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Beginning Your Garden. Part Two

I was thinking about the last piece that I wrote, asking you to think about the space you had at your disposal for a garden and what you wanted to achieve in that space.

I hope that those of you that read the post and who don’t have any designated space for a garden will forgive me for implicitly suggesting that that if you don’t have such a space you cannot be a gardener.

This of course is far from the truth and the truth is, if this is your situation then you have an even bigger adventure ahead of you than those with some ground to cultivate. This post is dedicated to the types of gardening where innovation begins at creating a space where there is none.

Look around the area where you live.

In this post I want to look outside:

  • Do you have off road parking; does it have a back wall or fence. Walls and fences make great places to start a a garden. Pick your plants to suit the light and warmth that the wall gets and place them at a height where they will still get light and be able to be watered even if you are not using your vehicle for an extended period.wall garden 1                                                                    Vertical Garden Using Plastic Or Fabric Bagswallgarden 4                                                                    Horizontal Gardening Using Plastic Baskets
  • Does your parking area have a roof, like a carport, with supports. That’s a great place to hang baskets or train climbers. You can use bamboo to make rafters for baskets to hang on , but leave plenty of headroom. Invest in a good hose for watering and ensure that your baskets have some form of fibre matting between the basket material and the soil to enhance water retention.

hangingplants1                                                                                      A Hanging Coconut Shell Basket

700_cimg4948                                           Training A Climbing Rose, Hanging Plants Such As Spider Plants Also Work Well

  • Even quite a narrow space as you would use to park a motorcycle has potential as gardening space. You can either use a base of colored gravel or stones and put your plants into pots, either above or in the ground, this restricts the size of shrubs and small trees, but is also great for growing vegetables, provided you get enough sun. The other alternative is to prepare the soil conventionally using good compost and plant with a variety of plants small shrubs, vegetables or berries and see which do the best. Whatever way you choose be sure to plant taller specimens at the back and shorter in the front to maximise the light that plants receive.

narrow space garden                                                         You Could Be Forgiven For Neglecting The Potential Of This Space

dezeen_Veterinarian-N-House-by-Eureka-and-Atelier-Chocolate-11a                                                                A Veterinary Clinic Is Now Using This Space As A Garden

  • What about the outside walls of the house? You can grow plants on trellis or netting like chicken wire.                              The trellis is attached to the wall using hooks onto which the trellis slots or wire attached to large masonry nails, this   creates a gap between the wall and the trellis through which the plants can pull themselves as they climb. Trellis can be made of a range of material such as plastic, wood or metal, the quality of the trellis will determine its life and the weight of plant material it can carry. Trellises will support roses or runner beans and many other flowering plants, shrubs and vegetables.                                                                                                                                                                                            Netting achieves much the same purpose, but because it is lighter height can be more easily added. It is also typically cheaper than trellis, but not as long lasting.                                                                                                                                       One other method employed with a lot of Ivy’s is to allow them to colonise the wall itself, however this can have devastating effects on modern buildings either of brick or concrete and is not recommended.

rambling-rose                                                                             A Small Trellis Supports A Climbing Rose

ivy-on-house-in-autumn-112881926976ezt                                                                        Wire Netting Supports The Ivy On These Walls

  •  Two more uses for walls are plastic bottle gardens, which are constructed from 2 liter soft drink bottles, with a side cut out and suspended from the wall using wire, nylon or chord. These gardens look  spectacular in flower, or filled with green vegetables or tomatoes and truly take up little space. They are a green option as even after use for this purpose the plastic is still recyclable. Another use for your wall is to attach guttering to it using Ramset fastener or similar. Fill them with soil and enjoy a no space garden, good for flower plants and vegetables.

wallgarden 3                                                                                        An Attractive Bottle Garden

guttergarden                                                                       Great Lettuce And Onions and Colorful Flowers

  • We can also use walls in one other way and that is by adding a window box at sill level, utilising this method you can have the benefit of working in a garden that is outside, while you remain inside. An ideal gardening method for all flowering plants, vegetables and herbs. My only caveat is be careful if you have children, their enthusiasm and curiosity can lead to unfortunate falling accidents if they are not watched carefully.

window box1                                                                                      A Very Innovative Window Box

window box 2                                                                           Onions Growing In A No Frills Window Box

  • Two final suggestions: The first is that you can make a small but interesting garden experience by using the space that you will find in most homes. that is the front gate and or the front door. Secondly if you have a tree dominating your space, even one not directly owned by you consider using the branches, even the branches on your side of the fence to hang baskets, plastic bottles.

front door gardens2                                                                                  A Green Welcome From This Home

 

hanging baskets in tree                                                                           Enhancing The Canopy By Adding Baskets

 

Beginning Your Garden. Part One

 

The experts argue all the time about the need to carefully plan your garden before you start buying plants, consumables and equipment. While things like aspect and drainage are important in most gardens, the first part of planning should be what is the purpose of the garden, or at least that part you are going to start to work on. This decision will provide you with essential information that you will need to successfully prepare and plant the designated area. Let me give you some examples of what I mean.
Why do you want a garden?
A question we often fail to ask because often this area is there, bounded by a fence a wall or a lawn, so we just try to make it as pretty, or in some cases as useful as possible, without thinking about what we want from our garden:
Maybe we are looking at extensions of our indoor living space like this

or
A sanctuary away from it all like this

or
maybe we want something unusual

or
something that blends with the natural environment

or
something that attracts birds, butterfly’s and wildlife

Maybe we are seeing the garden as a source of food, so fruit and vegetables would be our thing. But did you know that special soil preparation is required for some of your favorite vegetables

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you know that where you plant citrus trees will be a different place to the tree that’s going to produce those crunchy apples you have been dreaming about.

Citrus-Trees

Citrus trees prefer warmer climates but don’t do well in drought conditions. Water them well, unless you get lots of rain.           Being shallow rooted they also don’t do well in windy conditions and may require support when fruiting.                                      Citrus trees are tolerant of soil Ph.

 

medium_orchardcloseApple trees need well-drained soil, not too wet. Soil needs to be moderately rich and retain moisture as well as air; mulch with straw, hay, or some other organic material to keep soil moist and provide nutrients as they decompose.
All Apple trees need a period of time at the right time when temperatures are between 32 and 45 degrees F so that fruit will set.
Apple trees need other apple trees nearby so that cross pollination can take place.

These are the first considerations you should be looking at when you look at that piece of real estate that you want to fashion into your place.