Smartest decisions, biggest regrets

adoptedbygreyhounds(8a)July 27, 2007

For those of us who are in the planning stages or just starting our gardens, it would be very helpful to hear from those of you have already been there, done that. What was your:

Wisest decision vs. biggest regret

Smartest investment vs. biggest waste of money

Most pleasant surprise vs. huge disappointment

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Posting to move this thread along.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 10:01AM
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You mean Japanese gardens in particular liz, if so why do you think this would be different from any other garden?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 4:58PM
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Inky, I was thinking along the lines of things characteristic of Japanese gardens, such as:

"Read the label on your bamboo plant, because ours ran through the fence and is taking over neighbor's garden." Actually, our neighbor's bamboo DID come through the fence and we are now finding runners all over that part of the yard.

Or, if we had known how much maintenance the koi pond would involve, we probably wouldn't have done it.

Vs, we have been pleasantly surprised at how much pleasure we get from the koi pond when the neighbors come over in the evening, and so forth. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 8:35PM
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This is a great idea for a thread especially for people like me just starting out to get a head's up about what to look out for, what to look forward to. Even though I know not everything will work due to zone, soil, my ambition level, this information would certainly help.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 12:21PM
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One of the smart things we did was during the building of our new home. When we knew the excavator had to be onsite to work, we ordered very large rocks (nearly boulders) so he could place them at the same time. We spent a lot of time figuring out where they needed to go and, for the most part, we are happy with the placement. The cost was quite reasonable since we had to pay for the excavator anyway.

OTOH, I wish I had known more - we could have done a better job had I already read somw of the books I've read since.....

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 2:07PM
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Cytania(UK Midlands)

Smartest decisions - a pair of rhus typhan trees that were weeds in my mother's garden. These have grown to well in a tricky location with handsome twisting branches. They are an American tree but they naturally bisect in a strongly bonsai manner.

- Buying cheap box balls in an 'end of season' sale. Although balls aren't a right shape they quickly grow out and can be reformed into dumplings and hopefully mounds.

- Buying rocks. Even though the Japanese warn against 'pauper' rocks - rocks that are of a different geological type/inferior to others - rocks soon weather and acquire character. I've not seen a Western evocation of the Japanese garden that has too many rocks. Getting some big ones delivered Tuesday :-)

Biggest regrets - trying to structure the garden around bamboo. It grows too fast to make a design around. I tried using it for hedging but even with clipping it becomes shaggy and dispiriting to look at.

- Buying ilex crenata, it's expensive and not very tough.

- Planting a cyptomeria rather too central in the garden. It's getting some lovely layered looking cascades (which I clip to enhance) but it's also getting in the way of walking round- but until my new hornbeam hedge grows it stays to provide enclosure.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 9:42AM
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