleas resting within just 10 feet of the mulberry you see in the first pic have survived unbelievable neglect in the soil. I did, however, spend years mulching and amending that bed. Perhaps that paid off.

I'm going to try to find my pics to send up.

Keep the questions coming. They help me think about this little project.

Linda
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

September 7, 2008
1:27 AM

Post #5518327

Hi Linda, you re beginning to make more sense now that you have mentioned that you want tackle this project and be done in a few months. I am glad that you have pencil in hand and paper as this is the best way to do a garden from scratch and it saves you planting one year and having to dig the plants up and transplant them the next, it becomes disheartening to do all that.
To get the feel of the garden you plan, put your thoughts and ideas down on paper. like plant names, colours etc, it is surprising how quick you forget where you saw this or the name, keep paper/pen in the car and as you pass things you like, jot it dow
For now though, take a picture or your home (at the area you plan to landscape), get it enlarged, pin it to a board and then overlay this pic and whole board with white tracing paper (from art shop) then rough draw the outline of the garden from outer edge to the walls of the house, mark in all the important stuff like utilities, windows / doors and seating porches, shrubs / trees etc that are to stay etc so you know on your plan these must be taken care of.
Next stage make paper shapes like squares, triangles, oblongs etc cut to scale if you can, then start to place these on the tracing paper so you get an idea of the scale, the plan / size etc and where pathways have to go in between these shaped boxes/beds, once you are happy, trace around them onto your board /house picture so that you then end up with the hard landscaping plan along with the beds paths etc (none of these pathways ever came to a dead end unless they were at the end of your bounder) so every shaped bed you make, the pathway leads to the next bed either around it or along it then turning onto the next bed, when your happy with the layout, then start to make the shapes inside the beds /box shaped etc, in the days of long ago, each bed had only one colour inside the box edged beds, either ping shrub roses or colour you like and the next bed corresponded in colour like maybe lilac coloured or purple, but today, most people have a mixture of colours in the same beds.
Remember each bed needed a bit of height so they added either a standard rose, say in 2 of the opposite beds, then maybe an obelisk shape in the center of the next 2 opp beds and would grow maybe a honeysuckle etc or another coloured climbing rose up those to eventually fill the shape of the obelisk, but these were home made of thick wood, maybe 2X2 inch and would have a ball shape on top ot a pyramid, it is really taste for that detail., normally painted green or brown. depending on the shapes you choose, if oblong, you would add 2 of the higher plants spaced out and under plantings would be spring wallflowers, tulips, Daffi's etc, and summer either roses, herbs or other plants of that size etc, some of today's beds have Delphiniums, dahlias, etc that are all the same colour within the same beds or even mixed but the nixed beds never seem to work the same unless you choose the colours carefully.
the beds were edged with either box hedging, (the low growing type like BOX SIMPERVERIEN) or LAVENDER so that as you walk down the narrow paths, you got the smell of lilac perfume as you went by brushing against it, both of these edging plants only require trimming back for shape and thickening out, once every year, the box edging was only allowed to grow to about 12 1/2 inches and definitely no more than 2 feet or this would hide the plants inside, I can give you a plant list later if this is helping you any.
Around your door, the 2 wooden planters you want to fill would be either a standard box, a standard or Holly or even bay used for cooking, all grown to look like a lollipop shape, OR a ball shaped with the same plants, inside the square wooden planters you have in mind (there is a proper name for them but right now cant remember) please be careful what paint you use for wood as some things will kill the plant roots, for the wooden planters you should line them with heavey polythene to protect the inside from water damage.
The pathways were about 2 feet wide or narrower, but less will make it difficult to maneuver about with today's tools and any cables etc for cutting hedges, wheel barrows etc. the beds against the houses were smothered with climbing plants like roses around the doors for perfume, walls too and in front was normally kept for the taller plants like hollyhawks, Delphiniums etc.
Where veg was grown inside these beds, they were laid out in patterns like rows, honeycomb shaped lines etc, all for appearance and kitchen use, fruit trees were also used as height centerpieces for spring blossom and kitchen use, so you would have 2 cherry trees (for pollination) or 2 apple or two pears etc, etc, everything was laid out simple but with beauty in mind also. most veg was grown in succession as these beds were smaller, it was made to be picked young and tender then the empty soil was then replanted with the next veg for the next harvest time, like spring veg and salad crops first, then summer veg and in beside the salad crops you started the winter veg as these took longer to mature and as the salad was picked this made room for the winter veg to grow bigger and root spread was not interrupted.
This is why I suggested you try get hold of a book from the library, book stores will have the modern versions but the library should have ones more on the history of the OLD ENGLISH Par tier garden etc, KNOT gardens were never for growing inside the beds, the beauty from those was the sheer design of the box hedge shapes growing into the shapes of knots, crosses and intertwining shapes, each area had a shape of their own like in Scotland the Celtic cross was a shape recognised all over that are.
Don't be misled by the gardens you saw in the Cotswalds, this was a design grown all over the British Isles for centuries and the reason was space, you could cram flowers, veg and herbs for medicinal reasons in a small space therefore it had to look attractive, the only difference from one area to the next would be the type of stone available for walls and buildings, roof materials etc as these are a plenty in some areas and not in others, the style of cottage or homes differed too, but the gardening was a much alike through needs. the veg likes and dislikes and cost of the seeds etc.
hope this gives you some ideas.
This correspondence can be rather long so maybe for the sake of others you could send me an email via Dave's if you feel I can help you further as not everyone will be interested in such lengthy chats about cottage gardens form long ago, but I dont mind either way. best of luck. look after yourself and take it easy. WeeNel.
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

September 7, 2008
3:13 AM

Post #5518727

I don't see any reason you can't keep talking here--I don't think a lot of people here know much about English gardens so I know I'm finding it interesting and I'm sure there are others who are enjoying too. And since it's Linda's thread, as long as it's info that she finds helpful there's no reason not to keep going here. Nothing wrong with taking it private on dmail either, but don't feel that you have to for the sake of other people.
want2bee
cedar rapids, IA
(Zone 5a)

September 7, 2008
3:39 AM

Post #5518798

oh, please give all this information and knowledge to all of us...we want to hear to!~
Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 7, 2008
2:42 PM

Post #5520018

Hey, I don't mind keeping the dialogue open to all, if you wish. Moreover, if you have questions or ideas, please feel free to get involved. I may not catch something I need to ask and you'll save me some potential grief if you ask it for me.

And I'll not be posting daily, which offers you that opportunity without my verbose input. Having homework from WeeNel, I'll have to do some studying between posts .

So, bring it on, folks! I'm happy to share the wealth.

Warmly,
Linda
Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 7, 2008
2:49 PM

Post #5520038

WeeNel, please . . . you are so full of wonderful information. I'm already working on graph paper hanging from a wall in my dining area so as to work with it whenever I have a moment or a special idea. I haven't thought about doing a diagram from a photo. It feels like I don't have the artistic skills to manage such a task. But that fear is likely just an excuse to not try. So I'll try to put a photo together this week.

The rest of the information? Give me a chance to digest the remainder of your information.

Thanks and warmest regards,
Linda in sunny Central California where temps remain at 100+ degrees
JasperDale
Long Beach, CA
(Zone 10a)

September 7, 2008
3:08 PM

Post #5520119

I don't know if it's still being published, but there used to be a magazine called The English Garden. I last saw it at the big book stores' magazine section.
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

September 7, 2008
7:03 PM

Post #5520979

I am more than happy to continue to offer help or advice about the English gardens of old and how, why and what was used for this, in fact it is now becoming fashionable to redo these gardens and many are being brought back from the brink when they were take apart for more trendy ideas as we all do with fashion, homes and colours etc, so there is a revival.
The reason I felt we could be occupying too much space was a comment made earlier this week that some peoples summarizations (mine) were too long, but glad this is not the case with everyone and would love to join in with everyone else interested in this project that is both a love of mine and a practice I use here at home in a small area of garden. So let the show continue, we are all in for a wonderment of gardening. Hope other UK gardeners can help out too. Happy gardening, WeeNel.
Redtootsiepop
Livermore, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 7, 2008
8:29 PM

Post #5521261

Jasper, The English Garden is still published ... I'm a magazine girl, so many rainy days in Oregon I needed something to look at to get me through to Spring. lol I think it's a lovely pub.

http://www.theenglishgarden.co.uk/

website is beautiful as well
Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 7, 2008
9:27 PM

Post #5521449

So, OK!!! I just ordered a poster-size photo from SnapFish of a pic I took today. It should arrive by the end of the week. It's 20 X 30 inches!!! It will fit perfectly under my easel pad hanging on the wall. I will make little shapes out of sticky notes to move around.

And . . . I just uploaded all the pics above, as well as photos of the England property I mention above to SnapFish. The problem is that I can't figure out how to invite you to see them without having to join. I may have to move them to another site. In the meantime I'll try to upload two of them in a Dave's journal page. That will give you an idea about what started all of this for me.

And . . . the subcontractor I've worked with before finally wandered by just a couple of hours ago and he will plant the fence posts and run the wire fencing for me, probably (?? you know subcontractors!!) this week! Then after a couple of paychecks I'll have him empty the nearby plant-holes and fill them with amended soil.

That's all that is going to get done for a while. When it starts raining, I suppose, I can have him level the surrounding ground for the pavers to be laid out. And that will require my architectural plan drawing having been completed.

I've included a copy of the entry to the Cirencester front entry with this message. Note the blue boxes in which there are two pompom-like trees resting. Those trees are, in fact, growing in the ground and the box is just a "surround" around the lower trunk. I thought I'd make a couple of those for my two waxleaf privets on each side of the walk-up. The Cirencester photo illustrates the perpendicular formal layout of the area, which I love. I have other photos, like I mentioned, and I'll try to put 'em somewhere where you can go look at them. It's an amazing space.

WeeNel . . . obviously you're not the only one with a tendency toward long summarizations. If the "body" prefers we take this elsewhere we can do that, but as there are some people interested in the project I'm perfectly willing to continue in this venue.

Warmly,
Linda


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Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 7, 2008
9:31 PM

Post #5521460

Oh, I couldn't stop myself . . . here's a pic of that tree with the "surround" around it. You can see that it's not planted in a wooden box but growing out of the ground. Aaaah, phooey, it looks like the upload cropped the bottom off. We'll see how it looks when we click on it.


Warmly,
Linda

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ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

September 7, 2008
9:37 PM

Post #5521472

WeeNel--I wouldn't worry about what someone said about the length of your posts, as long as what you're saying is "on topic" and the person whose thread it is appreciates your info anyone else who doesn't want to read a long post is free to scroll past it. Some things can be easily explained in a sentence or two but some things can't!
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

September 7, 2008
11:55 PM

Post #5521943

Thank you Ecrane, as always, you manage to see everything from all sides, I will always try my best to be informative with the thoughts that this is for beginners.

Twincol, I know everyone is finding thing expensive and priorities prevail, but maybe try to get the subscription to Dave's as a gift for a birthday or even a get well recovery gift, you will be able access a lot of info from this site AND get to know some truly lovely caring gardeners who will offer encouragement and knowledge for lots of topics and have a few laughs in between.

The pictures you sent are lovely, they show the style you are trying to create just right even though we can only see a very small part of the garden, the bones of it are there to see, the colours of the paintwork are right, most of the cottages or dwellings had either blue, white or green paintwork and any ironwork (and there was an abundance of it) was painted black or white, this was to enhance the foliage, the flower colours and to add light into the schemes, it was also colours easy available at the time.
You may have noticed the roses tumbling from walls and arbors were the Rambling type as then, they were not into the speices we now know as climbers, and special bread shrubs etc, remember these gardens were made by poor people who shared seeds, gathered edible plant seeds from year to year for resewing, and most ornamental additions to these gardens were hand made from scraps, so you would often see things growing on old sinks (kitchen) old barrels cut in half and old chimney pots taken from derelict buildings (I have 2 chimney pots about 90 years old at each side of my front entry and each season I just change the inner pots filled with either bulbs, summer bedding or evergreens for winter and it looks good) all the troughs and window boxes we are so in love with now-a-days are taken from this era and are just made with modern materials,
A rose arch or a Yew hedge grown into an arch at the entry Gate would be for wind protection but the Yew hedge or arch was grown in those time as a plant that was supposed to ward of any bad spirits, but even if the property was edged by a wall, there was always an arch of some type to define the entry from the mass of planting /paths etc. Roses, honeysuckle etc were trained on the arch, remember smells were not easy to hide then, so perfumed plants were the norm as a way of helping hide the smell of the chicken, pigs etc that helped feed the families. so what you find is that though this type of garden is a thing of wonder today, every plant that was grown had to earn it's keep either for food, medication, cleaning or perfume. Lavender or Rosemary was both herb for cooking, medicinal and for fragrance and moth / insect prevention, Pot-puree was invented by these people, spread on the stone floors or inside bedding or hung up to dry to keep flies/insect away.

The beds you are planning were not wide like ours today, they should be of the size that when you work weeding, planting etc, you should be able to reach the center of each bed with your hand, fork or rake so that you dont have to stand on the soil after you have prepared the beds edged with lavender, box or whatever you decide, it was not considered good husbandry to compact the newly tilled soil be trampling it, after the food crop or whatever was growing was harvested, they just lightly forked over the top (spit, fork deapth) and added a pile of composted animal manures or kitchen waste and let the worms take this down, buy the time spring came/ winter frost had broken up the soil, the manure had rotted and this was then the new seed bed/soil. every one of those gardens had a composting regime, called a midden, straw animal bedding was flung on it, as was all other matter mentionable, remember there was no such thing as plastic or chemicals then to worry about the reaction, even ashes from the fires were used as pathway footings or added to the soil.
You are the only person who will be able to decide the planting selection but it was simple, mostly pastel with maybe darker blues and deep pinks from things like Roses, lavenders etc, but I would think that once you have your plans made of the shapes and sizes of your beds and this layout, then you will probable have a better idea of what will sit naturally in each section / room, remember these were not huge gardens per household, so every inch mattered which is why they used walls, central beds for growing fruit trees etc, so the growth was up off the precious earth used for other stuff. The best way to go is to work on the layout and foundation / bones of this style, it will all fall into place, I have a few Old gardening books I picked up at secondhand book stores and once I dig them out I will try give you the titles and authors where you may be able to find them in your own library or they may be able to order them for you. These books will also remind me of the plants grown for this era and maybe the reasons, I do believe they were much cleaver-er than us modern gardeners in so many ways, because they nurtured there soil and could tell the temp for planting just by touching the soil or going outside to breath in or out to find if the frost was going to affect the seedlings that was life or starvation for the family.
Thankfully My Dad gardened by using a lot of these methods and he taught me a lot of those skills and ways that I still use today with success, aided by some of our more modern ways.
Enough for now, you will be bamboozles by all this, but just hoped you would understand the reasons for this style of garden as they were never for the beauty, more necessity and had to look eye catching as they were a matter of pride also. very best of luck with your plans. WeeNel.
Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 8, 2008
3:37 AM

Post #5522887

{{gasp}} such history; wonderful. OK, it does help to understand the history behind a style, doesn't it? You're the greatest!! I'll digest all that you've sent this weekend and then continue my "paper-play."

The attached pic is of the backyard showing one side of the house and a fence. The fence has a clay of some sort made into a sheep (remember, this was a woolstapler's home and the house lives in the Cotswolds--sheep country) statue. Awesome, huh?

Oh, and I DO have a Dave's membership. What do you want me to have that I am not using?

Warm hugs,
Linda aka Twincol

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WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

September 9, 2008
12:39 AM

Post #5526739

Hi twincol, I misunderstood and thought you said you were not a member of Dave's, so sorry about the mistake Dah !!!!
look forward to hearing about your weekends play on your design board.

If you get the chance AND energy, go along to your Library to look for books on the history of the English Gardens or they may even suggest an author for you to try look it up elsewhere and you will probably get a good bit of info from reading about them, I am only able to give you what I know and do and if you want true authenticity, then there must be something around somewhere, but I will try continue in the way I can to help you understand the layouts and plantings and what they were used for, so when your ready you can ask away, good luck and dont overdo things, stay healthy. WeeNel.
Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 11, 2008
10:09 AM

Post #5537379

What a difference a week makes. I awoke to my subcontractor emptying Aardvark's holes yesterday. Today he was to begin to fill them again. This is what I awoke to today as I stepped out to pick up my newspaper.

I just can't believe it's happening . . . at last!

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Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 11, 2008
10:13 AM

Post #5537385

8 am facing east. Compare to facing east in the earliest pics at 5ish pm.


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Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 11, 2008
10:24 AM

Post #5537397

Can you begin to see it? Can you, can you??? I am SO excited. LOOK at it. A straight line, east to west, with the cattywampus {chuckling} corner which will provide the backdrop for my multi-trunk Crepe Myrtle connecting with the final north/south end of the lot.

Oh my, oh my, I can see it starting to happen, can you?


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Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 11, 2008
10:46 AM

Post #5537445

Facing northwest toward the southwest corner of the house and property. Note the walk with the crack on the way to the front door. This is where I thought I'd opportunistically exploit a hardscape failure by using it as the beginning of pavers . . . a step up as it were, laying a paver on top of the concrete and hiding the crack.

Pavers will continue to line the walk to the stairs and be the foundation of my pocket garden hardscape, inviting paths and tiny knot garden and potted plants resting atop the coveted Hans Sumpf pavers no longer being made, as the family business closed just a couple of years ago after 50-or-so years making clay goods in California.

BTW, I have two very large concrete pots I am thinking I might place a rose in at the outside of the fence/vines on either side of the walkway, inviting guests off the sidewalk toward the door. I'm not sure how vulnerable such a piece is to theft and contemplate that in the decision. I thought they would provide a good visual transition between the concrete walk and the step up to clay pavement.

I am getting so excited!


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Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 11, 2008
11:14 AM

Post #5537482

Lastly, this is a photo of the west side of the house and property. See the two Fruitless Mulberries? They bless me! I don't even want to contemplate my power bills in our 95-100+ degree summers without them.

The fence is cut up and over the root midway up the fence. It allows me the opportunity to take advantage of the concrete block fence line as a continuous line-of-sight boundary to my property. In fact, if I am not mistaken, the property line actually rests a single foot outside my fence, with the remainder of the surface belonging to the city. Hmmm, I wonder if they'll send someone out to mow the grass at the north end?

I can already see my little box hedge running parallel to the concrete border on the right . . . to the left of it.

The stack of stuff you see there, is part of 3 years worth of leaves from those trees. Mulch. I've been purposefully saving all of that for this project.


SO!!! Here we are!! The result in terms of my at least temporary sense of hope for the appearance of my property has been tremendously gratifying. And all I've done is lay out the metalware. Aaaahhh, if only all of life's difficulties were so handily moved a step toward resolution, huh?? WHAT FUN!!! I wanna go out and work on it. But it's only 4 a.m. and I think I'll take a nap before work.



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WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

September 11, 2008
10:33 PM

Post #5540020

Hi Twincol, no wonder you are so excited, every little bit of ground work makes you feel you are heading in the right direction, you take all the rest breaks you need right now, believe me, sometimes when I lay in bed and am so tired, something in my brain goes "ting" and some of the best ideas come flowing out, I am sure a lot of gardeners are like that, just as you nod off after a hard day and you are unsure how to go about some project, it just wakes you up again and you with it were morning, but a pencil and pad is as good as a great novels worth of reading, for me anyway.

You will realise that the roots of your wonderful trees will set you a chalenge as to what will grow there due to the trees taking any nutrients and moisture from the soil after rain or watering, but you will be able to get some plants that like drier less moist areas like Lavenders etc, so once all the backbreaking ground work is done and you take another look at your sizes after the fence is finished, you can bring some of your plans nearer to completion and then think all about the style of plantings you want keeping in mind the type of garden you are trying to achieve, so the best bit is still to come. remember that there is no rush and I would work on one bed at a time one you get the taller shapes fixed in your plan and the type of structure or shrub / trees you want for this, then work on the lower ground plantings schemes, so dont be rushed, just enjoy this part of the plan and dont over tire yourself. lets all know how you are going with the next stage and remember to ask any questions you like, we are all rooting for you, ha, ha, ha, pardon the pun about rooting. good luck. WeeNel.
plantmover
Hampton Roads, VA
(Zone 7b)

September 13, 2008
4:31 AM

Post #5545510

A truly delightful thread!

Twincol, many good wishes to you as your garden dreams become reality! I'm excited for you and look forward to following your progress. What you've described sounds so lovely.

This summer I was able to visit Wyken Vineyards in Suffolk, England. As I read your posts, I was reminded of the gorgeous gardens. Each section seemed to have a theme, whether roses, herbs, hydrangeas, etc. I don't know if it was an authentic "Old English" garden, but parts of it were laid out very much as WeeNel described.

WeeNel, I'm glad Ecrane encouraged you to continue posting on the forum. Your thoughts are so insightful and superbly written. I learn something new with each posting. Thank you for sharing your love and knowledge of gardening!
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

September 13, 2008
11:24 PM

Post #5548214

Thank you so much for your kind words Plantmover, and as I said before, Ecrane always shows her thoughts for all sides on this site, thankfully she is not alone but of great value to us all.
I cant hold on to the monopoly for the love of gardening, it is self evident there are many, many more who share the same love, even people who dont know a Daisey from a Rose, dont mean they dont get some good feelings about a garden, so it is wonderful to offer these people encouragement to help them go outside and give it a try, then later here how they have achieved the wonderment of growing something they cared for and nurtured to maturity, and ofcourse the humour of gardening, lets not forget that side of it too. So thank you.
I am so glad you enjoyed your visit to the English gardens, no wonder they call it the green and fertile lands, but I think that is partly due to our climate and flower gardens have been here for hundreds of years, our garden history goes way back to the Roman times and possibly even before that when explorers came back with paintings/drawings
of temples, pillars and sunken gardens, we wanted to try mimic these and we just moved on with the fashions of the times, so we have a wide range of styles, plants and ofcource
the type of garden that twincol wants is really a copy of what the monasteries and monks were creating in small laid out beds and we adapted it to suite the needs of the poorer people who only had a small patch of ground to work with and were able to feed their families from this and grow herbs, medicines etc, they were not looked on at that time as a garden of beauty, more of need. hope she gets the garden she has dreamed about for all those years and it is a great healer for her too, she deserves it. happy gardening and best wishes. WeeNel.
want2bee
cedar rapids, IA
(Zone 5a)

September 14, 2008
12:12 AM

Post #5548410

if I can just add my two cents,
I have decided to do some of my backyard with some of the same ideas from on this post after reading it... As many of you have seen, I'm starting over, after being flooded out... and the BEST theraphy for me has been getting my hands back in the dirt and plantting... so instead of just plantting flowers, I was wanting to incoropate herbs and veg's in my beds.. Not wanting to just plant a veg. garden ( that would be too easy) so Off my patio in the back, I am going to do daylillies, lamb ear,sedum, dwaft Iris, and coreopsis and between the rows I am going to plant herbs and my vegetables such as carrorts, onions, beets ,cabbage lettuce...I will end up with a great variety of color and textures and then I fill in with annuals when the veg's have died out... It will be right out my back door handy... so thanks for starting this thread!! and good luck to you!
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

September 15, 2008
8:29 PM

Post #5555583

Hi Want2bee, really sorry you have damage done to your garden, it really is heart breaking, but like me, this gives you the opportunity that perhaps you were putting off to re design your yard/garden, my garden has been a disaster the past 2 years due to weather conditions, so it has made me rethink what I grow, where I grow it and also what is priority, unfortunately, the word priority always faces hard choices, but you get there in the end, when I was a kid, we always had mixed planting beds of food crops, herbs and flowers, my Mum got her picking flower garden set around the edges of the beds, perennials were allowed to grow in any space there was between the longer growing winter veg and peas and beans were grown up wigwams along with her favourite flowers of sweet peas, so with just a little forward thinking and planning, there is absolutely no reason you cant grow food crops in beside your flowers and you can even select the leaf shapes and colours to enhance the look of your beds, so take heart and just have fun.
Good luck. WeeNel.
Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 20, 2008
7:48 PM

Post #5577076

Oh Phooooey! I typed a missive out on Word and tried to copy/paste it here and most of it gets lost!!! So, I'll have to re-type it online and ask the various questions I had in another window. Phooey!

I included this image "just because" to show you a bit of the patio I Olivia (well-loved Standard Poodle) and I planted beginning in 2001. Except for the 10X10 concrete pad I did all the work myself, including planting of the posts and vine fabric (actually it's hog fencing). We even mixed and poured the concrete pavers over an entire summer, every night after work. Of special interest, I think, is the large black pot in the lower right of the photo. It's a half an ocean float I bought from a man hereabouts and just love how unusual it is and thus the character it adds to my patio.

So, OK, I'll start re-typing that earlier message, which was what this was really all about.

Linda





This message was edited Sep 20, 2008 1:02 PM

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ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

September 20, 2008
7:59 PM

Post #5577112

I don't know that it's really a high risk. If they're heavy enough that you can't lift them even when they're empty but can only move them by rolling around, I suspect by the time you fill them up with flowers and wet potting mix you probably don't have a lot to worry about--thieves are probably not going to waste their time with something they actually have to work hard to steal, I would think they would mostly go for smaller decorative pots that they can pick up quickly and easily. If I understand correctly what you're trying to do with the rod, it would have to be pounded down pretty far into the ground for them to not be able to pull it up along with the pot, and given what you've said before about your hardpan soil that might be a lot of work on your part, so I probably wouldn't bother unless you think it's a high risk that your pots will get stolen.
Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 20, 2008
8:08 PM

Post #5577139

Geez, ecrane, you're a speedy typist! You caught the earliest posting, which included a bit of the text I wanted to include. But you sure caught the gist of it. You're probably right about the hardpan making it difficult to impossible to plant a rod, as well as it's just being too much work to be worth the effort, given the limited risk.

I'll get back with the original post . . . shortly, hopefully.

Linda



This message was edited Sep 20, 2008 1:39 PM
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

September 20, 2008
10:53 PM

Post #5577713

Hi Ecrane, I have friends here in UK who have acres of ground laid out like and estate garden (to you and me, like a park with statues and huge sculptures) and they have to have them either concreted onto a plinth or padlock and chain to prevent them getting stolen, in the last few years there has been a spate or garden robberies due to these items being so valuable on the open market, the thieves drive up with trucks and cranes when they know the property is empty as they have been watching the routine of the occupiers and they take off with the stuff, we now have adverts on TV to warn us to be vigilant and lock up all our garden outhouses, equipment and even our kids toys, swings etc, what have we come to in society eh. Maybe this happens where the area is more rural, but it also happens in towns and villages, so nothing is sacred anymore, I only have a couple of very old large pots that would be considered worth money in today's market, but they really are heavy, plus I have added some old bricks to the bottom to make them even more heavy, more to protect against opportune thieves than anything else.
wish we could go back to the days of the Walton's etc when everyone looked out for each other and no one would take what was not theirs eh, dream on eh. WeeNel.
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

September 20, 2008
11:23 PM

Post #5577835

Twincol, I await with baited breath for your post, just have to know how you got on after the workmen left, excited yes I know that, but look forward to hearing from you about your next movements. Hope your well. WeeNel.
PS you large pot reminds me of things my Dad made from old tyres from trucks etc, he just laid them flat on the ground, cut one side of the tyres through with a saw, about 6-8 inches from the metal rim and then turned this inside out, and hey presto, he had made himself a large flower container which was painted white etc, it sure looked good. Talk about recycle, he never threw anything out. I remember one time he came home with an old frame from a aluminium frame tent, next thing we knew we had a fruit cage to protect his berries and soft fruit, ofcourse as kids we were mortified at all his ideas, but guess what, they worked and it saved him piles of cash in the days when everything was rationed after the war, now we have to go buy all the fancy gadgets and expensive equipment, then after it dont really do the job we were told it would save us time with, we just store it in a shed or garage, I'm sure he must be up there laughing at me some days. happy gardening, WeeNel.
Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 21, 2008
9:11 AM

Post #5579389

GeEeEzZ, I've typed this numerous times only to have the text cut off mid-paragraph item #1. I finally figured out how it happened that the text was cut off . . . I was using html code, it turns out, by use of the pointed parenthesis key. Now, I haven't a clue what it means, but in the case of my use, it means STOP and DELETE what follows!!! So, WeeNel, take a deep breath, I'm finally finished and posting.

[original post]

OK, several technical questions related to hardscape here. Feel free to refer me elsewhere as needed.

1. Concrete flower pots? They're heavy, but I can roll them about on their bottoms when they're empty. I plan on placing them at each side of the walk-up toward the house IN FRONT of the vine fencing and resting on the clay pavers. My fear is that they may be attractive to those who might want to acquire some lovely pots more cheaply than I managed to do. So, here's my thought (I'm so darn clever I scare myself). How about having a metal worker make me a 3-4 foot-long rod with a top on it -- like this -- T --. Just run that thing through the watering hole and even if the rod doesn't insure permanency, at least it makes it look as if it would be impossible to move them. Now, am I clever or what?! My question? Hmmm? Copper? Iron? What would NOT interfere with the soil chemistry?



2. Clay pavers? At this same concrete walk-up, recall, I plan on laying them atop a portion of the length of this same concrete. What do you suggest I look at to afix them to the concrete all the way up to and including the two steps at the landing? I haven't a clue what to use. And remember, we're talking about two very different materials here: clay and concrete.



3. Pre-emergent? I've noticed that the local bird population spends hours twittering about the bare ground, pecking about at the dirt? They're finding seeds, of course. Since the ground is currently uncovered and much of it may be until Spring, I'm wondering if it makes sense to apply a pre-emergent to knock off the winter weeds (and they're there, have been for the past 3 winters) so I don't have to deal with clearing them in the Spring when I go to plant. It seems to me that doing so would also insure better weed control with the new plantings when future winters arrive. Another application to snag the Spring weed population as well. Keep in mind that this soil has lain bare, un-watered, untended in any manner except to clear it for 3 years and is doubtless populated with considerable seed trash several inches down. Does this process make sense? Do I use a different pre-emergent for different seasons? Will it interfere with rooted plants as they are planted?



4. More pre-emergent? The worker who cleared the surface this past summer threw it on top of the leaves I've been gathering for mulch. WHAT A BOZO!!! He knew I was going to use those piles for mulch! Anyway, now what? Toss it all out? Can my leaf mulch be rescued? And there will be a new crop from those two Mulberries this year for me to use. So, if I must, I suppose I can toss out the old stack.



Arrrgggh . . . so much for me to learn. Do you suppose this Leading-edge Babyboomer has enuf memory left to learn it?


Linda
Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 21, 2008
9:17 AM

Post #5579393

Quoting WeeNel: "now we have to go buy all the fancy gadgets and expensive equipment, then after it dont really do the job we were told it would save us time with, we just store it in a shed or garage, I'm sure he must be up there laughing at me some days. happy gardening, WeeNel.


[chuckling] Aaah, but my dear, think of the legacy you leave the next generation from which to select, eh? You AND your pop will be able to laugh together as you watch them.

Linda
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

September 21, 2008
3:22 PM

Post #5580323

For the pavers, if you go to Lowes/Home Depot/etc and tell them you want to stick clay pavers down on concrete, they can probably direct you to the proper thing to use. For the pre-emergent, I would absolutely put some down, otherwise the second you get a good rain you're going to have thousands of weeds popping up. You will likely have to reapply it several times over the course of winter/spring since it does get washed out when it rains a lot, the package will tell you how often to reapply. All it does is prevent seeds from germinating, so it won't have any effect on plants that you plant. But if you were planning on planting seeds in some of your beds it'll stop them from germinating just like the weeds.
zenpotter
Minneapolis, MN
(Zone 4b)

September 22, 2008
12:58 PM

Post #5584144

I have to admit I did not read all of this but I do have 3 books to recommend. The first two I bought in London, they do have publishers in the US.

20 Best Small Gardens by Tim Newbury (the title use the number 20 rather than the word.) Building Your Garden by Ian Penberthy and Town Gardens Practical Ideas for Transforming Small Urban Spaces by Valerie Bradley.
Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 25, 2008
11:24 AM

Post #5596986

So OK, Zen, I've tucked these titles away on my desktop to pull out when I get through the stack I have next to my drafting table (the dining room table actually). I've a number of British books and mags to digest, a stack which your references appear to fit comfortably into. Thanks for passing them along.

Ecrane, you're right about the referral to the home improvement stores. I did some Googling to find several brand named adhesives and instructions, which suggests that there is a clear solution for this work. The search also informed me that I have some prep work to do in advance, which will take some time. And the process of thinking about it also made it clear to me that I have some tight measuring and trimming to do in order to make it all fit together. There are some pretty complex steps to go through to do it well. But, I can do it!

We often have a rain the first week of October (annual county fair week--chuckling--you never forget such inopportune interruptions) so I figure I'll try to get my first application done this coming weekend, just in case. And so as to guarantee total coverage I've got to get my worker here to empty the plant holes so the foot traffic doesn't destroy the surface.

ACK, I'll stop with the details. Suffice it to say, I learned many years ago to try to anticipate the complexity of such work if I was going to do it rather than hiring a professional to do so. I learned it by missing important considerations in my family room addition construction and kickin' myself ever since for having done so. So now I try to think like a professional, rather than assuming simplicity, where complexity is more likely the reality.

WeeNel, I read your thoughts about theft on UK acreage, isolated from many observant neighborly eyes nearby, and am sad. I envision smaller versions of the larger castle estates, with all the lovely statues, pots, plantings, and the boldness of such perpetrators who would pull up with huge trucks and trailers and even cranes, for crying out loud, destroying someone's dream, even if only temporarily, just saddens me. And frankly, I don't believe that such perpetrators necessarily ever experience the sense of guilt over their shameless behavior which would satisfy my need for "justice."

So, OK, Gugals (guys'n gals), I'm back to the footwork of design and hardscape construction over the next few weeks. I'll try to get some pics up as it progresses.

Hang in here with me. You've been such a huge help and I don't want to lose your expertise. You're the GR8st.

My best, Linda, who celebrates the upcoming arrival of Fall
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

September 30, 2008
2:32 AM

Post #5615619

Linda, for any help required by outsiders now you have your plot cleared, you are best to get all your drafts down on paper and include measurements too so when you discuss what you want them to do, they are in no doubt what you mean, especially if you need tight lines paved or shapes for beds, always remember, this is going to be your own pride and joy, once the help/guys leave the finished job, they really aint going to care if the pathways are a foot out or they covered an area you thought was for a bed etc, IF you can lay out a plan and use coloured crayons etc to show up the areas they need to be aware of, then it helps save you time and money trying to undo work you had already paid for, take your time, dont feel under any pressure and IF you get it right at the start, it will still look good even before you get plants in as the outlines will be there for you to get more ideas for the next stage, one good reason why I suggested you keep a picture of the house and the area to draw for your garden layout, it takes a bit longer to do it right, but as you are learning, better done well than needing redone later.

for laying your paths, remember they will be heavy traffic areas when tending and planting, so make sure they are laid for safety in mind, I would have thought blobs of concrete would have been suficient for the pavers, but advice from experts are always best as once laid, you really dont want to have to lift them up to move or relay them again.

As for moving heavy planter, pavers or any other heavy things we all have to move around the garden, I got hold of a small 2 wheeled barrow, (we call them sack barrows or you used to see porters in railway stations put luggage on them) I could not manage half the things I cart around the garden without this barrow, it is so easy to maneuver about as it is tall and thin, you just run the barrow with the foot plate up to your large pot, tilt the pot up on one side a few inches, kick the foot plate under the pot and then tilt the barrow handles back and your pot is sitting on the barrow plate ready to move where ever you like, I find it easier to pull the barrow rather than push heavy objects, I have a back problem so believe me, if there's an easy way, I have found it.

As for the weed seeds growing in the beds you want to get ready for planting, I clear my areas from weeds, then cover them with black plastic sheeting, to hide this if you feel it could be unsightly, gather your leaf drop and throw it onto the black plastic and it will help to hide it and also the leaf mold will rot down ready to be dug into the soil come spring, before you start to dig it in, you just pull the plastic away and store it for later use. you can always stick a few pots on top too, the flowers/plants will remind you of how it looks with some plants growing in this area.

Garden theft is on the rise here in UK, there is such a demand for anything antique here and also from overseas that sometimes things are stolen to order, a picture is taken by the thieves and then they get the OK to go get it, fact of life here now, even garden landscaping tools are taken and sold on EBay.

You don't have to spend a lot of money on containers for your type of garden as in the old days, everything was used from old wash tubs to chimney pots, but the real old timers would have them made from lead as they could make designs, impressed into the sides and top edges, the designs would be things like an Oak tree, hens/chickens, a swan, or even just the house number stamped on the sides, but junk shops would be the place to look out for unusual items to use as planters, I have old wooden barrels, I got them from old breweries (bear, wine etc) and they look great when planted up, even used as side tables in the seating area.

Cant wait to here how you are coming along, so keep us all informed when you get the time, look after yourself and enjoy.
WeeNel.

Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

October 1, 2008
3:19 AM

Post #5620073

Aaaah, WeeNel, you bring such clear thinking with your advice. Yes, yes, a plan, measured, drawn out on paper so you cannot MISS the instructions. I’ve attached a pic of my workspace with the 20X30 inch (I give up with the conversion) photo of my house to work with. Awesome, huh? So I plan on using my evenings when it gets too dark and too cool to be outside working to put my plan together. That’s the wall at my dining table. When you don’t have anyone else to please you can nail anything you want on the walls!

But, but, I mean, there are two holes for each post . . . one for the post . . . one for the plant!! ! Why the heck did he fill the plant holes???? IDIOT! ! ! I’m going to call him, finally, tonight, to remind him that he has some work left to do here, which he has already been paid to do! ! ! And I’ll have him dig out those holes in the parking strip on the street, so I can plant it this fall.

The temperature this evening, at 6 p.m. is 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius—are you a Celsius location?), so we’re still pretty warm. But we expect to be down in the low 80’s this weekend, which will encourage work outside. Moreover, there’s even a prediction of possible thunder/lightning/rain storm in the next week! What’d I say? The County Fair hits town this week and we often have rain and heat, in turn, during Fair week! I have moved my little leaf mulcher thingeeeee out by the back gate and will drag my leaf scruncher out to cut ‘em up and begin working on that pile of leaves.

And I will fill my plant holes full of good planter soil.

I purchased black plastic sheeting earlier this season to perform just as you prescribe and plan on laying it out on the parking strip when I plant the shrubs I need.

Aaah, yes, the little barrow? I have one of those I’ve used for a number of years. I need to put some air in the wheels, as they’re flat at the moment {chuckling}. But you’re right, it’s an indispensable piece of equipment, back pain or not. And this “old lady” appreciates any help with such work she can get.

Pavers? The stuff I found at the building supply store is actually a type of concrete which is used just for the purpose I need it. The web search supports just this type of adhesive and ecrane3 was absolutely correct in sending me there. I laid several out just at the porch landing so as to determine how much must be “skinned” from one paver so as to keep them centered, if you will, all the way up the walk. It will only require skinning off about 1/8 inch or so (about the width of the lower band on your favorite ring). So, I will get my little electric sander out and find the coarsest sandpaper I can find to see if it will do the job. I suspect it will do perfectly . . . how cool is that?! I just love it when things end up so simple. I must still measure the length of the walk to see if I must have three pavers (the width of the walk) cut down to end up exactly where I need them to end.

Oh my, I’ve driveled on so. Thanks for checking back in on me and my little job. My mother, 86YO with Alzheimer’s, lives in a retirement center, a secured residence, and there’s much to do after work hours from week-to-week. So I juggle multiple tasks, losing track of some at times. But . . . I never lose track of my garden tasks! It’s an exciting time, having laid out the bare bones. And that's as it should be.

Warmly,
Linda



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Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

October 1, 2008
3:53 AM

Post #5620207

Let me tell you about my British magazine stash and what I found last night. And, BTW, here's some web research related to the history of English gardens. I've cut it from the text above so that those who don't care to get into such things in these threads can simply scroll past it.

But . . . I've also taken the opportunity to add another photo. I took it this evening. I am in awe of seasonal changes, often getting confused about the changes, wondering if the seemingly negative changes I see are a result of my poor care or just the seasonal changes I'm unaccustomed to watching. But more importantly, I see some awesome stuff. The pic attached has, if you look at the lower left corner, brand new baby growth peaking out, some sweet Fall blush blossoms on my Sally Holmes, and a leaf blown by the wind from the Fruitless Mulberry nearby. Such an awesome display . . . babies, late blooms, seasonal leaf falls . . . all at the same time. Just awesome!

So . . . here's the magazine and web history references I mention above:

I went through all my English Garden magazines last night and pulled out an issue of The English Garden, February/March 1998, to take to work with me today for break times. Why? There was an article entitled “Great ideas for small gardens” I wanted to look at. It’s a great little article and one of the little gardens uses “old Yorkstone flags” to pave in in much the same way I envision my own paving. So I put a little sticky on it and will set it aside to reference. And on to the next British The English Home magazine; I have 4-6 per year for the years 2003 through 2007 stacked up to peruse. I bought them on eBay last year and now that I’m doing the work it’s time to go through them again with a more serious eye. How exciting is that? And I have some books related to gardening history to go through as well.

BTW, there’s a nice little history of English gardening (though not as thorough as you provided us), The Story of Gardens; Victorian Gardens, including Chester, Taunton, Chatsworth. You’ll find it at http://www.swgfl.org.uk/storyofgardens/victorian.asp . There are references and photos and links to “Garden Case Studies” of some of England’s gardens; Belsay Garden, Birkenhead Park, and Brodsworth Garden. I was in Chester in 2003 and loved the homes and gardens on the river. And I've some stunning photos of some of the land between Chester and Carnarfan (sp?) Castle. Lovely. Anyway, this is a nice little reference.

Linda



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WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

October 5, 2008
2:14 AM

Post #5634253

Hi Twincal, just replied to the email you sent me, then picked up this thread and read about the books and gardens mentioned in them. If anyone is interested in old gardens (British/English) then a good ref would be to search the web for gardens held in trust to the nation in the care by The National Trust (Gardening Guides) Borders, they are by Borders Books, the author is Penelope Hobhouse and this one in particular that could be of interest to you as it not only shows borders, but with pictures of them when planted and matured, it also has the planting plans with the plants used and how the combination of textures, colours and how many plants of each type were used to create the effect as seen. But there are lots of gardening subjects listed too from herb gardens to wall/climbing gardens so there is plenty for everyone to be interested in, I find these books in second hand book stores and love them, we here in UK still use the same methods and plants even though there are many other gardens being made now with very modern ideas too, in time, the old fashioned gardens still get brought back into vogue again.
All or most of the large gardens you visited or are part of large estates here are now held in trust by this body and they have the care and upkeep for them, they try to work and restore old neglected large estates by tracking down the old gardeners plans and use the same plants and materials keeping the English garden histories alive for the nation and visitors from all over the world.
Another wonderful old gardener of greatness was a lady called Gertrude Jekyll, she was instrumental in making a lot of the gardens you mentioned along with a chap called Edwin Lutyens, together they built many wonderful gardens, he did a lot of the hard landscape work while she did the layout of the formal beds/borders and plantings, she liked to make gardens broken up into rooms where she had small areas themed in different textures and vivid colours, but a lot of her plantings are just like the ones you are hoping to achieve, so look out for her books also, my favourite book or hers is called Colour Schemes for the Flower Garden by Gertrude Jekyll, this book was first published in 1908, the copy I have is printed by the Antique Collectors Club Ltd., Woodbridge, Suffolk UK, if you get it maybe from your own library, when you read it, you actually feel you are walking through her own Garden at Munstead, and she has laid out all her planting plans and has gardens for every season, one to follow the next,
Hope this helps you fulfill your dream Garden. Will get back to you after the weekend as I am off to visit grand kids, elderly sick uncle and need to be off at the crack of dawn, which by the way, it almost is now. take good care. WeeNel.
Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

October 13, 2008
2:04 AM

Post #5664255

Hi, all! I am exhausted, fried! I spent the weekend doing Fall cleanup in the backyard and took that little "barrow" WeeNel spoke of and moved my concrete pots to the front yard. I had to use it for the little rose bushes as well [sigh]. But what I managed to get done was 1) plant the Star Jasmine at the fence entry to the front door and 2) plant the little rose bushes in the concrete pots. Hmmmm, why? Well, I figured they would both benefit from the larger space and the Star Jasmine would most especially, as I hope that it will "hit the ground running" come Spring. That'd give us a head start come Spring and I've already decided that at least the first two posts on each side of the walkway will be covered in Star Jasmine. The rose? Well, it simply provides encouragement for continued work.

You will note that the Jasmine appears to nearly cover the front beds at the house walls, which is kinda cool. The Wax Leave Privet pom trees will lose the lower pom and be surrounded by a pot surround, thus providing a little color interest and contrast behind the concrete pot and Jasmine.

It's fun to have this much accomplished. We also have our annual street-side trash pickup this week, so I managed to move a small bit of yard trash out there. It's actually a bit more than this one person can manage to handle the physical aspects of the work, but it is certainly gratifying.

WeeNel, I took your suggestion and picked-up a Borders book by Penelope Hobhouse through Amazon. I also snagged a copy of her book, "A Book of Gardening: Ideas, Methods, Designs: A Practical Guide," which I thought might be interesting, as well. And if I'm not mistaken I have at least one of the books discussing Gertrude Jekyll's work, but I'm not up to searching about for it right now.

BTW, it was 90 degrees less than 2 weeks ago at this time of day, and it's only 64 degrees at the moment. Whew! Such change in such a short period of time, huh? It was very cool late last night and I turned on the heater (a rooftop dual pack [heat and air conditioning in one unit]) only to find it not working. I am remaining positive -- the pilot light is out and PGE can light it this week. We don't want anything else to be wrong with this 32YO unit, do we? Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Well, I'm off to rinse some of the dirt off me. Happy new work week, all!

Linda

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JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

October 13, 2008
2:26 AM

Post #5664378

Wow! Lotsa' good work there!
Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

October 13, 2008
3:11 AM

Post #5664557

Thanks, Nan . . . ack, hard work is actually my middle name, although in years past I've certainly done more of it in shorter periods of time. One of the benefits of being a senior (oh dear, I'm a senior?!) is being able to get away with less hard work, eh?

Much remains . . . stay tuned if you have the stamina [chuckling].

Thanks, and feel free to pass along any thoughts you may have.

Warmly,
Liinda

Pic of a corner of my backyard patio room I started and completed (minus the usual tweaks) 2000-2003

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JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

October 13, 2008
3:39 AM

Post #5664652

My only thought is: Love what you've done"
Redtootsiepop
Livermore, CA
(Zone 9b)

October 18, 2008
8:25 PM

Post #5687615

That's beautifully done twincol ~ and reminds me to be patient, and things often turn out better that way - as you've proven : )
Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

October 21, 2008
2:37 AM

Post #5697486

Knot gardens!

If you're interested in some history, otherwise feel free to scroll past this note. I learned in my research today that there are two types of "knot gardens," one of which is not a knot garden.[chuckling] One is a Parterre, the other is a Knot Garden. Here's the skinny (quoted material in italics) ---

Quoting:"Parterres are often confused with knot gardens. Indeed, on a recent "Gardeners' Question Time" radio programme, when the question was asked "What is distinguishes a parterre from a knot garden?", the three panellists had three different answers!

Clearly knot gardens and parterres have certain similarities, for example:
* They are both characterised by symmetry and geometrical patterns
* They are best created on level ground
* Their boundary is usually square
* Both are best viewed by looking down onto them
* Low growing evergreen, dense, slow-growing hedging, particularly dwarf box, is used extensively in both to provide the pattern

There are, though, differences between the two, as generalised below:

Knot Garden Origination
Tudor period: (16th Century)
Inspiration: The "over and under" of threads used in an English knot or strapwork needlework pattern
Hedge Topography: Height rises at hedge junctions to indicate the crossing of threads

Parterre Garden Origination
Period: Late 16th-17th Century (became popular again in Victorian and Edwardian periods)
Inspiration: French embroidery patterns – the term comes from "parterres de broderie"
Hedge Topography: Flat-topped, uniform height design"


The above was copied/pasted in small chunks from [HYPERLINK@www.pantonplants.co.uk] and is only a portion of the wonderful information about boxwoods available at this page. The owner is Panton Plants / Growers of Fine Box Hedging. I wish I lived in England and could order bare root boxwoods from them. Clearly boxwoods live an especially beloved life in the UK.

Further, in my reading of the book entitled "A Book of Gardening; Ideas, Methods, Designs" by Penelope Hobhouse, I learned that
Quoting:"Knot designs in (knot) gardens derived from embroidery and the midieval passion for intricate patterns. The 'over and under' worked in silk or wool was imitated in the garden by using foliage plants with distinct leaf colours."
She goes on later to state that flowered plants were incidental to the knot garden, which was about the thread, but critical to the design of the Parterre garden, which was more about French embroidery designs and brightly colored.

Of particular interest to me was the distinction between the two related to 1) the shape of the boxwoods, flat or over-&-under to distinguish between the tread treatment on the fabric, and 2) that one uses all the same species, while the other uses different species to depict the different characteristics of the thread being used.

I would never have known that there was a particular way to make the knot garden or that it was intended to replicate the weave of the thread. Hmmm, wonder if one could design a little knot garden shaped like a basket, with the over and under of the weave of a basket? Very very very interesting to one who wants to build a knot garden and wonders if she's up to such a task, don'tcha think?

More than you ever wanted to know?!

Linda


This message was edited Oct 31, 2008 3:24 PM

This message was edited Oct 31, 2008 3:27 PM
Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

October 21, 2008
4:15 AM

Post #5697872

Nanbernier, Redtootsiepop, thanks. And, yes, it took a summer of patience and work, but it was well worth it. It's the kind of work "girls" aren't supposed to be able to do, dont'cha know?! LOL
Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

October 21, 2008
4:19 AM

Post #5697883

OOOoooops, that link didn't come through like it should have. Let me give it another try . . .

The large quote from Panton Plants / Growers of Fine Box Hedging can be found at http://www.pantonplants.co.uk/parterre.htm . My apologies, Linda
Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

November 1, 2008
11:00 PM

Post #5741264

OK, Guys'n gals, a bit of progress. I hired my lawn service to do some cleanup hereabouts. As part of that work I asked them to trim the lower pom off the double-pom waxleaf privets and trim the top one a bit. So, here's a bit of a sense of the layout and "lack of symmetry" I'll need to work out. The privets are not symmetrical with the approaching walkway. And the concrete woven pots (I am so in love with these pots) are symmetrical, which is as it should be, I think. Keep in mind that it is my intent to plant those beloved pots with perhaps a contrasting shape, as in pointy top with a spiral body.

So, I'm going to have to keep on working on this little bit of property. We got the poodles' kennel cleaned up and that stupid invasive, messy bottlebrush sucker-tree cut down once again. They just keep popping up, despite the stump remover/destroyer applied to them as I cut them down. It is such an invasive and messy specimen.

So, I just keep a'workin.

Linda

BTW, those little "trees" will have the surround I showed in an earlier pic of the Cotswold pocket garden. I'm going to see if I can make them this winter when gardening becomes slower. And can you see the little gap in the window draperies? That's one of the black poodles watching out for me. L

This message was edited Nov 1, 2008 4:34 PM

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JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

November 2, 2008
12:23 AM

Post #5741617

Beautiful!
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

November 8, 2008
10:45 PM

Post #5767722

Woweeeeee, Twincol, you really have done wonders, your yard is really taking on the look you want, dont be so critical of how your doing things, your gonna end up beating yourself up all the way to next summer, what you show in the picture is the bare bones with not too much planting and colours, but this is always the look at the same stage as you are at, it is just terrific what you have achieved and just think, the best is yet to come.
I told you right way at the start that you had lots of backbreaking work to do before you would see any form of results, the problem now, is once you move onto the next stage, all this hard work will be hiden under carpets of colour, textures and shadows, so you are doing fab and a big pat on the back along with a hug to you,
Sorry I aint been on the forum to keep up with your progress but this is a wild time here for us, millions of tons of leaves to gather and scrape off our long driveway, it has been raining constantly so this makes the leaves slippy and they choke our land drains also, so it has been constant, just as you get it all cleared, more fall down and following day you look outside and wonder if you ever cleared anything, thankfully one of my suns had a lull at work and was able to come help us, the cold damp weather plays havoc with my back so it was good to get help for a few days. now emptied and refilled my greenhouse with most of the tender plants and re-potted most, got most of my spring bulbs in and some summer flowering lily's, too exhausted at night to get to the computer, but a good feeling, will be watching your progress better and cant wait for your next report. good luck and take good care. WeeNel.
Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

November 14, 2008
6:51 PM

Post #5790866

Oh my, dear WeelNel, your weather sounds cranky! even if quietly so. I remember when contemplating our travel to England in Aug/Sep 2003 expecting rainy, autumn-like weather unlike that which we were leaving in the 90-100 degrees F (32-38 C) range. Well, my dear! It was sunny most all of the 21 days we were there, occasional overcast in the mornings, raining only one day as we walked about Portmerion, Wales. And did it rain . . . buckets, straight down in sheets, pouring (LOL). What a hoot that was. Now that was NOT a quiet cranky. I must remind myself that you folks are at a higher latitude than we are, which is easy for me to forget. I never forget the countries in the lower latitudes as suffering different weather than we do, but frequently forget that the northerners do -- heaven knows why it is I forget that. Hopefully you had some of the youngsters thereabouts to help you with some of the backbreaking work. And your grandkids? Last time we talked you were enjoying a visit.

So, OK, here I sit with no change since the above photo was posted, although I applied pre-emergent, which seems to have failed following our first rain. I'll be back out again soon with another pre-e probably this weekend. That said, I have, however, followed your direction to read, read, study, draw, study, read. I have several awesome UK garden planning books and web sites.

The Natl Trust Guide "Borders," by Penelope Hobhouse has helped my thinking about layering the outer section between the sidewalk and the fence.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the Encyclopedia of Gardening (Denna Beverley and Barty Phillips) as an idea-generator and quick overview of the technical aspects of building/planting etc. It gets my creative juices flowing when I'm not willing to think deeply LOL. Moreover, it's delightful in its photos of British ideas which we may not think of here.

I have a significant number of other UK books, the titles escape me at the moment, which fill my creative mind as I work on my planning process.

Town Gardens, by Valeria Bradley, a US designer, has helped with thinking of very very small spaces, which has keeps my thinking small, as I often get off track by thinking larger than is reasonable in this space.

I've written of some of the web sites earlier and they are, of course, just out of this world. And, of course, Dave's Garden Web Site, you've heard of that one, haven't you? (chuckling)

I'm actually planning on planting the two small trees in the outer corners of the fence, hopefully in the next couple of weeks, as I have help available to do so and I really want to take advantage of the seasonal planting benefit. Given all I've read about British garden walls, I've decided unequivocally to use all Star Jasmine around the fence to present a unified background both inside and outside the wall. It will also help in selecting plants and layering plans.

My mother's needs have demanded considerable attention over the past month and all I've been able to muster in terms of emailing is briefer and less "intellectual" thought. Moreover, just last week it was determined that I have a hole in my retina and need surgery next week. I went in yesterday to talk to the surgeon and she was positive about the expected outcome. It seems I've lived with this little tear for several months, so there's no immediate rush. So, I'll be quiet next week as well. It seems we're on the same page, as it were, right? Taking care of ourselves. Your encouragement and ability to communicate planning orientation, WeelNel, has kept me on track. Thanks so much for that. Your thoughts and kindnesses remain in my mind as I contemplate and plan my garden.

Warmly,
Linda

PIC: will you look at the long'ole branch, one of three, having thrown itself off my 5 foot rose tree in the patio? Only three? How odd is that? The are 6, 7, and 8 feet (1.8-2.4 mm) long, respectively. They are just delightful in their responses to the breeze. And with little pink blossoms! So cute!


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Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

February 8, 2009
8:22 AM

Post #6108987

Aaaah, what a difference a season, makes, huh? You may recall earlier that the soil was dry and absent any kind of plant life. I spread pre-emergent late fall and the result you see in the attached pic. Is this UNBELIEVABLE or what? Clearly I must destroy the ground cover before continuing with my new ground cover and pavers and etc etc etc. What a mess!

However, what is not obvious as you look at the the weeds is that I had the Star Jasmine planted today. Two little plants per hole, times 12 holes, with an occasional Pink Jasmine strategically placed to soften the Star Jasmine fencing I expect to grow up here. The three little Pinkies will add some visual interest in the deep shade on both side of the house as they unexpectedly throw out their "clouds" of vines atop the heavy Star Jasmine, I hope. I also had some hosta bulbs placed on the west side of the house as underplanting to the existing azaleas, which have survived years of neglect. They deserve some buddies to lighten up the area.

Moreover, take a look at that arch I brought out from the back yard and planted over the walk approaching the house. I have two of them, a matching pair. The other I plan to plant at the end of fence as it approaches the patio gate, west side of the house. It fits perfectly at that spot. The one you see here, however, is a different matter and I planted it to travel around it for a bit and see if it's what I want to do. I plan to anchor the entry with climbing roses on each side, drifting along the fence away from the walk. Kind of like arms opening up in greeting, if that makes sense.

Now then, is the archway (??) too much? Note that I am standing in the middle of the street at 5 foot 10 inches tall (177(?) cm for my metric helpers) observing straight on to the walkway. The top of the arch interrupts the lower roof line visually. And with the roses moving up and over, adding to the height, hopefully it won't move up and over the top of the roofline. A passerby on foot will note the height, a car driving by will see even more, as eye level is at about 4 feet (10 cm). I've plant holes resting beside the archs, which are iron, BTW, with 4 X 4 inch (10 cm) squares to tie the branches to. Is that architecturally correct or acceptable? Frankly, I don't even know where to begin my thinking here. I mean, this is no "high-end" (pun intended) house, not large, as you can observe especially in the pic with my helper sitting on the porch.

Cruising through my David Austin cat last weekend and saw the Mortimer Sackler climber and I'm dazzled; see it at http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/63392/ Hmmm, a Knockout might be better? Easily receiving 8+ hours sun daily. This site requires a reliable plant.

It makes the best sense to place it inside the fence line, rather than outside. And it's too wide to center on the fence. And note that the pavers, a step up, will begin at the crack in the walk, at the fence line, at the edge of the arch. This feels right to me, which is why I ran the fence here.

Thoughts? Ideas? Wisdom?

Linda, pleased to be back at work on her front yard landscape!




Oh, and BTW . . . you should have seen the 17YO kid I have working with me. His father is a landscaper and he worked with his dad for many years as a youngster. He scooped up three large garbage cans full of weeds contaminated with the bermuda grass and seeds overlaid on the Fruitless Mulberry roots. You should've seen him as he worked with the planting. We'd dig a little hole for the bulbs and Star Jasmine plants, he would place the plantlet with the tiny roots, cover the roots, and then stand up and tap them gently with the toe of his sneaker . . . oh so gently. He has a wonderful respect for plant life which is wonderful to watch in such a young'n. It was so natural for him to do, not something you might expect a young man to do unless he'd done it regularly under close supervision and training. It was so sweet to watch. He'll be working with me closely over the next few months and I am very grateful to have the help.


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Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

February 8, 2009
10:58 PM

Post #6111452

Aaaah, and here's part of the leaf'n bermuda weed cleanup on the path leading to the front yard from the rear patio on the west side of the house. Most of the hostas were planted in the bed on your left here. A 3ft wide path of the clay pavers will adjoin the bed border you see. Three garbage cans full of cleanup. It would seem that it will only take another 3 cans to clean up the remainder on the outside of the fence.

I just kept thinking as my young man worked that there is no way I could have done the work myself and felt so grateful for his serious attitude toward the work he was doing.

I've one more pic I ran across as I moved these pics to my design catalogue on the hard drive. I simply must show it to you . . . I must! So, it's coming as well.

{{H}}

Linda

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Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

February 8, 2009
11:16 PM

Post #6111515

Check this little darling out! I want to add this to the landing somehow in front. Is s/he absolutely too cute or what? Perhaps a bit irreverent, but too precious to walk away from.

Linda

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WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

February 8, 2009
11:41 PM

Post #6111628

Hi Linda, I am just back on the site after a long time off over Christmas and before that too, your Garden is now turning into a masterpiece, you should be so proud of your hard work, tell that young kid he can come to my place anytime, hold onto him, if you get someone on the same wave length as you, they are worth their weight in gold.

Love you little lioness,or is it a he, anyway you should give him pride of place somewhere you just turn around and he is waiting to surprise you, around the plinth of this I would smother it with Lavender, cat mint or something tall but floppy, as you stop to say good day to him, you will be awakened with the most beautiful aroma, buy the way, if you want to speed up the that old garden look to him / her, you can paint the whole statue with Natural Yogurt, leave it alone and you will soon see the green algae ageing process start faster than years outdoors by nature, just an idea. please dont let anyone talk you into painting this with outdoor paint as it deserves the natural old age look for your type of garden scheme. So glad you have found and got pleasure from the garden books, I even go to bed so tired, but can still flick through the pages of my favourite garden books.
Stay in touch and let us all know ow the garden is getting transformed from a messy area to a garden worthy of Homes and garden. Good luck and best wishes. WeeNel.
imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

February 9, 2009
12:17 AM

Post #6111819

Linda: thanks for linking this thread to the other one in California Gardening---what a journey! And what excellent help you've had along the way, both "live" and "virtual"!~
Looking forward to more photos & progress. I agree about the lion--s/he belongs in your design!!
KaperC
No. San Diego Co., CA
(Zone 10b)

February 9, 2009
1:12 AM

Post #6112149

Ditto, twincol - and I love that lion!!! Pretty sure it's a 'he' as the females don't have that much mane. Deserves a name, too. Can't wait to see future progress.
imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

February 9, 2009
1:47 AM

Post #6112322

I think if he were mine, I'd name him for something to do with the Eagles (Lyin' Eyes)...LOL!
Redtootsiepop
Livermore, CA
(Zone 9b)

February 9, 2009
5:18 PM

Post #6115216

lol ima

the fence is magnificent, and I love how you described your 17 yo helper, he sounds wonderful!
SingingWolf
Menifee, CA
(Zone 9a)

February 9, 2009
5:59 PM

Post #6115391

Thanks for the hyperlinks, they explain a lot as do your photos. I think you are well on your way to achieving your goal. I've learned a lot from reading the posts and hyperlinks. :-)
WIB,
SW
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

February 10, 2009
11:23 PM

Post #6121434

Linda, I really dont think you appreciate that way back in September 08, when you asked for help / ideas for your project just how much pleasure you would bring to others, especially new gardeners, there must be many out there who use this site that gained much confidence, ideas, knowledge as to how to start off a garden and be able to grow along with yours. to think when you and I first got in touch, I was honestly more worried about your health than your gardening skills, you are an inspiration to everyone who thinks illness is a barrier to pleasure and if we have the will, can take advice from so many, read and learn, you CAN have a garden of your dreams. I am so proud of you. I hope others new folks on the site now realise just what Dave's Gardening Site is there for, and enjoy it as much as you have. Best wishes. WeeNel.
PS, I would call your Male Lion HOPE. to remember where you started, how you were recovering from Cancer, how you had to clear such a large area and how you hoped to achieve your dreams. Bet others will have even more great names for him, Ha, ha, ha.
Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

February 11, 2009
3:01 AM

Post #6122320


Oh my, WeeNel, I am blushing, girl! But I only asked the questions. It's the rest of you with all your experience who have brought the wisdom to us all in a most amazing way. Interestingly, there's a level of trust between those of us who post. My sense is always that, as a rule, I can trust that those who respond to my queries will treat me respectfully and honestly. And I love it. Life is too short to waste it on less.

Actually, my membership was given to me by an online friend, a woman I met on eBay. She just purchased it and let Dave handle the introduction. I didn't know for some time who had done such a kind thing for me. We'd talked off and on about gardening and gardening web sites and she was convinced that you folks were out of this world . . . and right she was/is. I plan on passing that gift along, BTW, and am excitedly searching for someone who might be interested to a new learning venue online

And as to my health? Well, I continue to live with deficits in my capacity to live as I once did. But, and this is a BIG BUT . . . I'm 5 years cancer free and feel blessed. I hope to keep that remission going for a bit so I can enjoy my new front yard.

Oh, I know exactly where I'm gonna place HOPE when I bring him home.

With much fondness to all of you,
Linda

Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

March 15, 2009
9:47 PM

Post #6271954

WAHOO!!! I planted my multi-trunk magnolia, Magnolia Royal Star, today! It is such a sweet shape and it's flowering and leafing out. See the Plant Files photo by mosquitoflats http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/63296/ here. Is it awesome, or what? It's in front of the west corner of the fence, just a tad within the canopy of the Fruitless Mulberry. It will have sun all morning until noon and then late afternoon sun as well. And, if the Mulberry canopy of too much for it I can have the canopy tweaked some in order to clear it. Year-round interest, if you consider the shape of the trunk/branches, which I do.

And . . . and . . . at the lower edge of the photo attached you'll see what I plan on planting in the parking strip. It's a Euonymus fortunei "Interbolwyi." It's called Eunoymus Blondy {cute}. See it here, at the grower's site http://www.colorchoiceplants.com/blondy.htm . 18-24" (46-61 cm) tall, 24-30" (61-91 cm) wide, which is perfect for the parking strip, which I hope to minimize interfering with vision around the corner of the lot. It's a ground cover shrub, noted to be popular in Europe (Britain??), which fits well within my theme and requires minimal care. PERFECT!!! (BTW, to my British friends, am I using the proper references related to converting length, etc?)

Edited to add: Blondy is evergreen, BTW, and loves sun! Perfect for the parking strip!


This message was edited Mar 15, 2009 3:17 PM

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Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

March 15, 2009
10:08 PM

Post #6272045

By the way, I received a warm and welcoming letter from the City of Fresno, informing me that I was in violation of City Code, in that I have violated codes related to "caution tape," "tall weeds and/or dry (etc.) weeds located on the parking strip (City property)" and that "landscaping is overgrown, causing a blight to the neighborhood." EEeeeeeeek! Ah well, I've dealt with such notices for clients as a social worker when working with them at my agency, and a phone call will delay any fines, etc., past the required correction date of 3/23. I suppose I could remove the caution tape and let anyone who chooses to walk across the parking strip just fall into the 2'X2' (61 cm) holes I've covered with pieces of plywood, eh? Do you suppose the City would take responsibility for the liability if I removed the tape? Just kidding! Fat chance!

Oh, and I've planted a couple of bags full of hostas at the western side of the house, full and deep shade 24X7, in the beds around the azaleas and next to the fence. The slugs/snails started in on them instantly and before I was able to get the bait out, ugh!

Anyway, here's a close-up pic of Blondy. Isn't she just the cutest thing? I found 7 of them at Costco in good condition and well-established in five gallon pots, which will speed up the effect.

We're on our way, boys and girls, and I am getting excited again.

Linda

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Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

March 15, 2009
10:30 PM

Post #6272144

OK, here's a question for you all. Ideas about what climbing rose to use at the walk-up entry? I was looking at climbers at the nursery yesterday and liked the plants with pencil-thin branches and small leaves. Must have been climbing miniatures, I suppose. They had a few knockouts, but few. And except for the love many of you express about them, know nothing about them.

I'm thinking that it needs a "light" touch, thus the smaller climbers. I'm thinking white blooms, ever-blooming, easy to train (I'm 61, afterall). I'm thinking "light," in that it's not particularly dense. Make sense?

I love my Sally Holmes, but fear she is too wild and throws off too many thorny, rigid branches to make her a walk-under/through.

Thoughts, ideas, wisdom?

Linda
KaperC
No. San Diego Co., CA
(Zone 10b)

March 16, 2009
12:11 AM

Post #6272651

I would like to hear about knockout roses, too.
Redtootsiepop
Livermore, CA
(Zone 9b)

March 16, 2009
1:01 AM

Post #6272893

these two are easy to care for, not sure if I'm coming close - just a thought!

climbing iceburg, an easy to prune

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Redtootsiepop
Livermore, CA
(Zone 9b)

March 16, 2009
1:02 AM

Post #6272898

and handles the heat well, disease resistant.

Sally Holmes

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imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

March 16, 2009
1:18 AM

Post #6272988

Climbing Cecile Brunner might do well for you, too.
Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

March 17, 2009
4:52 AM

Post #6278958

Okay, guys and gals, I obsessed about this work during much of my workday. I looked at the photo of the fence with the arbor archway and am beginning to feel like it is out of proportion to the rest of the layout. I'm looking at it again and wondering if, architecturally speaking, I might be better served by simply planting a climber which will spread sideways, one way off-center, rather than up, leaving the arbor archway out of the picture altogether.

It is just beginning to look like a bit much, the more I look at the effect.

Oh my, oh my, oh my. What have I gotten myself into?

So, OK, let's say I decide to go for the no-archway. Let's think about the roses at the walkway opening. Aah, Redtootsiepop, I have two Sally Holmes and she would reach out enthusiastically to greet any visitor walking through. Mine reach ten feet or more, girl, which would be perfect going up, of course! But the climbing iceberg appears to be a friendly little girl, wispy branches with pretty grandiflora-like bouquets all about. I love such a look.

I am still unsure about the knockouts and Climbing Cecile Brunner, and wonder about how they might fit on the lower fence moving from center outward.

Tell me what you think about that archway as you look at the pic post #6108987 above.

Hmm, such a job, this design thing, huh?

Linda
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

March 17, 2009
4:59 AM

Post #6278983

I think it's hard to judge the archway until you have the rest of the area more done--before you've got everything else in place and had time for it to grow it can tend to look a little out of proportion but I think once you get everything else in you'll be happier with it. Of course I'm partial to arches, I've got one over the gate to my front yard so maybe I'm just biased! Here's mine--not a great pic but the best one I could find.

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imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

March 17, 2009
3:26 PM

Post #6280281

Given all the linear aspects of your lot, house and fence, I think the curve added by the arch is wonderful. Try not to second-guess yourself!
JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

March 17, 2009
4:18 PM

Post #6280463

Ditto to what ecrane3 and imapigeon said!
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

March 21, 2009
6:43 PM

Post #6300011

Go for the archway, it will frame the entrace even when the Roses are leefless if you get that in your area, roses are easy to keep pruned to the size you require, my most favourite of all is a Rose called Golden Showers, the flowers fade to very pale lemon with age, but to set it off, I planted a Clematis with deep purple/lavender flowers to scramble through the rose so when the rose has little flowers, the Clematis gives colour, for just a few weeks of the year, they flower together and the purple flowers along with the yellow rose flowers is just so relaxing and pretty. you can mix and match Roses and Clematis with any combination you like, but this is my favourite, all you need to do is dead head both plants as the flowers fade.
You could also paint your arch in a colour to match any paintwork on your yard, for your type of garden, I would go for lavender, pale blue or green and then grow your plants up into the structure and all year round you will have little peeps of colour as you enter or look out into your yard.

You have done a ton more work Twincol, it is obviously great therapy for you and I have to admit, most people find that when they get out into the garden, there is something about getting your hands in among soil and watching the results of your hard labour that just makes one feel at ease with the world. good work Twincol, happy gardening. WeeNel.
Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 3, 2009
3:58 AM

Post #6357731

OMG, look what arrived today from Brushwood Nursery, Kennett Square, PA!!! This is a Dave's Garden Top 30 nursery. See it at http://davesgarden.com/products/gwd/c/534/ They are awesome little specimens about 14" tall with bright green leaves, strong branches, and even with buds on the rose. I've included the Dave's Garden links for the nursery and links to the nursery for the plants. I am so excited. I am so excited!

2 John Davis Climbing Rose http://www.gardenvines.com/shop/climbing-roses-2/john-davis-climbing-rose-362.html
2 Clematis Blue Angel http://www.gardenvines.com/shop/small-flowered-clematis-4/clematis-blue-angel-57.html

These are for the archway/arbor over the walk-up to the house.

The final major plant purchase remaining is a multi-trunk Crepe Myrtle tree, probably a white, to offset the dwarf magnolia on the opposite corner (west end) of the fence.

I am SO excited! It even makes me forget the oral surgery I had last week and from which I had the stitches removed today. :-)

Linda

Oh, and I freed a cottage cheese carton-size passel of ladybugs in my roses in the backyard this evening, just after dark. I'm hoping some of them will hang out for a bit and nibble on the aphids currently hanging out, LOL. Look at what they're nibbling on at the moment - - my Golden Showers, WeeNel.


[edited to say] Oh, phooey! what am I doing to my links so that they don't come up as DG links???




This message was edited Apr 2, 2009 9:02 PM

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JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

April 3, 2009
11:22 AM

Post #6358314

Oh! It's coming along so beautifully!

Links have been weird if they show up at all for a week now...
imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

April 3, 2009
4:10 PM

Post #6359360

Linda, those two are going to be GORGEOUS together on your archway (glad you decided to keep it in the design)!!
Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

May 21, 2009
4:19 AM

Post #6577554

Okay, here's the parking strip with the Euonymous planted. The weeds are "down" for the moment. They look quite nice in this location. And they will provide nighttime interest with their bright, playful yellow spots. And they're evergreen. I just finished leveling the area and will start planting pre-emergent regularly to keep the weeds at bay. Hopefully the Bermuda grass won't return at the watering holes {chuckling}. Oh, and look at the walkway in the strip. It's covered with the pavers.

The archway is down, as we had to do some re-cementing of the post on the left. And, that cement is in the way of the stake for that area. So .. .. we're back to more repair. Geez, does it never end? So, there's more repair, if you will, to do. But the rose and clematis are planted awaiting their proud frame.

Ummm, let's see ... . The Modesto Ash at the right end of the parking strip is going to be trimmed such that the co-dominant stem/trunk at the street side will be removed. It seems the tree trunk is split at that joint. Such a sad prospect. Here's hoping that the outcome is not too unsightly. I am delighted, however, that the entire tree isn't coming out.

I know it seems to be going slow, but it has been so dreadfully hot (106 degrees last weekend when temp average is 83 -- ugh!) that the work is difficult for me and the teen I have working for me only works 2-3 hours a week on Suns. And, I have two more yards to manage as well. Sally Holmes is amazing. The roses in Olivia's Rose Garden have looked better, but I'll get caught up here.

Someone left me a coupl'a buckets full of some tiny-leaved Euonymous and at least a thousand bulbs of Fairy Lily (Zephyranthes candida) at the side of my driveway gate as I returned home from work one night last week. They apparently have a 1 foot tall by 2 foot wide growth habit and looks like a little grass of sorts. THOUSANDS of little tiny bulbs! For the time being I've heeled them in to some bagged planting soil. But it'll be interesting to contemplate planting them at sidewalk edge up to the fence, which will be covered with the Star Jasmine (which I am feeding regularly this first year).

My "plan" includes some kind of ground cover (also considering ground cover roses) in front of that fence. My rationale is that I'd prefer to focus my long-term energies on the space inside the fence, not outside. And, outside of the fence pretty much anything which covers the space attractively, interestingly, is what I'm searching for. Just filling it with more Star Jasmine has no appeal [ugh]. And if I were to lay out something like this (and perhaps several spots of ground cover roses?) I would accomplish completion of the space between the fence and the street. And given that the plants left here were pulled out in bunches it appears that they do well in our environs. We'll see. I'll do some more investigation. Can you even imagine arriving home from a day's work to find two buckets of someone's overgrowth in your driveway? I think that's the first time in the 30 years I've lived here I've had any kind of thing like this happen. Pretty remarkable, isn't it?

I'm pleased with the outcome in the parking strip.

Linda

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Redtootsiepop
Livermore, CA
(Zone 9b)

May 22, 2009
4:24 PM

Post #6583231

really coming together well, wish I was a better planner - you've really done a nice job!
JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

May 22, 2009
5:56 PM

Post #6583551

Ditto! It looks so nice...
Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 19, 2009
4:36 PM

Post #6837866

Well, I think I'm at the end of this year's budget . So the pricey work is over for the moment and the remainder of the working seasons will be spent on the little stuff. The last thing that needs to be done is to have the soil removed from the front of the fence in the front yard, shown in the pic attached. It's a huge pile and mostly clay. So it's not likely to be welcomed as "fill dirt." And I've explored the yellow pages to no avail. I haven't a clue whom to call to load and haul it, but am beginning to ask around and have some numbers to start.

Here's the front from the front! Did I really say that?

Aaaanyway, I'll take you on a brief walk around.

Linda and the MopTops



Thumbnail by Twincol
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 19, 2009
4:50 PM

Post #6837911

Now then, the path from the street/gutter to the sidewalk is near completion. Step up and over these, noting the pile of dirt which needs to be hauled off, and walk under the arbor. The arbor has a climbing rose and clematis, described above, to welcome visitors. At the arbor there will be a step up with the pavers affixed to the concrete all the way to the wall and steps up to the landing at the front door.

Please follow me west, to your left, toward the other street on my corner and the side of the house.

You've reached the most south-west corner of the house/front yard. As you round the corner you'll see the walk toward the fence/gate into my backyard patio. I laid my clay pavers last weekend, 40-odd of them, on the path toward that gate. Note in the upper left corner then vine fence ends about 4-5 feet from the concrete fence. Also last weekend, I set out the second archway-arbor, identical to the one you walked under as you moved toward the house above.

I must tell you that laying the pavers and putting out the arbor left me breathless. That's it, I told myself! That's it! I see my skeleton, laid out fully, visible, clearly displaying my ideas. Can you see it? CAN YOU SEE IT?? Isn't it amazing how performing a single hardware, hardscape task can tie everything else all together? Breathless is the only term that truly describes how I felt as I first saw it from a distance across the street. There it is! I SEE it!!!

An awesome experience.

I'll show you in the next two pics.

Lindia

Thumbnail by Twincol
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 19, 2009
4:52 PM

Post #6837914


OK, here it is from outside of the fenced-in area.

Thumbnail by Twincol
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 19, 2009
4:54 PM

Post #6837918

And here's a pic with the gate open and looking out from the patio area.

I spilled coffee as I opened the gate; what a doofus!



Thumbnail by Twincol
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 19, 2009
5:03 PM

Post #6837937

Now then, walk back around from whence you just came . . . the sidewalk. Schlepp due east down the sidewalk to the edge of my property line, at the large Modesto Ash in the parking strip. (Note, if you will, that The City was out several weeks ago to lop off a main branch, a codominant stem trunk, which was splitting off the main trunk and at risk of failing, falling into the street and harming passersby.) Turn toward the house and you'll see the lovely 7-8-ft white Crepe Myrtle shrub. See how it screens the house/yard from passersby? PERFECT! Just what I wanted. And with all-season interest, flowers, bark, wood, shape. Perfect, huh?

YES!!!

Take a look!

Thumbnail by Twincol
Click the image for an enlarged view.

imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

July 19, 2009
5:12 PM

Post #6837953

Amazing progress, Linda! You've totally transformed this property already!
Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 19, 2009
5:14 PM

Post #6837960

Now just jump up and over the little 4-ft metal fabric fence and face the street. You can see the cleared dirt surface behind the fence, the leaves on the surface in front, the Star Jasmine growing gently and with strength internally which will cause it to explode next spring. The archway/arbor with the rose and clematis. The corner on which I live and will finally welcome folks as they approach as my neighbors have during and after my CA treatment, while I healed and suffered the complications which slowed me down so.

The layout of my pavers will require that I have the area dug out and layed with 3-5 inches of sand before they are installed. What I don't recall mentioning earlier is that the pavers laid out at the west side of the house began to crack and break within days of laying them atop bare ground. These pavers go back to the 1940's-50's and are not fixed clay, but virgin clay, baked to perform their task. But they are very fragile. Now they rested out in my seller's yard for 40+ years just fine. So they are not so fragile as to be unusable. But they do require a bit of TLC and that's going to be an expensive task which I leave to next year.

So, that's it. Do you see my bones? skeleton?

Linda

Thumbnail by Twincol
Click the image for an enlarged view.

KaperC
No. San Diego Co., CA
(Zone 10b)

July 19, 2009
5:18 PM

Post #6837968

Your bones look good, Linda! :-) You must feel deservedly proud of what you have done.

Kathleen
Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 19, 2009
5:21 PM

Post #6837972

Now then, not lastly, but certainly a bit of a cutesy little aside . . .

This photo is taken at the corner of the Crepe Myrtle, outside the fence. A month or so ago I hosed this soil off after clearing up the little piles of dirt. Since then the little finches visit nearly every morning for their dust baths, both here and on the outer corner. I drive around the corner each morning and generally see a little flock of finches giving themselves dust baths. So I put out a little birdbath for them to use to clean off and drink, as I also see them in the gutter drinking water. Each day I put out fresh water for them.

So . . . SO . . . even if the neighbors don't appreciate my slow approach to the work, the finches do . . . greatly!! LOL!

One more coming.

Thumbnail by Twincol
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 19, 2009
5:30 PM

Post #6837995

Last one . . .

Linda and The MopTops, well, the MopTops anyway. I had to stand behind the camera and leave Olivia to control the only man in the house, sweetly, of course.

Oh, I just had to send it off to you. They keep me busy when there's no gardening to be done, LOL, tho that seldom happens.

Thumbnail by Twincol
Click the image for an enlarged view.

KaperC
No. San Diego Co., CA
(Zone 10b)

July 19, 2009
5:33 PM

Post #6838005

How precious! They are gorgeous.
Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 19, 2009
5:39 PM

Post #6838019


Hehehe, well they would be gorgeous, Kathleen, but they desperately need grooming. Olivia's 14 years old, quite old for a Standard Poodle and failing slowly, gently, sweetly.

Ezio is such a Bozo! But we love bozo-males around here. He just loves to play. And couldn't care less what you think of him, just that you think of him. He's 70+ pounds, Olivia's a tiny 55 pounds.

They sure are sweeties. Thanks
digger9083
Dahlonega, GA

August 7, 2009
1:42 AM

Post #6916624

Twincol , Wee Nel hasn't posted in four mos . Have you heard from her? digger
Twincol
Fresno, CA
(Zone 9b)

August 7, 2009
5:40 AM

Post #6917530

No, Digger, not recently. The last time we "talked" she was going to be headed "across the pond" for a vacation. I haven't emailed her with my updates, either. I've been thinking it's time to do so.

So . . . I'll send her a note this weekend to say hi and update her, inviting her for a visit with us. I miss her.

BTW, the photo above on July 19, I've learned, seems to be a nest of House Sparrow dust baths, not finch dust baths. I have a vegetation nest in the back yard with the little tykes and their morning songs are a delight to awaken to.

I'm glad you asked about WeeNel. 'Gonna hafta check in with our British garden cousin.

Linda
digger9083
Dahlonega, GA

August 7, 2009
11:27 AM

Post #6917823

We "talked" early last year , but lost touch with her , just let other things get in the way . She's super , isn't she . Sure would like to meet her , she has invitation to stop by when she's in the states . That would be wonderful . digger
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

August 11, 2009
2:08 AM

Post #6932693

Hi Twincal and digger, here I am, isn't it funny, I just got onto the site and was informed I had mail, it was you Digger, so glad I went to the site, I am just fine, had a hellish year and still under the doc, but also nursing my aunt who sadly passed away 2 weeks ago, the last of my Mum's generation, how sad, but families are like gardens, there are always new seedlings coming along to Carry on the genes eh.

Managed to get over the pond to Florida and had a long lazy vacation on Sanibel, we took my lovely Grand-daughter with us this time and she loved the place too, we hired bikes and cycled around the island, well I free wheeled around behind everyone else, but it was good to get some sunshine into my old bones, this time we went later, June, I found it just a tad too hot, but it made me take time to relax after all the stuff thats been going on here, my garden was like a forest when we got back and am just getting it under some form of control again, on return, we actually had a really hot spell here, (unusual for us and not complaining) however, the days are already getting shorter, I have so many jobs I still have to attend to, just dont have the same energy yet, but hey, you bet, they will still be there next year if thy dont get done now.

Twincal, you sure have done a lot of work, the place dont look the same as it did several months ago, hope you are keeping well. the landscaping area is looking so clean and neat, you really have done a tremendous amount of hard work, great thought went into all this and now you are moving ever closer to the best part, the planting schemes, choosing colours, textures and planting patterns, what fun, good old winter job, note book, drawing paper and plant lists, cant think of better.
Will close for now and wish you both all the best, and sending kindest regards, WeeNel.

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