Garden Design.

I'm going to do my garden this year, I've been here 5 years and this i
going to be the year of the garden.
Any one got any good tips. The soil is chalk. I'm a total no gardener, well I say that but to be honest I love gardening I jus don't know how to do it. Would love a garden that was all done and just had to keep up with. Our garden is 25' wide and 170' long and s far I've divided it into 3 sections with room for a couple more. Th kids garden with swings and trampoline is at the bottom.
HELP!
Love Kat
-- Katiequiggle
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Two books by Henry Mitchell:
"The Essential Earthman" "One Man's Garden"
If there's any shade to deal with: "The Complete Shade Gardener" by George Schenck
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Are you in the SE of England? Not many of us Yanks have to deal with chalky soils. Or those long, narrow gardens ;-)
- Think big but start small. Gardening can be a LOT of work and it's easy for a beginning gardener to get totally overwhelmed. Gardening is a lifelong avocation, so relax and enjoy the journey. A modest and manageable success will be more fun than a huge, ambitious project that leaves you no time to sit back and enjoy it. Or worse, guilty because it's gotten away from you. Gardens will do that.
- Chalky soils are alkaline and tend to be shallow and dry. You'll do best going with nature and selecting plants that will thrive under such conditions.
- Rely on local resources - garden centers, nurseries, libraries, garden clubs, public gardens in your area [http://www.gardenarena.co.uk /].
- Books and more books. Ask for recommendations from local gardeners.
- When you go online, rely on UK gardening information on working with chalk soils, for instance: http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/basics/techniques/soil_testingyoursoil.shtml
- If you start with trees and shrubs, they'll be growing all the while your are learning more about growing ornamentals and vegetables.
Enjoy!
-- Karen
The Garden Gate http://garden-gate.prairienet.org =================================================================="If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need." ^and cats -- Cicero ==================================================================On the Web since 1994 Forbes Best of Web 2002 and 2004
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I have a 25' x 25' back yard. here is link to what I did. http://weloveteaching.com/landscape/sit/sit.htm it is now very much grown up and has a very private feeling when everything is leafed out.
I am just in the process of designing the 23' x 42' back yard of the rental property we recently aquired on the next block west of us. http://weloveteaching.com/landscape/woodard.html It is on some of the highest ground in the neighborhood with lots of overhead electrical, phone and cable wires. It also looks out over the rooftops of the houses to the east towards the lake. I want to preserve some of that wide open feeling. at the same time it has nearly all day direct sun beating down and a complete lack of privacy since we took the ugly fences down on the south side of the yard. It gets lovely winter sun. I want some shade and privacy for sitting. the ugly hurricane fence and unpainted wood fence to the north is already covered with a bamboo screen. The deck is going to be gone this coming spring (it is a fall off hazard) and will be replaced with some nice dark pea gravel kept in with a wood edging. ..raspberries are in an elevated bed. this is very much a Milwaukee thing. the brambles will also keep the neighborhood kids from trying to climb onto the garage roof to watch fireworks (we have fireworks every fri, sat, sun from june thru sept) .. I love dwarf fruit trees, asian pears, cherry, peach and apricot. they are under planted with spirea. .. the grape arbor is to give some privacy from the house on the south. .. the figs are in containers that are moved inside for winter.
eventually, we would like to move to this house so I am going to do a lot of work to get the backyard ready.
with bad soil the easiest (and best for small backyards) is to construct raised beds and use containers with a drip watering system. even with excellent soil I built several raised beds to vary my backyard. it gives more variety to an area and is important for small areas.
The idea of "rooms" is good with any landscaping that isnt just lawn. Ingrid

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