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wow! This is nice!

Posted by wolfe15136 z6 PA (My Page) on
Wed, Feb 15, 06 at 17:36

I live in a very urban area and have a small cottage garden that keeps me busy! The lot is 100ft x 35 ft, including the house and garage!

If I ever figure out how, I'll post some pictures!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: wow! This is nice!

This does not fit me (1.3 acres) but I think it is a great forum idea. Steve in Baltimore


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Wolfe, I read your message about figuring out how to post pictures. I will post a link to a Tinypic tutorial. It shows step by step how to post a picture on tinypic. You may find it better for you to open a free account at photobucket.com. You use it the same way as tinypic where you do not have to open an account. Here's the link: Poohbear's Tinypic Tutorial.


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Oh Thank You Bob! I'll give it a try!


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A view of the little vegie beds...

Testing...

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Looks like you're taking advantage of that space.


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Thanks for your help!

I'm a quick learner, and a slow rememberer....


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Great photo. Even with 1+ acre I use many raised beds. Steve in Baltimore


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Wolfe, that's so funny! "I'm a fast learner and a slow rememberer." You remind me of my uncle. That's just the kind of thing he'd say, the goofball! LOL


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I'm glad to see this forum! I feel a little lost on some of the other forums when people start talking about starting 300 plants for their acerage!

This is my favorite corner of my apartment garden in Columbus. It's my "shady" garden, because it only get 4-6 hours of sun. Taken in early spring, when the plants are (momentarily) distinct.

It's a small yard, and there are three other people who ive in the building (none of whom are gardeners, unfortunately) So I sneak space wherever I can, including the alleyway.

Looking forward to other peoples ideas on how to handle small space gardens without crowding yourself out of the picture!


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Do you like my front yard? :-D

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Piti, that is wonderful! Is that hosta Sum and Substance?


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Thanks, wolfe. That is 'Elegans'. 'Sum and Substance is father back:
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In a couple years these Hostas are going to be a headache for me, but I love the huge leaves. :-)

I am so glad I noticed this new forum last night. Now I am talking to people with a small garden like mine. I use every inch I have and then some. :-D


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Oh yes, I love your front yard, P. Beautiful!!! THAT's what mine will look like one day, crammed full of texture and color. Awesome!!!


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Piti -- fantastic!

Isn't 'Sum and Substance' great? My mother has several of them scattered around her (much larger!) garden -- I think a single clump gets nearly 5' around.

How old is your garden? Did you start with a plan, or has it evolved? And what is the purple plant between the two hostas?

Lovely garden -- I like the "no-lawn" look!


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wolfe, Alison & butterfy, I like your garden too.
Wolfe, that is a very pretty garden. Your veg make my mouth water. That hosta is gorgeous. What is it? Northern Exposure?Great Expectation?

Alison, you have a beautiful combination in your garden. You still have a lot of room on the fence. Several vines and hanging baskets can go there, something similar to what butterfly showed in her photos???

Yes. I imagine Sum and Substance will be very big. Mine is only 2 seasons old and look how big it is already.

butterfly, crammed full is right. LOL. My garden is 19 years old but this spot is about 6-7 years old. I never planned anything. Years ago I didn't even read any gardening books. There was no internet to consult either. It just evolved as the years go by. I have only been happy with the front yard the past couple years.


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I think that hosta might be June, but I can't remember!


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The fence on the alley is embarrassingly naked, isn't it? Altho' I've pretty well filled in the base of the fence (8" x 60'!) but it's limited. Because the "bed" is so narrow, I can't grow anything really tall, or else it flops over into the alley and gets run over by passing cars, covered in mud by the water running down the sides of the alley, and generally looking pretty yucky.

I don't have any vines or baskets on the fence, because it's a pretty busy, urban alleyway, and people often park there when there's a neighborhood festival. I've also had problems with vandalism in the past. (Several years ago I started three rose of sharon bushes on the corner, and trained them as standards. One night someone came a long and snapped all of the 5' plants, just left the broken branches right there. I'm pleased to say they grew back double, and are now easily 10-12' tall!)

I wanted to put planting boxes on the inside top of the fence, and put trailing plants in them, so they would spill over the top of the fence, which runs north/south and has a western exposure. But my landlord (and more important, the landlord's brother, who lives there) nixed the idea.

But I hate to ignore such a great canvas! I think this year I'm going to try stringing wires on the fence (that can't be easily ripped down) and planting some simple vines I can start from seed (and won't be too upset if I lose!) I'm thinking canary vine, hyacinth bean vine -- I'd rather not get started with morning glories on rental property! Any suggestions on some inexpensive, quick-growing, non-invaisive, pretty vines I should try!

The fences within in the yard are pretty well covered....
Sweet autumn clematis

White Black-eyed susan vine

Climbing rose -- only took 4 years to go up, instead of out!

Every year except the last, I have a solid wall of nasturtiums in between the autumn clematis and the BES vine. I've got a back up package of nasturtium seeds this year!

But I'm always looking for ways to keep growing up -- years ago I wrapped wire fencing around the fire escape, 4'x15, and have grown a sweet autumn clematis up that. It's not done very well the last two years, maybe just getting old, so I hooked several hanging baskets on the fencing last summer. This summer I'm going to hang more, and may start another vine to grow up the same section of fence.

But I appreciate any suggestions!


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Alison, my suggestion was to try planting a vine in your backyard that would get long enough to "drip" over the fence like the clematis does. Trumpet Vine? I know they can go nuts here but might be a bit more decent in your climate. Tuff and if someone came along and snapped a few blossoms off or whatever, it wouldn't hurt a thing.
At least you have privacy :)
pitimpinai, your front yard is gorgeous. Our front yard is a bit larger than yours, but it is by no means large like a suburban yard is here.
I mostly hopped on this forum as I have a few very small "foundation" beds and will be starting a long, narrow patio area between two houses. It is wider than that pictured above, a bit wider than Butterflychasers but I'd like it to have the same sort of appeal hers does. Crammed with bits and pieces, a water feature to help drown out noise, and some sort of fence or SOMETHING (my neighbour is very resistant to a privacy fence since she is in the middle of expanding her house to the lot line and placing huge plate glass windows directly into my yard to "steal" views. Finding good privacy greenery for a small, narrow space is difficult. Especially something very FAST growing!

This is the front-yard cottage garden:
http://photobucket.com/albums/v192/girlgroupgirl/Groovy Garden 2005/?action=view¤t=frontwalk.jpg


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Alison, your garden is beautiful. You've done a lot of work. Why wouldn't you grow Morning Glory? Some do reseed, but then you won't have to worry much if someone comes along and pulls it.
I wouldn't plant a trumpet vine, though. Granted, it might attract Hummingbirds, but your landlord will not thank you for it. I have seen one grown through the overhang & scrambled up the roof of a 3 story house only blocks from mine. That thing is a thug. It sends roots underneath concrete patio and walkways.

GGG, your garden is beautiful. I especially like your stone and gravel path. What is the name of that blue Japanese Morning Glory? I want one like that! The brugmansia is gorgeous. How large is each individual green puff? I have a few Love-in-a-puff seeds that I will sow next month. How tall does the vine grow? Is it perennial for you? :-D

The puple plant between the hostas is a baby Japanes Maple. I was too cheap to buy a large one, so got a 1ft one. Tee hee hee. It's been there 4 years and has grown only a couple inches. :-P

My yard is 34x125ft including the house and garage. I have taken over the parkway too. The grass will probably be gone this year. I planted a lot of bulbs everywhere on the lawn last fall:

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The Japanese mG is Star of India (do you need some?). I'm trying more this year. A few interesting types were too shaded, so I'm going to try them in more sun this time.
The puff vines are narrow growers for me, and they can grow about 15' in one season. Just keep the brown puffs picked, especially in a colder climate (they like cold to germinate). I have some re-seeding but not insanity.
Japanese MG's do not seem to overly re-seed. Many don't make so many seed pods, they would be a good choice for you Alison. Please email if you'd like to try. I'm also wary about other types of MG's.
I didn't know the trumpet vines could be that annoying. Several people have them here, but they are within the bounds of areas that are mown, so I guess they keep to the fence for their own safety and any stragglers get mown anyway!!

I like that you call the area between driveway and sidewalk "The Parkway"? Is that the area? In Canada we called it a Boulevard but here it's just "that space where the mailbox is". I took that over too, and it's been a challenge. The soil was horrendous and children AND adults would walk over anything and everything in there. Yucca took care of that. I threaten prickly pear cactus :)

GGG


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I'd love to try the Japanese morning glories if they throw less seed. I like the look of morning glories, but they tend to smother everything in my small beds. The first year I grew them on the low fence in the back they looked great. The second year, they covered everything, and started to bury the perennials. It took three years of weeding to get rid of most of the volunteers!

A house across the alley has a trumpet vine that has swallowed an entire fence and was well on it's way to taking over a permanently parked car, so that's probably too invasive for me. It is pretty, though. A few blocks away there's a little apartment on the intersection of two alleys. They have a trumpet vine they've trained as a tree form, with a trunk maybe 5-6" around; it covers the porch and almost reaches the top of the building and is glorious when it blooms!

Unfortunately the alley fence is on the landlords brother's side of the yard, and he's very teritorial. He would prefer I not even breathe on his side of the yard, so I'm reduced to stealthily gardening where I can. I think I'm going to have to start vines on the alley side, train them up and take my chances.

In addition to the vines in the back, I have a few clematis, and akebia and a climbing rose in the front, but I've had mixed results with getting them to actually climb. I'm going to see if I have pictures of those problems -- maybe we need to start a thread on "growing up"!


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GGG, I would love some seeds of your MG. (both Star of India & double blue picotee) and some Love-in-a-puff seeds. Would you consider trading them with my MG 'Sunrise Serenade', 'Milky Way', Clitoria ternatea, or other stuffs I have? I have a huge collection of Amaranthus. I did not list these seeds for trade because they are my special seeds and most came from trades. Clitoria came from my sister's garden (2002). I would like to WS them in a week or two, but can give you some. I also have some wild Lupine seeds collected on our trip to Alaska in 2001. I have sown some and will sow some more this weekend. Please let me know if you would like to trade. Thank you.

The area between the street and sidewalk is called 'Parkway' here. I have read that it's called a 'hellstrip' in some other parts of the US. I call it my garden. LOL.

Alison, I love MG too. I grew 'President Tylor' That is a beautiful MG. He reseeds heavily. I still get seedlings after 3 years. I'll try a couple new ones this year. I'll try Cypress vine and Cardinal Climbers too for hummingbirds. Check with me in late summer for seeds.


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I went to a home and garden show last month. What impressed me soooo much was a small garden design I saw there. To give you a basic idea of the size it was approximately 12'x12'. The bones of the garden were raised beds that started at around three feet in height in front then grew to about 4 feet in the back. It made the plantings look so much bigger and you could really seethem so nicely. They had a pond/waterfall, BBQ kitchen area along one side and lush, lush plantings. Very secret garden feel. The foot space was around 6 foot fom each side of the planters so you could have sitting/dining area.. I included some photos of this garden.

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All of this in that 12'x12' area.... Was wonderful and the water sounds were brookish and not roaring so very soothing. The pond portion went to the floor instead of stopping at the three foot height of the raised beds so that's why you get the large impact of the pond area. Doesn't look like it is only about 4 - 4 1/2 feet in size does it? They used the side rocks to hold back the soil and give the lush look. The pond and large rock with water in it are right across from each other.


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  • Posted by janetr Ottawa USDA 4a (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 11, 06 at 16:06

Some lovely pictures in here. I plan on looking them over again closely for inspiration. Still, I can't help feeling jealous; in my mind, most of you have a LOT of
space. My townhouse lot is 20' wide, and about 10' deep in front, 14' deep in the back, and that has a barbecue and a patio going too. And the kids begged me to keep
some grass when we moved in last year, so I did, secretly hoping that the pine tree overhead would help kill it, but so far it's doing pretty well.

This picture shows almost 1/4 of the back yard last summer. It's so small we use a weedwacker to "mow" the lawn.

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This is my largest bed in its entirety before it had filled in much:

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And finally, a good part of the front yard:

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The Homeowners' Association won't let me get rid of all the grass. I'd fight them on it, but now it appears we might be moving next year, so it's not worth the energy.

With such a small amount of space available, it can be almost tortuous to look at gardening catalogues. I want 75% of it, but where on earth would I put it? I'd love a
vegetable garden, but there isn't enough sun out back. Having said all that, I am still grateful to have even a small chunk of dirt to put my hands in. And those flower
beds are bound to expand a bit this year, and considerably more in the future if we end up staying.

So how do YOU deal with the constraints of very limited space?

Here is a link that might be useful: My gardens in their first year


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I know what you mean about the torture of looking at garden catalogs! I do a lot of winter sowing seeds, and I'm always amazed at the number of people who say: "I'm starting a hundred varieties this year". Yikes!

Small space or not, your gardens look lovely! That front bed is a gorgeous cottage-style garden, and the back garden lloks like each plant is much loved. I especially like the water jug on the wall with the begonia. Very nice!

I'll confess, I cheat a bit in how I define "my" garden. I'm very limited by what my landlord (or more accurately, my landlord's brothr who lives in the building) will let me take over, so I have a garden at work. I also spend time with a few older people in the neighborhood, folks who can't take care of their gardens so well anymore. Let's me spend a lot of time with my hands in the dirt!


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  • Posted by janetr Ottawa USDA 4a (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 13, 06 at 10:55

Thank you very much, Alison. That front bed will be a little less cottagey this year as I indulge my passion for perennials. I usually plan my gardens as nice neat little things, but then I cram something into every available space and the neatness disappears. Can't say as I'm really too broken up about it... ;o)

I have been quite impressed by what you and the others who have posted pictures here have done in small spaces.

Here is a link that might be useful: First signs of spring - March 13


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In my back yard I built raised beds which I plant my veggies in (primarily chile peppers).

The raised beds are in an upside down horseshoe design and within the horseshoe, I have my wifes perennial garden.
In this small space, we kill two birds w/ one stone.
















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It look like the beds are concrete blocks with pavers on top -- how'd you assemble them? Did they take a lot of dirt to fill?

The effect is really nice; I bet your peppers really like the raised beds! (I'm curious -- in the fourth picture, what are the blue flowers and the yellow flowers in the front of the bed?)


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The blocks are motored together and sit on footings like a foundation. Relatively inexpensive and will last my lifetime and probably my childrens. Compared to other materials, cinderblock w/ a terrocotta paver top works great.

"...what are the blue flowers and the yellow flowers in the front of the bed?"
That would be BLUE = Bugleweed (ajuga reptans) and YELLOW = Euphorbia Polychroma. The leaves on Euphorbia Polychroma get chartreuse yellow in early spring, many people think they are yellow flowers. But closer examination reveals they are leaves.

Paul B.


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  • Posted by janetr Ottawa USDA 4a (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 17, 06 at 10:54

Lil_rhody, you've made something classy looking out of inexpensive materials. I salute you. The pavers on top really make a difference.

Pitimpinai and Alison, I hope you continue to post pictures on this forum! Although a new thread might not be a bad idea... ;o)


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Great pictures!
Lil_Rody...What is that pinkish/lavender looking-like tree/shrub in the last picture?...so pretty!
In the background, close to the bench...is that 2 tree stumps with flowers planted in between? We cut down a Bradford pear tree because we had planted it too close to the house...and now I have several tree trunks...any ideas for them?
Makes me want to go out and dig in the dirt...ha...


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"What is that pinkish/lavender looking-like tree/shrub in the last picture?."
That would be a purple pot of pink petunias (say that 3 times fast) hanging on a shepard hook.

"...is that 2 tree stumps with flowers planted in between?"
That's a hollowed out tree stump w/ cosmos "seas shells" planted in the hole. It helps keep the stump from becoming an eye-sore until it rots enough for me to demolish.

Paul B.


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Compact Gardens

I'm an urban gardener in San Francisco with an 8ft x 10ft deck. I was really excited when I found this forum, because I like sharing and learning about gardening solutions for smaller spaces. I've started my own site on the topic...still adding content...but it's a subject I'm passionate about. I've also found great products all over the net...for compact gardens..one of my favorites is the Pyramid Hexagonal planter from Plow and Hearth...which really lets you maximize your growing spaces, with a multitude of plants...esp great for herbs. It's a great find I share on my site: http://www.compactgarden.com/pages/3/index.htm ...scroll about halfway down the page.

Here is a link that might be useful: Compact Garden


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