Requesting a book that explains everything...
Hi all. First off, let me say that I don't actually expect to find a single book to answer my many many questions, but I would be glad to have your advice on good guides that are out there to answer some of them. If anyone wanted to just answer my questions outright I'd be more than appreciative.
I'm expecting to move into a new house in a Quebec 5b microclimate in July. The lot is just leveled dirt (looked like clay) at the moment and I have big plans, but realize that I need to choose wisely. I could certainly use some guidance, as this will be my first landscaping endeavour.
Background: Two young kids and a dog demands that we put at least some grass in, but I'm trying to keep that to a minimum.
It's an approx 5500 sq ft lot, minus 900 sq ft of house, and a driveway. I'd say that leaves me about 3500 sq ft +/- to play with. It's a corner lot, with the corner of the house facing almost due south.
- We move in July, if all goes according to plan. Is it worth planting or should I just prepare the terrain?
- What depth of topsoil should I aim for? 2 inches? Should I have less in grassy areas and more in flower beds? I'm planning on using thyme as groundcover in a lot of the lower traffic areas.
- Can I sow grass by hand in July? Is it better to wait until spring?
- I'd like to plant a large shade tree in the south corner of the lot. I've seen some of the maples (silver) to avoid for foundation reasons, but was wondering if horse chestnut (or better yet, an american chestnut or hybrid - yes, I know completely different species) would be a viable option, in terms of foundation safety. How about weeping birch?
- I'd like to do an espalier fence of apples/pears along the back of the lot. Was wondering how to go about getting whips, since I think the garden places tend to offer larger fruit trees.
I guess that's about it. Pretty easy eh?
Thanks a bunch for anything you'd like to contribute!