Newbie Gardener

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Gardens for Dogs

Posted: 02/08/2012 at 09:45

Hi Suzi - I hope the pup and garden are getting on better now.  I'm new to gardening and just joined the forum this week.  I'm yet to find out what my dog is like with my plants, but I agree with the other comments, I think the trick is a combination of keeping him occupied so he doesn't get bored & destructive and also be firm with him so he knows his boundaries  (what is he allowed to do and what is he not).  My dog is a working cocker spaniel and like labs his main motivator is food So we have found that an easy way to keep him happy is with the famous 'Kong'  - these are indestrucible rubber dog toys and you simply fill it with whatever you want and then let the dog have a good time unstuffing it to get at the treats.  I stuff it with chicken, ham, kibble etc and also something gooey like peanut butter, squeezy cheese, meat paste to hold everything together.  If you find he gets very good at unstuffing then you can freeze the kong to make it last longer.   Now that we have a garden, I also plan to give our dog real bones more regularly to knaw on in the garden, not only will these keep him occupied but he will be cleaning his teeth at the same time and healthy teeth goes a long way to meaning a healthy dog. Just remember the golden rule of bones.  Never give your dog cooked bones.

Concrete layer in flower bed area - what can I do?

Posted: 02/08/2012 at 08:32

Hi Berghill - yes we are finding that out.  Thanks for the tips - I'll pass them onto my husband. 

Re: depth -  if we can make the flower bed area at least 12" deep does this give the plants a good chance of success?  

 I'm also going to replace the existing soil in the area with a high quality top soil, lay weed membrane and mulch.  I'm also thinking of potting up the acid-loving plants in a pot with appropriate soil first before I 'plant' them in the flower bed to mix in with the other plants. This may sound a bit crazy to somepeople but I really want the flower border to have the ' planted' look rather than pots everywhere.  Not that I'm against container plants in any way  I do plan to have some at the doorway, I just don't want pots everywhere.  I suppose its got something to do with years of living in flats and yearing for a garden to plant things in and then finally getting a house with a garden and then finding out that I can't plant after all and have to go back to pots!

Concrete layer in flower bed area - what can I do?

Posted: 01/08/2012 at 14:35

Thanks again for your replies.  It's great to get a different take on things and advice.  The total area of concrete is about 16sqm right outside the kitchen door, might have been a well at some point, am doubting it was a garage as there is no access from the street and it would have obstructed all the windows to the front of the house.  We plan to gravel over the majority of the area. The actual 'problem area' in the flower bed is only about 1.5metres x 0.5m, so at the moment we are trying to break it up with a pick axe, if this doesn't work then we will make a raised bed over it.  Thanks again for your advice.  I'm sure I'll be back to the forum, as my gardening journey continues.

Concrete layer in flower bed area - what can I do?

Posted: 30/07/2012 at 12:30

Hi - thanks for your replies. What would you suggest as an ideal depth for this type of planting?

I'm going to investigate the area a bit more tonight with my husband. The house is an old cottage c1890 and in the area to the side of the planned flower bed there is a lot of concrete about 4m2 outside the kitchen door however it stops before the lawn area which is why we thought we could have the flower beds around the lawn in front of the existing mature hedges. I suppose as there is mature hedges growing in that area we never assumed that there was concrete there too. It was quite a surprise yesterday when I found it.  The area outside the kitchen door was a gravel area when we bought the house last year  (so we don't know the history of it) and we only discovered the concrete there when we lifted the old gravel , just as well we are only planning to replace the old gravel with new stuff to freshen the area up. 

Concrete layer in flower bed area - what can I do?

Posted: 30/07/2012 at 11:03

Hi - I'm a first time gardener, (my only experience to date is a few pots of gerianiums outside my front-door.) I'm trying to create a flower bed around the perimeter of my lawn but yesterday I discovered a layer of concrete in the flower bed area about 5-6 inches down!!!! - so now I'm a bit worried that this area will not be deep enough for a flower bed. I want to have a mixed border with mainly evergreen shrubs, 3-4 azealas /camelias, maybe a hydrangea but also room to plant spring/ autumn bulbs and summer /autumn perennials so that they come up in between the permenant shrubs and plants.

Because of the concrete, I'm now thinking I may have to resort to building a raised bed, so I'm trying to work out how deep this will need to be. I've read that rhodendrons have shallow root systems and that they don't go too deep (so I'm assuming azealeas don't either) but I can't find anything to tell me what will be 'deep' enough to accomodate the root systems of the plants I want to grow.  Would another 7" be enough to make the entire depth up to 12 inches?

If I do have to create a raised bed then I'll do it with wood or sleepers as I've used sleepers elsewhere in the garden and don't want to have too many different materials in the garden but then again I don't want to use too many sleepers and make it too high as I don't want the structure to be too dominant as the garden is small and I need to make a L shaped border. So I suppose my question is do you think I would get anyway with just one sleeper height above the ground so that the entire depth is then raised to 12 inches ?

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Concrete layer in flower bed area - what can I do?

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