Do we have any avid gardeners here on BYC? **PICS ADDED**

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Dar, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. Dar

    Dar Crowing

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    I need help cleaning up a lot of gardens...

    My house has a rich history. I was fortunate enough to meet the great grand daughters of the man who built my house 150+ years ago. They tell me that all through the years there were always fantastic English gardens. In 1970 the land and the house was bought by the government and was slated to be destroyed so that a dam could be built to stop the town of Guelph from flooding every year. Due to cost over runs and other problems during the construction the dam is 1/2 the size it was supposed to be and my house was spared.

    After that the governing body who was in control of the waterway used my house as office space, then started renting the house out as a residential property in 1985. During the history of tenants I doubt anyone was serious about keeping the gardens up.

    I think I have about 25+ years of over growth to clean up. We started the clean up 5 years ago when we moved in. All the big stuff has been cut back and things are starting to take shape.

    I am sad to say it but I think I will have to sacrifice at least 1 of the lilac bushes that are now about 10" in diameter. They had an arborist, in 5 years ago to clean up some of the big trees that I cant do and he said the lilac bushes are over 100 years old [​IMG] I have to get rid of it though it is covered in a green mossy stuff and only 1/2 of it blooms.

    How do I clean up the rest? I have ivy, and weeds, and tiger lilies packed in so tight that they no longer bloom. (My sister took some home and they bloomed the following year for her) I have peonies, bleeding hearts, Lilly of the valley, these little blue bell looking things... I could go on and on and on....

    I want to preserve as much as I can. No sense buying new if I have healthy plants available right?.

    How can I clean everything up , get rid of the weeds that are really evasive?

    (I will post pics tomorrow to dark right now to take pics)

    Link to all the pics
    http://s1024.photobucket.com/albums/y307/darleneBYC/Yard/

    but I have uploaded 2 pics on post 13
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2010
  2. Moxiechick

    Moxiechick Songster

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    The lilac needn't be sacrificed. They can take a really hard pruning and might actually benefit from it. You can lop off most of the branches down to about 1/3 of their height. Take out the older wood. It should bounce back in a few years. [​IMG]

    For the perennials, dig, divide, replant. They will be much happier with room to grow.

    As for the weeds... you'll just have to do your best to remove them. Try to get all the roots, otherwise they'll keep coming back.

    Good luck with your endeavor. I'll bet it will be absolutely beautiful when you're done!
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2010
  3. Dar

    Dar Crowing

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    If I were to do a raised bed and use the landscaping fabric do you think that will cut down on the weeds?

    I figure it will take me about 5 years per garden to get them looking halfway decent [​IMG]
     
  4. Moxiechick

    Moxiechick Songster

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    Quote:It depends on the weeds. Are you talking about laying down the landscape fabric, and then building the raised bed over that, or are you planning on using the landscape fabric as mulch? Laying down the fabric and then layering several inches of dirt over it may well do the trick, as long as the weeds aren't too rugged and "woody".
     
  5. Amyable

    Amyable Songster 9 Years

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    What Moxie said. We had overgrown lilacs at our old house (not the size you have, but growing on the north side and very leggy.) We whacked them out completely and they sent up new shoots the following year. They're quite resilient.

    If the perennial flowers are too crowded to bloom, they need serious dividing. Have a plant sale or give them away (sounds like you could make a nice buck with how much you have. [​IMG] ) Landscape fabric will help with the weeds for a time. It will eventually break down, plus the weed seeds will blow in and grow anyway. The fabric works best in shrub beds with landscape rock. If you use the fabric, get the good contractor grade stuff - it's thick and will hold up the longest.

    It's gonna take a lot of work and time to bring the property back, but kudos to you for doing it [​IMG] I love the heritage of old gardens, can't wait to see pics of the place.
     
  6. Dar

    Dar Crowing

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    I want to dig up as much as I can and then lay the fabric then build the bed on top.. get fresh soil trucked in.. do my replanting... then use a wood chip mulch on top to help keep things moist and keep the weeds down

    I tried giving the tiger lilies away and no one wanted them.. I posted ads on freecycle and on craigslist... the problem is everyone wants me to dig them up for them.... ummmm no sorry these are free and you have to use your sweat to dig 'em out NOW if you want to pay for them yes I will dig them out... oh sorry then i dont want them... [​IMG]

    I have a lot of plants that look like rhubarb (its not rhubarb though) very tuberous and roots go down forever. A lot of thistles too... I just bought vinegar to hopefully knock some of these out
     
  7. AngieChick

    AngieChick Poultry Elitist

    Instead of landscape fabric try laying down around 7 layers if newspaper and putting soil on top. The newspaper will eventually compost down for you, and in the meantime it does a great job of keeping down weeds. It also encourages earthworms. You can snug the newspaper around any plants that would be a challenge to dig up.

    One time I put in a raised bed over weeds and turf using landscape fabric for part of it and newspaper for the rest. The newspaper did a MUCH better job. I've used this method many times and it works fabulously. The only times it hasn't is when I'm chintzy with the newspaper.
     
  8. Dar

    Dar Crowing

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    Quote:thanks anything to save me $$$ cause this is going to be an expensive job
     
  9. Amyable

    Amyable Songster 9 Years

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    Quote:That might be burdock. We are swimming in the stuff. Right now getting rid of the stinging nettle is our priority. DH went around spraying with vinegar, helped a bit. He asked if we stopped them from seeding if they would die; sorry hon, those are perennials. I hear goats go nuts for burdock, though [​IMG]
     
  10. Dar

    Dar Crowing

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    Jul 31, 2008
    Quote:That might be burdock. We are swimming in the stuff. Right now getting rid of the stinging nettle is our priority. DH went around spraying with vinegar, helped a bit. He asked if we stopped them from seeding if they would die; sorry hon, those are perennials. I hear goats go nuts for burdock, though [​IMG]

    yep thats the stuff... cant get goats though had to sweet talk the conservation authority (who owns my house ) to allow me to get my chickens
     

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