Garden Photos forum: New House.. Garden Renovation Progression

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Name: Mike
Baltimore, MD (Zone 7b)
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EvergreenMike
Sep 17, 2016 11:28 PM CST
Hi y'all! I'm Mike from Baltimore, MD. I've recently moved into my first home and gotten started on a full scale garden renovation. I've come up with a design that combines my formal style with a romantic, fairytale cottage aesthetic. The entire front yard will be single species plantings in geometric brick-lined beds, with gravel paths between. As for the plant selections, I wanted the entire garden to be edible: fruits, flowers, teas, and herbs. To make things more difficult, I'm only using evergreens. I'll have a garden that's entirely edible and looks lively in every season! (Which is difficult considering in in zone 7) Oh! And the flower color scheme is all soft, warm colors: creamy whites, blush pinks, and soft yellows.

Here's a pic of the design:
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1 Salal (Gaultheria Shallon)
2 Lingonberry (Vaccinium Vitis-Idae)
4 Evergreen Huckleberry (Vaccinium Ovatum)
5 Camellia Oleifera
6 Jasminum x Stephanense
7 Chinese Tea (Camellia Sinensis) *Alternating Pink and White Flowered*
8 Honeysuckle (Lonicera Similis var Delavayi)
9 Alpine Strawberry (Fragaria Vesca)
11 Thyme Mixed Sp: 'Rose Petal', 'Golden Lemon', 'Argenteus' (silver), Lavender Scented, 'Orange Balsam'
12 Chamomile (Chamaemelum Nobile)
13 Tea Olive (Osmanthus Fragrans)
14 Gardenia Jasminoides
15 Elaeagnus Ebbingei
16 Yaupon Holly (Ilex Vomitoria)
17 Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia) *Alternating Pink and White Flowered*
18 Dianthus 'Rainbow Loveliness' *Mixed Pinks and White*

I've already gotten started on the project and have a few beds installed. I'll do separate posts for those, and more with progress. If you have any questions about the uses or edible parts of these plants, feel free to ask. I love my unusual edibles nodding

*Edit* Forgot to post a pic of the yard. Here it is after the trees and shrubs were removed:

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[Last edited by EvergreenMike - Oct 8, 2016 12:58 AM (+)]
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Name: Mike
Baltimore, MD (Zone 7b)
Organic Gardener Herbs Vegetable Grower Permaculture
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EvergreenMike
Sep 18, 2016 9:33 AM CST
The first project was correcting the grade on the left side of the house. I decided to make a small retaining wall to build up the soil, and prevent future erosion.

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This area will eventually be the site of the Camellia Oleifera tree and some kind of groundcover in the shade. I haven't decided yet, but I'm thinking Wintergreen (Gaultheria Procumbens) or Myrteola Nummularia.
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I sent a postcard to Randy! Region: United States of America
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vic
Sep 18, 2016 9:42 AM CST
Fantastic plan and it will all be so wonderful when it's done - can't wait for those photo's too Thumbs up
Name: Mike
Baltimore, MD (Zone 7b)
Organic Gardener Herbs Vegetable Grower Permaculture
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EvergreenMike
Sep 18, 2016 9:56 AM CST
The next project was the bed along the front left of the house: the site for a thicket of Salal (Gaultheria Shallon).

First, I did the left edge of the bed and measured out the slope of the wall. The bed needed to slope down to the corner of the house to guide excess water around the house and out of the garden

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The front edge went in along the guide line

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After the walls were done I added soil, amended with peat moss, added the plants, and mulched with leafgro compost.

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In full shade, Salal will grow as a tall thicket (6-9'). I'll keep it trimmed to frame the window.
Name: Mike
Baltimore, MD (Zone 7b)
Organic Gardener Herbs Vegetable Grower Permaculture
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EvergreenMike
Sep 18, 2016 10:21 AM CST
Next I did the 'L' shaped bed along the sidewalk and right wall.

First, I dug the sod and cleared the area

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Lined the bed with bricks and filled with soil

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Amended with peat moss, planted, and mulched with leafgro compost

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This will be a large, 6-8' tall hedge of Osmanthus Fragrans 'Fudingzhu'. I must say, so far I'm incredibly impressed with this cultivar. It flowers constantly except for about a month at the hottest point of summer and the coldest in winter.

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This hedge of Camellia Sinensis will be a bit shorter, maybe 4-6'. I've alternated between 'Sochi' and 'Rosea' for white and pink flowers respectively.

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Here's a shot of the whole garden so far

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Name: Sharon Rose
Grapevine, TX (Zone 8a)
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Altheabyanothername
Sep 19, 2016 3:00 PM CST
Looks very nice and organized, a well thought out garden! Excellent job on the retaining wall! Those can be tricky. Many blessings for your continued success!
Name: Dave
Southern wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Region: Wisconsin Lilies Dog Lover Garden Photography Daylilies
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Nhra_20
Sep 19, 2016 6:42 PM CST
Nice work Mike! Looks like nice meticulous, thought out planning. Have you done landscaping before? The work in the retaining wall looks like you have. Not many people know to put down a few inches of gravel down for a base. Especially in cold climates so the water and frost have somewhere to go instead of heaving up your blocks. When done right they should last forever. You can tell which ones were not done right
Name: Mike
Baltimore, MD (Zone 7b)
Organic Gardener Herbs Vegetable Grower Permaculture
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EvergreenMike
Sep 19, 2016 7:33 PM CST
Thank You! I don't have any previous experience, I'm just very thorough. I do A LOT of research before I start on a new projects.
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
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Calif_Sue
Oct 3, 2016 11:22 PM CST

Plants Admin

Love progress shots and this will be nice to watch as it comes along. Please keep updating!
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Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Garden Art
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plantmanager
Oct 3, 2016 11:37 PM CST
I can tell this is going to be a wonderful garden when you get it in and it matures. Your place will be the showplace of the neighborhood. Great planning and execution! Keep it up and I'll look forward to seeing it as it progresses.
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freezengirl
Oct 7, 2016 1:49 PM CST
This will be a fun garden to watch over time. You have a well thought out plan and we will all enjoy your progress. Congratulations on your first home and on the start of your new adventures!
Name: Kabby
Lowndesboro, AL (Zone 8a)
Region: United States of America Region: Alabama Plant and/or Seed Trader Dog Lover Birds Hummingbirder
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Kabby
Oct 7, 2016 8:38 PM CST
Very nice layout Mike and congratulations on your first house. I was in MD(Huntingtown) just last week and I was talking to my bff that she needed a Tea Olive. I'll have to look up that cultivar, sounds interesting. I had checked on the osmanthus at the big box stores when I got home, but they didn't have the old timey kind or any kind for that matter. I told her that she would catch the scent wafting on the wind and it would be amazing. Looking forward to your garden growing! Thumbs up
Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
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Pistil
Oct 8, 2016 3:13 PM CST
Hi Mike!
I am a little worried about the Osmanthus hedge. Osmanthus fragrans ultimately get large, even can be small trees, and it may be too close to the sidewalk. Osmanthus fragrans blooms on old wood (formed the prior year)so if you plan to prune it to keep it in bounds you may end up keeping it from blooming, and it may require pruning 3-4 times a year to keep the sidewalk clear. It is also possible that this particular cultivar blooms on new wood, I am no expert.
I have found that the plant tags on new cultivars of shrubs are often WAY underestimating the ultimate size, and I have been really sorry I believed the hype. I can't tell you how many shrubs I have had to get rid of because I planted them according to the labeled size. That said, I have not really lived with or seen Osmanthus hedges, they are rare around here. Have you seen successful hedges of it?
BTW- I LOVE the Osmanthus Fragrans 'Fudingzhu', I got the 'Apricot Echo' from Logees Greenhouse for my sister this spring, it struggled in a 6" pot in my window and was planted in August. Now it is 2 feet tall already and blooming!
Here are some links I found:
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/st425
https://almostedenplants.com/shopping/products/9019-fodingzh...
Name: Kabby
Lowndesboro, AL (Zone 8a)
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Kabby
Oct 8, 2016 5:53 PM CST
I have seen 10 ft Tea Olive hedges in Commerce GA, at a business called The Pottery. I was looking around for that telltale fragrance and couldn't believe it was the shrubs towering over me. My own tea olives are about 6ft tall. I've only trimmed them once in 20 yrs, they needed filling in, they were too leggy. Thanks for the info Mary that was more than I ever knew about them. I tip my hat to you.
Name: Mike
Baltimore, MD (Zone 7b)
Organic Gardener Herbs Vegetable Grower Permaculture
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EvergreenMike
Oct 9, 2016 9:46 AM CST
Tea Olive doesn't grow quite as large in my zone 7a, in fact it's barely hardy. The cultivar I'm using is supposed to be smaller than the species as well, only growing to 8-10' in optimal conditions. I expect mine to get 6-8' tall by about 4-6' wide.
Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
Bookworm Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Plays in the sandbox Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter
Winter Sowing
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Pistil
Oct 9, 2016 11:51 AM CST
Oh good. It will be fun to follow the progress of your garden. I want a "scratch-and-sniff"!
Name: Mike
Baltimore, MD (Zone 7b)
Organic Gardener Herbs Vegetable Grower Permaculture
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EvergreenMike
Dec 5, 2016 7:18 PM CST
I'm back with lots of updates! This is gonna be a long one...
First up is the left hill. This was a bit tricky, as the slope is about 45°. After the area was cleared I added a thin layer of leaf compost to enrich the soil. Before planting, I spread burlap over the area to hold everything in place against the steep slope. I've planted five different varieties of thyme in irregular patches: Silver Thyme (traditional flavor), Orange Balsam, Lemon, Lavender, and Rose Petal. I still need to go back over and mulch it, but it wasn't a priority, so I moved on to other beds.
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At this point, I'm running out of time before the ground freezes. My priority is to get the plants I already have in the ground before then. Conveniently, all of them go in the right side of the garden design, so that's where I direct my focus.

I started with the hill, which is the site of my lingonberry (Vaccinium Vitis-Idae). After clearing the weeds and laying the bricks, I noticed that the hill needed to be built up quite a bit on the far side. After correcting the grade, I added a significant amount of peatmoss to make the acid loving lingonberry happy. Used burlap again to hold everything in place, and planted. Saved mulching for later.

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I moved on to the far corner inside the retaining wall next. After adding a ton of soil to build up the grade, I amended with peat moss. Yet another acid lover this time: Camellia Oleifera, the tea oil Camellia. This Camellia produces large fruits that are pressed to make a high quality culinary oil.

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This next bed is positioned over an old maple stump, so I added the semi circle to the design to avoid it with the bricks. It looks like the perfect place to add a bird bath or something (open to suggestions). Oh and the plants here are Alpine Strawberry (Fragaria Vesca). Absolutely LOVE these little guys! They're unstoppable! They've been blooming and fruiting since late spring and they're still going now, literally as I type this! The fruit isn't really ripening properly this time of year, but at least it's decorative.

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These next two pictures are of the beds where my Evergreen Huckleberries (Vaccinium Ovatum) will be. I should have them planted sometime this week, weather permitting. Crossing Fingers!

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And finally, the border hedge bed to close up the space. I used blocks to extend the retaining wall up the edge of the property and define the far edge of the bed. Finished up the brick line from the hill down to the far corner, and filled with A LOT of soil. I'll be back to amend and plant this one with Silverberry/Oleaster (Elaeagnus Ebbingei).

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That's all the catch-up. Expect an update in the next week or so with everything fully planted! Hurray!

Name: Kabby
Lowndesboro, AL (Zone 8a)
Region: United States of America Region: Alabama Plant and/or Seed Trader Dog Lover Birds Hummingbirder
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Kabby
Dec 6, 2016 11:38 AM CST
Mike I had forgotten about your map in the first post. You are so meticulous in your research and planning, it's making a beautiful view for you. I can just stare at that dark dirt. Continue with updates when you can get back into the soil again.
Any plans for the backyard?
Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
Bookworm Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Plays in the sandbox Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter
Winter Sowing
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Pistil
Dec 7, 2016 4:57 PM CST
Wow you have been working so hard, and it really shows!
I hope all your newest plants make it. In my zone 8 climate, which is very wet in fall and winter, I have found planting too late in the fall is not a good idea. The plants are actually likely to die, possibly the roots have not gotten deep enough for when it does freeze, I am not sure. Early fall or even very early spring are better here for planting. Baltimore however is pretty mild, and much less soggy in the winter so probably OK for you.
I like the birdbath idea, seems like a perfect spot for one. What are you going to do with the paths?
Name: Mike
Baltimore, MD (Zone 7b)
Organic Gardener Herbs Vegetable Grower Permaculture
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EvergreenMike
Dec 8, 2016 9:11 PM CST
@Pistil, I'm not too worried about the recent plantings. They're tough, woody shrubs and hardy to at least two zones lower than mine. As for the paths, I plan on laying light colored gravel, like in a classic potager.

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