Just get started...pic heavy

ponderous1(8)May 30, 2011

I have just begun my garden, yesterday. I would love feedback to know I am headed in the right direction. I have 2 more 4' x 4' beds to build.

My question is fencing...I don't need much if any at all. You will see I am surrounded by my house, a 6' scallop topped cedar fence, my wood deck on the back of my house and a 42" retaining wall. The only areas are to the right of the bright red rhody is about 4' between the corner of my house and the fence and also the area between the corner of my deck and the retaining wall. The area at the corner of the deck is the natural entrance into the garden and I think I will be building an arbor as a more formal entrance. Is this one of those times where there is a potager where no fencing is needed? Would love your thoughts on the matter.

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I'm no expert, but I think a fence is unnecessary. An arbor entrance would be beautiful though. You may want to make your beds just a little bit further apart, it looks like you have a little bit more space. I may be misjudging, but measure so the center aisle is the same as the outside aisles.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 12:32PM
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Oh....they were just left there yesterday, I have not even begun to measure and place in their permanent home. I will do that once all 4 are built. :-)

Thank you for your feedback...I really appreciate input from others!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 12:45PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Fences can be ornamental or utilitarian. I'm now fencing purely to help keep unwanted critters and humans out of my garden.
If you choose to have a fence purely for ornamental reasons, it could be small, light weight and removable. It really doesn't appear that you need one to keep critters out (unless pets).
I agree that once you've placed your garden, some definition around the garden is nice - an archway would be so pretty.
I tried to leave a link to a pretty fence, but GW will not let me. Plow and Hearth have some good examples.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 3:38PM
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Several narrow(18 in or so) raised beds along the top of your retaining wall with statement plants in between would be awesome. You could use cascading petunias or even sweet potatoes and let the vines drape over the wall.
A handrail on the end of your patio could be used as a trellis for another raised bed directly below. I see lots of potential.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 5:52AM
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You have a great start on what is sure to be a potager you will enjoy so much.

I would give anything to have the fencing and retaining wall around my garden that you have!! You have a lot to work with there...and I am wondering, whether you need to limit your potager to that one end of the yard. Since every bit of a potager doesn't have to be a bed of veggies or herbs, you could keep your options open about the other side of the yard and maybe dream up some lovely plan for that (a flagstone walk among some flowers/herbs, for example?)down the road.

When I saw the retaining wall the first thing I thought of was the espaliered fruit tree method in some traditional potagers. Could honeysuckle vines, or fruit vines, be trained up those walls? And down the road, maybe a small fountain in front of it?

The wonderful thing about a potager is that you can do as much as you want, when you want (and can afford!), and also change it anytime. Planning is half the fun. Enjoy, and I hope all the ideas on this forum help!


P.S. - If the space between your house and fence does bother you, an obelisk would look pretty there, perhaps with a perennial vine growing in it.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 8:48PM
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Ok, I guess it is time to admit that I have not accomplished any more then what you see in the pictures I posted in late May! Crazy, I know. I guess I knew I was not going to get anything much planted this year so I did some tomato plants on the back deck and decided to focus on some other things for a bit.

Today I get back to it. My son is helping me build the other 2 boxes and then it is time to measure and set them. Since I am not planting til next year I can then take my time smothering the grass and getting ready for path materials. Still soul searching on that one of chips, versus gravel, versus ?

I was on vacation week before last and was spending time with my best friend of 34 years and her Mom. We got to talking gardening and her Mom is giving me an obelisk as a housewarming gift. I am so excited! I have no idea what it looks like and only know it is metal. I am just really glad I will always know it is from someone I love. It is going in the middle between the 4 boxes.

As far as the other end of the yard that will come later and will definitely be part of the overal scheme of things. I think it will focus on cutting flowers and be a nice compliment. Time will tell....I am still planning in my head. I do a lot of that before I start my projects...obviously! LOL

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 10:40AM
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What's going on above your yard, in that upper wall area?

When I see that, I think... hmmm.... potential!

You could do espaliered fruit trees like Mac said, or just run a plastic wrapped hog fence along the front and grow sweet peas or beans all along the length (or berries).

I'd make one of those fabulous boxes for either side of my patio, plant something sweet smelling in them, and then run a couple posts with some wire or posts over the patio for summertime. Or a couple of citrus (looks like you could get at least two on either side) in pots/boxes by the patio.

No worries on your speed, a garden is never done!

Honestly, I'd go out and start filling up the boxes. Grab some quick plants from a nursery, put them in there....

The more you're out there tending to your new plants, the more you'll become accustomed to the space and get a better feel for what you want and what will work (sun/shade/bugs/etc).

Where are you in Washington? I think of berries, blueberries could be planted above the retaining wall with some other perennial bushes and would provide fruit and beauty. Blackberries, maybe an apple, cherry or pear tree? Some of the best pears I've ever eaten came from a backyard orchard in WA.

Cool weather crops... you could plant peas and beans and potatoes this fall... OOHHHH or the upper area could be your "squash/melon" zone!!! If you made a couple of areas with good soil (boxes or in-ground), you could plant squashes/melons up there and let them go wild.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 3:27PM
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I actually wound up planting squash up on the wall area this past weekend. Still not where I want to be with the lower yard but at least I got some zucchini and yellow crookneck started. I have definitely decided that it will mostly be my squash zone. There is room to just let the pumpkins run wild too so next year I will definitely get some of those going. :-)

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 10:48AM
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