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11/06/2013 at 08:17

Verd-I'd say grasses of all types would be good because of the movement/noise and quite easy maintenance - what do you reckon? Perhaps more shrubs than annuals or perennials that need staking etc - you'll know all the best scented shrubs.  As tattiana says - they don't want to spend all their time with their daughter doing the garden.

11/06/2013 at 08:28

of course, fairygirl.  some of my own favourite plants yet forgot grasses....wot am I like eh?  stipa gigantea is a very tall, very impressive, summer long flowering golden oats grass...see through, light and airy with beautiful light movement.  stipa tennuissima is small billowing grass very tactile and very eye catching. there are loads of hardy perennial can buy them as small plug plants to pot up before planting outso they would be economical to purchase. grasses, scented plants, evergreens

wish I lived nearer, tatiana, I would love to be involved in your creation.  but, not to rush, enjoy the planning and design over time


11/06/2013 at 19:46

I would also love to her out if I knew where she lives,I live in sunderland and if tatiana lives nearer me I would also help out.

free plants off garden centres would be one of the first things I would do,but this would depend on the location.

11/06/2013 at 22:08

Well, "Late Dutch" honeysuckle was already air layered, so I definitely have that.

"Cream Cascade" honeysuckle Lonicera japonica halliana, 2 stems in 1 pot;

Orange-flowered honeysuckle Lonicera x tellmanniana, 1 stem in 1 pot;

White-flowered chocolate vine Akebia quinata 'Shirobana', 2 stems in 2 pots and

Winter jasmine Jasminum nudiflorum, 2 stems in 1 pot

... have all just been set up to layer, so I should have some of them available this or next autumn. I've also cleared a space in front of one of the the purple-flowered chocolate vines to set that up tomorrow. Had to stop as it's getting rather dark out there.

Looking at the pictures, I see slotted concrete posts, and I'm guessing those are 183cm x 183cm panels between them. Isn't it convenient that they sell trellises the same size? A few holes drilled into each post, a rawlplug in each hole, a wooden batten screwed to each post as a spacer and a trellis in front of each panel and you could turn the whole left side of picture 1 into a wall of climbers. Quite an initial investment of effort, but then it's a simple once-a-year pruning job. Every strip you take off that lawn reduces the once-a-week mowing job!

12/06/2013 at 07:11

Morning everyone

Firstly can I say thanks again for all your offers of help and suggestions and we live in St Helens, Merseyside if anyone wants to grab a spade 

So I've had a good think about this and believe the way to start is to contact the landlord to see what we are allowed to do and find out about that membrain & how deep it is. The property belongs to a social housing association and, after speaking to some neighbours, apparently they're not too helpful with what they allow you to do which is why I want to get them on side before I do anything. Oh my word you'd think it was acres & acres we are trying to landscape here!

I agree, Charlie November, the fence down the left would look lovely covered in climbers and yes the less lawn the better!  I also like Verdun & fairygirl's idea of lots of grasses too which it just so happens I've got quite a few of after potting up lots of off shoots (or what ever they're called) from my carex buchananii earlier this year so that's a start on the grasses. I'm sure Sarah would also enjoy watching the birds feed so that's another thing I'm eager to include. 

Once I know what we can & can't do I'll concentrate on the left side of the garden as that's what Sarah can see from the house. 

So there you have it...I've made a start albeit in my head but at least it's all a little clearer now and I don't feel quite as scared as I did at the weekend  


12/06/2013 at 08:05

Hi, I work with severely disabled young people, so planning for them is part of what I do - although Sarah won't be able to 'do' anything physically in her garden, she will be able to listen and hear things and watch things as well as experience scents and the breeze on her skin.  Dancing shadows made by sunshine through foliage can fascinate, as can the sound of trickling or bubbling water, the breeze rustling in foliage etc.  

Whoops, time I was going to work - there are lots of places to get ideas for Sarah's garden so that you can really focus it on her needs, rather than adapting gardens made for the more physically able.

If there's anything I can do let me know 

12/06/2013 at 08:09

Brilliant Dove thank you 

12/06/2013 at 08:13

Re  the grasses - 'block' beds of differing heights with  grasses can make a nice alternative to big areas of 'lawn' grass too. Easier to maintain and give movement and  impact. Visually perhaps too as they are a strong shape?

12/06/2013 at 08:43

i think dove is right about water too.  the soundand movement of it...even if just a small fountain somewhere....adds so much to animate the garden

tattianna, hope you get the garden you want

12/06/2013 at 18:14

Hmm. 90 miles. Halfway point would be Clitheroe or Halifax, roughly. Quite the trek.

Set up the purple-flowered Akebia to layer today. No promises. One stem in an ice-cream pot duct-taped to the trellis  and one in the inner bag from a cereal box, wired to a stick that's wired to the trellis. Very professional here, all the right tools and so on.

13/06/2013 at 18:11

Try 3, 5 or 7 Christmas box,  if,  it's sheltered near the front door or near a seated area. Plant in autumn and enjoy the fragrance late winter. 

14/06/2013 at 20:35

Tattianna, Do you have a gardening club locally? if so it may be worth contacting them to see if they could help with plants or labour. I think a few planted pots would take away the bareness while you plan your design. Good luck

28/07/2013 at 09:17

Hi All

Thanks you for your advice so far. Not much has been happening but thought I would give you an update...

We've finally heard from the landlord re what we can do and we've decided to start with extending the patio area then concentrate on the area in direct view from the window in the lounge and take it from there.

I'm building up quite a collection of plants via cuttings and from friends and family gardens (I'm too shy to approach garden centres etc for plants for free ) but have picked up some real gems from the bargain basement corners at the garden centres. So at the moment I'm feeling more enthusiastic about creating a lovely low maintanence garden.

What I would like to ask is...we thought it would be an idea to plant the area up then put down weed supressing cloth and cover it with bark to keep the weeds at bay. I know shurbs and such will be ok with this but will anything that dies down cope with this? Will it be able to grow back up thought the cloth and bark?

Thanking you all in anticipation

28/07/2013 at 09:28

Hi Tattiana - glad you're making progress with your project. You'd need to make holes in the membrane for perennials or bulbs as they won't be able to grow through it. Normally you put it down first,make a cross of 2 slits where you want the plant, fold it back and put the plant in. However, if the plants are already in you can fit the membrane round them. I've done it both ways. It's a bit fiddly but I find it fiddly doing it the first way anyway! It'll certainly  save you time and effort with weeding. Anything seeding in from above is easier to get out and you can top it up each year - the thicker the mulch the better. Just remember to water everythng in well before covering it.The other thing you can do is add some nice pots of seasonal colour and sit them in a group on the bark  especially during winter when perennials have died back. Mark where plants are with a stone or something so that you don't put anything on top of them by accident!

28/07/2013 at 18:12

tattianna, could you post a photo taken from an upstairs window so we can see the whole garden in one shot?

28/07/2013 at 19:14

Weed suppressing membrane has disadvantages.  It's very difficult to move plants that are in the wrong place for a start.  It creates a very sterile soil environment too....what are the birds going to "peck" on, how will those "nasties" in the soil be controlled, etc.  if you want to plant bulbs it's not quite so easy.  For experienced gardeners who are sure what plants they want and know they are in the right place, then ok, put down a membrane.  But, not for me.

Better to plant out and use organic living mulches.  You can change your mind and move plants around, you can tinker with your soil, add fertiliser, plant where you like, enjoy seeing the birds feeding in your soil, etc., etc.,

These membranes are the decking of yesteryear.  They add nothing. They will still have weeds growing albeit annual ones usually.  Dont use them of you want a garden border....ok for a path but that's all

28/07/2013 at 19:37

Verd- at the risk of disagreeing with you and getting detention ()  I don't really like membrane either for the reasons you state, but Tattiana has limited time to spend looking after the plot for her daughter which is why I think it's useful for her in the circumstances.

If you shout at me I'll have to turn you into a frog again.....

28/07/2013 at 21:19

Oh,,alrighty then.   

(but I think.....whisper,,whisper.....she will save money and time if she DOESN'T use membrane.  Sorry I know I'm right on this one)

28/07/2013 at 21:23

Ok...I'll grudgingly concede! 

Still might turn you into a frog though......

But....... I still think it would be easier.......heh heh 

28/07/2013 at 21:57

Noooooooooooo please dont.  Not again.  Anyway, we Cornish have our own magic down here

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