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  • Hi Steve. That's a very exposed site you have there. Yew is tough as old boots and will thrive as long as your ground isn't waterlogged. I'd suggest planting it on the leeward side of your fence, then remove the fence once the yew has really got going. It's often considered slow-growing, but I've found it is slow for the first year, like most trees, while it's getting its roots well established. After that, it will grow quite quickly. One thing to watch though: make sure it has reasonable air circulation between it and the fence. Otherwise, it will grow a funny shape and you may get fungal infections. The beauty of yew, unlike most conifers, is that you can cut it really severely if it grows the wrong way, and will happily regenerate from old wood. Apart from waterlogging, they're hard to kill!

  • happymarionhappymarion Posts: 4,591

    Have you onsidered a mixed hedge of nativeshrubs and trees to benefit the wildife - birds, bees,butterflies and insects of all sorts, Steve?  If you go to the Jordans Cereals site and go backa few pages youwill find they have just planted such a hedge.  Not only will it be beautiful but you will have wonderful crops in your veg.and fruit garden.  With half an acre you can indulge in all kinds of gardening and I suggest the minimum of hard landscaping and thousands of bulbs as well as a feature hedge.  Once you have shelter you can expand your horizons.  May I recommend Matthew Wilson's book on New Gardening?

  • Thanks for the advice you two. There's plenty of scope to develope both types of hedges. My fences filter the wind rather block it and the ground is slightly sloping, so it's looking good for the yew hedge.     I'll have a look into your suggestions happymarion. I've seen a few local shrubs I've been thinking about and I've planted a few small trees with eyes to the future. A bottom corner of my garden is boggy where all the water drains, so there's a possibility of a water garden and I've sown loads of wild flower seeds this year so I'm waiting for the results next year. I'm waiting with great expectations for the hundreds , not thousands yet!, of bulbs I've planted. It's all a learning curve, so I'm going to check out your book suggestion and probably treat myself for Xmas.  Thanks again and all the best to one and all.

  • happymarionhappymarion Posts: 4,591

    Joy!  Included in my Xmas Presents was acopy of Joy Larcom's book, "Creative Vegetable Gardening" with lots of information on potager design.  Just what I needed.

  • Dear happymarion2, re your veggie patch, have you considered circles/semi-circles instead of the usual squares and rectangles? This would turn it into more of a decorative feature than a strictly utilitarian one.

  • happymarionhappymarion Posts: 4,591

    Oh, Sue, if only I could afford that!  I'm afraid rectangles will have to be the order of the day with the plants themselves in circular or semicircular blocks.  The sides of the raised beds will be of treated wood which does not bend very far!  There are lots of potagers illustrated in Joy Larkcom's book which look very lovely because of the planting.  And at 83 I am better on straight paths than curved, I think.  The main idea of the potager is to make it easier, by providing raised beds and paths to work from , for me to carry on gardening and still have my beloved fresh veg, and fruit to eat.

  • Hi All, jumping quickly back to conifer's.

     I'm not sure what it is, but they seem to be finding new impitus amongst gardeners these days.

    I have developed a simple scheme in my front garden for them. I wanted to make an impact but keep it simple to allow me to focus my energy on my rear garden.

    In thier wisdom my house builders decided to grace my garden with 4 circular manholes! Although to be far they do sit an a nice pattern either side of the main structure to my house on slightly in front of the other. I have used this as my inspiration and invested in four large pots, which I have filled with four conifers, 2 in a lime green and 2 in the more traditional dark green shade. I intend to train the lime green ones in a globe with the dark green ones in a more natural cone shape. I have complemented these with some heathers in large window boxes and have matched the shades as best as possible, again my intention is to match these with the conifers in shape, but in 2 sets of three as follows  oAo oAo. These are my intentions but I will let you know ow things pan out. Hope this principle is of use to someone. Sorry no pictures at present as I bought quite young plants and they don't represent the shapes I have discussed quite yet.

  • I moved in with my fiance in May and to say the garden was overrun was a huge!!!!!!! understatment. Since his wife passed a few years ago he lost interest in maintaining it and so the ivy had taken hold of the fences. The weeds were as high as my waist (about 3ft) and growing in every space possible and he used the garden (which is mostly slabbed) as a place to dump anything he didn't want in the house. It was mess!

    But after 2 weeks of hacking and clearing and a whole builders skip full to the brim later we were back to a blank canvas. The only thing left in the borders was a beautiful magnolia tree.

    The garden is mostly slabbed but there is a wall that shapes the raised borders around the garden. The soil is very tough clay so we worked good quality soil and compost about a foot down in to it to give it some nutrients ready for our plants.

    Last year I grew 5 varieties of lovely sunflowers as well as french marigolds, petunias, variety of scented climbers and other numerous colourful beauties. We filled the borders with them as well as perinnials finishing it off with barked wood chippings. It looked lovely. In the bottom right corner of the garden we built a hen house and run and bought 4 lovely chickens which have given us fresh eggs everyday since we bought them.

    My partner (for at least 2 weeks) couldn't say anything about the garden apart from "you know what?...I'm impressed" haha. His first wife preffered a plain green garden but now it was a bright and colourful one. To top it off we jet washed the slabs back to their off white colour and bought a lovely patio set. It was beautiful.

    However the wet winter has taken hold and the garden is looking pretty pathetic to say the least, haha. But I have my walk in green house now and plans to convert oneside of the garden into an allotment area ready to grow vegetables which means pulling up some slabs and getting to work on the ground underneath.

    My new years resolution is to make the garden even more beautiful than last year. image

  • happymarionhappymarion Posts: 4,591

    Potager has been designed and quote is coming in a week or two  I hope I can afford it!  The bugs have been sorted out , thanks to Kate,and happymarion2 has now disappeared and the old happymarion back in her place. Kas, you have tackled your big redesign job with so much enthusiasm already I'm sure your New Years  resolution is going to be kept.  Do let us see some photos later on.

  • happymarionhappymarion Posts: 4,591

    For all of you interested in an annual meadow in your garden you cannot do better than visit Holt farm organic garden near Bristol in July.  Just to make you drool here are some photos I






    took when I visited. just imagine the amount of bees and butterflies a small patch in everybody's garden up and down the land would bring in.

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