A work in progress, would like some suggestions

rjingaApril 2, 2009

OK, I've officially decided to go for the potager garden in this previously exclusive garden veggie etc spot. Mainly because I came into a boat load of FREE plants, day lilies, iris, and some very inexpensive amaryllis bulbs, which I now have (about 50 or more of them).

I picked up about 8 (boxwood variety?) shrubs from my brother in law who is a landscaper, also FREE,

Then add in the irresistable discount roses, the existing onions, cabbage, rosemary, chard and that still leaves me a whole lot of space to add the rest, which will be more herbs, (parsley, basil, more chard varieties, carrots, lettuce, beets (small low growing stuff) I also have a bunch more flowers to grow from seed that I'm sure will make their way in, if theres an inch left ;)

The gates are recycled from my neighbors gazebo, held in place with garden stakes, and bolted together in the middle..they will rotate and can be functional, but most likely I wont be opening and closing them alot, I'll leave room to step into the space through the shrubs.

So from the sketch (last pic), and from the photos you can see that I have more material to add in (need more scalloped edged paver pieces) to complete things, and some clean up etc, and hopefully you can see the features still to be added (fountain, some kind of walkway, more plants, more veggies etc).

I'd like feedback on what might work to define a path within the garden as well as suggestions for more things to plant?...I have a whole bunch of FREE recycled bricks that I could use, and I can also use a heavy path of mulch from the ag center (also free), this has worked well in another area where I have raised beds. I had a dump truck load delivered, so I have plenty of it.

PS: I took most of these shots, except the first one, in between the continuous rains we have been having here, it's usually NOT this wet.

I'm also contemplating moving the half barrels completely out of there, they kind of mess up the flow..And I have a concrete garden bench that I'll most likely be putting somewhere in front of the peach tree.

and my soil is very nice, well worked with OM, compost etc.

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jennoz(Rochester NY)

It really looks like its going to be so beautiful, I'm really excited for you! Any way you can get a nice bench or a table and chair set to work in near the fountain? I can see what this might look like more filled in and if I were you I would want a place to sit and read a book and smell the smells and just enjoy it.
And this might just be me personally, but maybe you should incorporate some vertical elements too? I'm a huge fan of vines of any kind, but pole beans or runner beans are epecially beautiful and practical too. Maybe a cascade of squash or cucumber vines running over the fence in a place or two also?
It looks like you have a great start, whatever you do I'm sure will be lovely!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 11:45AM
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memo(Zone 4B Nebraska)

I think the beginnings of your potager are really great! If it were mine, I would have at least two climbing roses planted along the picket fence so it could grow along the top rail and drip down each side. Then with all of your (free!) bricks I would most definitely make some winding paths around and through everything to protect the rest of the soil from being walked on all the time, plus it will look great ;)
Since you already have the pretty white fencing I think you need some white trellis also, to compliment the fence. If you feel a need to um, er, well, block a view from inside or outside your garden this would be the perfect opportunity. Plant any vining flower or vegetable that you enjoy on it. You're off to a great start! Please post pictures when you get a little further along in the process. I would love to watch the progression of your work!


    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 5:58PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

I agree that your next step should be paths. The wonderful thing about them would be they will define your space and shape your beds. Even when the beds are empty in the winter, good looking paths will be pleasant to look at. Give yourself at least 3 foot width so you can easily get a wheelbarrow in and out of your beds.

A sitting area would be nice too. If you feel there isn't room for one inside the fence, you could easily put a bench under your tree.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 6:39PM
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I'd take a read over at the Companion Planting site to see what you can do to increase the positive use of plants you have and would like to plant.
Lots of good info there that can help you get the best results for your efforts.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 1:26PM
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diggity_ma(5 MA)

If you can use those recycled bricks for paths, I think that's definitely your best bet. Find an article on the web about how to install brick pavers, take the time to do it right and you won't regret it!


    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 2:38PM
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Well, it's definitely trial and error in this newly transformed space...but here's what I've done so far...I'm trying to balance things (materials) since I dont have enough of each thing to do it uniformly...this I guess will give it a more quaint feeling, rather than a hobo look ;)

I will either fill in around the pavers to shape the path, or sink them some to be at ground level.

I have also added strawberries around the roses on the left of picture one, which go along the fenceline as well as some amaryllis that were transplanted from another bed, more roses, I think that I will do the brick walkway from the gate in picture #2 which would run around on the inside of the boxwoods and wrap around to meet up with the bigger pinkish pavers.

The space between the blocks and where the rosemary is and over to the other gate area, will be veggies, on picture 2, just behind those blocks I'm going to plant about 5 pepper plants, (the big open area you see in the middle of picture 1 is where I wanted the fountain and then I'll add stuff around it and I'm still working out the rest :)

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 5:20PM
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Looking good rjinga. I love post like this that show a work in progress.
I'm envious of southern rosemary growers. Rosemary is not hardy enough for my climate. This year i'm going to try overwintering it inside.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 2:27AM
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Things are coming along well and I'm gradually adding things here and there. It's really cool how it's all just "fitting" together. What you cant see well in the pictures are seedlings that have been planted just to the left of the bush beans between the beans and the large pavers. I started lettuce (which will like a bit of shade that the beans will give in our hot summer sun) also beets (ditto for a bit of shade) raddish & carrots all in about 2 or 3 foot sections.

In the left corner of the first picture are potatoes which are growing well, hope they actually get taters on them!!

I Also just added marigolds all around where the tomatoes are and in front of the blocks that border that area.

More recent (not in photos) is some various herbs, parsley just inside the gate that faces west, and a thyme plant in front of the other gate.

One last change, I had to dig up and move a whole section of day lilies, who knew that they were a cat magnet!! Of course this one section is where my cats insisted on laying everytime they are out there...so I figured if you cant beat em, outsmart em?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2009 at 10:19PM
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jnfr(z5b CO)

Happy kitties! Everything's growing nicely.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 2:39PM
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Awww what cute kitties =) Our cat is strictly indoor due to our busy street... I miss having a kitty in my garden while I work, like I did as a kid.

Your garden is looking so pretty! You ought to put up some bamboo teepees somewhere with runner beans... you can find the usual scarlet, as well as some with bicolor or salmon blooms. They're so pretty, and the teepees are cheap and easy to build. They would add some height and structure for little money.


    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 2:57PM
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