Garden Rooms forum: Big plans for a mini garden - a tale

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Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Irises Lilies Hostas Ferns Composter Region: Belgium
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Arico
Apr 14, 2015 4:22 PM CST
So, we started renovating our garden about a year ago. It measures about 9m x 30m and is divided into three rooms or levels since there are some stairs to the next lol. As you can see on the photos it was really a dump. It hadn't been properly maintained for nearly a decade I think and some of the structures were really becoming dangerous.

So the house (and garden) passed from my father onto me and me and we started ripping it all out; totally levelling it. You wouldn't believe the amount of rubble and trash we cleared, not to mention what we dug out of the ground. All in all we cleared well over 100 tonnes and another 50 tonnes of heavy clay soil (and it ALL had to be CARRIED down some small stairs through the garage to the street 'cause there is no access anywhere else to the garden - I've never had so much muscle growth I'll tell you that haha :D )

Here's some photos of the transformation: we cleared everything, built a new shed, broke out and rebuilt the rotten retaining walls making them into raised beds and added a 3m long staircase to open op the garden, built a terrace for the jacuzzi, put up a new fence line, sowed grass only for it to be washed away by torrential rains that same evening (I nearly cried :p we learned from it though and laid turf on the middle level :p )


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All these sacs also had to be carried up the stairs :p
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As did all this rubble --'
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[Last edited by Arico - Apr 14, 2015 4:32 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #829482 (1)
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Irises Lilies Hostas Ferns Composter Region: Belgium
Image
Arico
Apr 14, 2015 4:31 PM CST
More pics:


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Grass sprouting after we resowed it few days later after that torrential rain (gotta have a pic of that somewhere around here...)
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And the garden as it stands now, pic taken few days ago

It's alot of photos to watch, but it's only a selection still, there are well over 120 :p Tell me what you think.


[Last edited by Arico - Apr 14, 2015 4:33 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #829489 (2)
Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Region: Pacific Northwest Lilies Sempervivums Sedums
Pollen collector I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
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pardalinum
Apr 14, 2015 5:58 PM CST
Wow! What a lot of work that was, especially just getting the place cleaned out. It looks much better now and it should be easy to care for. Congratulations on a job well done!
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Photography Bee Lover Region: Utah Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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dirtdorphins
Apr 14, 2015 6:37 PM CST
OMG--very impressive!
I think you should be proud of all your hard work and the results Thumbs up and I hope you enjoy the space you renovated for many decades to come Smiling
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Irises Lilies Hostas Ferns Composter Region: Belgium
Image
Arico
Apr 15, 2015 6:43 AM CST
Yeah I am proud of what we've achieved so far :D But there's still lots to do: two more terraced on the middle level (one for dining and one for lounging), making more beds, planting a hedge along the left and trees, sort out the planting, putting a new roof on the kitchen (lower level) that will one day be transformed into a modern summer house or whatever you call it :p (so actually all the turf is gonna go someday, we just laid it down to stop weeds from taking all over again and because it's neater in the mean time)

Trouble is, all the sketches I made for the middle level regarding planting etc turned out to be larger than it really is, so that's quite a shock haha.


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This is to scale. There's hardly any space for me left to plant Sad and my partner isn't really keen on giving up some of 'his' space to me
--' Buuutt...I did some calculations, and if we made both terraces one row of tiles smaller, I'd gain another 1.2m to plant. And in a narrow garden like this that's a whole lot of space.
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[Last edited by Arico - Apr 15, 2015 6:44 AM (+)]
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Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Plays in the sandbox Dog Lover Cat Lover
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extranjera
Apr 16, 2015 12:56 PM CST
Wow!! That is quite a transformation - and quite a lot of work with more to come. I tip my hat to you.
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Photography Bee Lover Region: Utah Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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dirtdorphins
Apr 16, 2015 7:04 PM CST
Well, I always vote for more room for planting Smiling
Containers are fun and maybe you would like a living wall--Chelle posted some neat links here
http://garden.org/thread/view_post/766738/
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
May 2, 2015 10:26 PM CST
I am just now seeing this thread for the first time! Wow! Lee-Roy, you have done an amazing job!!! It is beautiful. What a wonderful area for outdoor relaxation and gardening! Most impressive! I love the block work and the stairs very much. I have a sloping backyard and often thought of doing something similar to make a terrace. But we settled on several raised beds instead of a terrace. Looking at your photos, I wished we'd done the terrace! Excellent job!!! Thumbs up Thumbs up Thumbs up
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Irises Lilies Hostas Ferns Composter Region: Belgium
Image
Arico
May 3, 2015 5:36 AM CST
Some more progress photos: more drainage pipes, borders, new retaining wall, area behind the shed sorted out (more or less lol), planting
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Name: Paul
Nullawarre, Victoria,Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia
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vanozzi
May 3, 2015 8:55 AM CST
That's some accomplishment Lee-Roy--planning and implementing your vision.What will you do and plant on the steep shady slope, covered in ivy behind the shed.Will you terrace that, perhaps a few rhododendrons, ferns, galanthus and the like? Those siberian iris that you planted in a group, 4 or 5 ? beside the palm tree may be a bit too close.You may have planned it that way for a mass effect, but in a year each plant will be huge, given the heavy watering they need after flowering to induce bloom for the following year.By that time you will need an axe to separate them, they have a very dense fibrous root system.Here is a pic of some one year old divisions that most were about the size of your plants.Pretty big within a year.
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Different latitudes, different attitudes
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Irises Lilies Hostas Ferns Composter Region: Belgium
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Arico
May 3, 2015 9:47 AM CST
There's 3 Siberian irises. Maybe they're planted a bit too close to the palm and each other indeed, but I didn't want to have them all the way against the side either...The look I'm after is of them sprouting out like a fountain from underneath the Cornus; a bit like this:

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The slope at the very back is a whole project on tis own. My father used to have raspberries planted there, but they're long gone. Now it's just ivy, nettles, wild arums and the likes. I might plant it up with some ferns and maybe a few hostas, but not really 'scape' it as the rest of the garden. It'll house the composting bins and rainwater barrels and act as storage etc....it's not really part of the 'garden' garden :p


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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
May 3, 2015 11:03 AM CST
Lee-Roy - I think it looks marvelous and with each phase you finish, it will shine! I think that is remarkable that you have moved back into this place and are renovating it from the inside to the outside. The neighbors won't know what to think! It's definitely going to be a little paradise! So much work is going into this venture! Congrats on a job well done so far!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Irises Lilies Hostas Ferns Composter Region: Belgium
Image
Arico
May 6, 2015 7:16 AM CST
3 days later and the wall is up, hole dug for another concrete foundation that'll hold the rainwater tank, made the slope less steep and cleard as much of the rubble from the soil as possible
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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
Image
beckygardener
May 6, 2015 5:43 PM CST
Lee-Roy - I am beyond impressed with what you are creating! It is looking fabulous! You are doing an awesome DIY project ... which entails your entire yard! You and your partner could really inspire others to do their own garden projects! Fortunately, you are both young and can handle such physically intensive labor. It would probably kill me! Hilarious! Hilarious! Hilarious! Hilarious! I look forward to more photos as you continue your garden project. Thumbs up Thumbs up Thumbs up Thumbs up
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Irises Lilies Hostas Ferns Composter Region: Belgium
Image
Arico
May 7, 2015 6:01 AM CST
Well Becky..'young'...I am :p I'm the fitter one of the two haha; but not nessecarily the stronger one Sticking tongue out We make a great team though and that's what got us this far. So yeah, people really can do it themselves if they put their back into it. I'll be posting more photos when we progress Thumbs up
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Irises Lilies Hostas Ferns Composter Region: Belgium
Image
Arico
May 12, 2015 3:11 PM CST
Today was breaking day: tearing down two old chimneys and the retaining wall
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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
Image
beckygardener
May 12, 2015 3:53 PM CST
You need more help! Just you and your companion doing ALL this work?
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Irises Lilies Hostas Ferns Composter Region: Belgium
Image
Arico
May 12, 2015 4:48 PM CST
Just the two of us Smiling
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
Image
beckygardener
May 12, 2015 9:17 PM CST
All I can suggest is .... BE VERY CAREFUL that either of you don't get hurt doing this major renovation. That looks like quite the job for a contractor with a CREW of men doing the work. Sad Sticking tongue out Thumbs up
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Photography Bee Lover Region: Utah Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Photo Contest Winner: 2016
Image
dirtdorphins
May 12, 2015 9:39 PM CST
I tip my hat to you.
All I can say is--it is amazing what two young and ambitious guys can do Smiling
Yeah, be careful, be smart, be safe, and all that--but rock on, have fun, and keep sharing the tale!

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