This yard is on the west-northwest side of the property. (You can see that I took these pictures in the evening and the sun is behind the wooded area to the left in the first picture.)
I'm in zone 8a, coastal southeast NC.
Looking at the third picture, you see a holly tree and beyond that, right next to the propane tank, an oak tree....beyond that is an evergreen (one of those living Christmas trees planted several or 3 decades ago) and another oak. Harder to see in the third picture is the antique rose bush (on the left before the holly tree) that I'm trying to revive.
Along the house there are: some day-lilies, gladiolus, and weeds -- the weeds are doing better. There is an azalea (or mountain laurel?) and another plant Mother brought back from Asheville on a visit to my brother's place. At the corner of the house is a large gardenia bush.
So, a few questions:
The HOLLY TREE: I hate it. It's leaves are sharp, it's berries are poisonous (although the chickens and muscovies seem to know that and haven't eaten any when they are out there). It's one redeeming feature is it provides shade to the house in the late afternoon. While I would love to cut it down now, I'm thinking the smarter move would be to leave it...plant a few fruit trees to the left of it (beyond where the soon to be fence line)...and once those are a few years old, then consider chopping the holly.
What to plant under/around the holly that will benefit the ducks and chickens?
Suggestions for the area along the house foundation?
I'll need to place one or two kiddie pools for the ducks...best locations? ideas for planting around them?
John Elliott wrote:Is this fence going to cast a lot of shade on the area in question? If so, perhaps you could plant a bunch of hosta in the duck grazing area. Not because ducks eat hosta, but because slugs are attracted to hosta, and ducks really like slugs. Another plant that will attract slugs is chicory, but that is more of an open-field sun-loving plant.
It will be a chainlink fence but I'm thinking of using it as a vertical trellis for either runner beans or hardy kiwi or passion fruit or But, that said, the hostas is a very good idea! I can plant them in the shade of the wild black cherries and other more shady spaces.
John Elliott wrote:I'm still trying to work out to get runner beans to thrive in this thick Georgia clay, but I think I have the hardy kiwi figured out: hugelkultur. When and if you decide to put kiwis in, dig a 2' deep hole and fill it with rotting wood before you plant your kiwis. Once I dug in lots of wood chips and rotting oak, the kiwis that were just hanging in there really took off.
The clay layer here doesn't start until about a foot down --sandy loam is the top layer getting heavier as it does down. But, I have been struggling to get even basic plants to grow here...
I'm just not able to get the necessary material for hugelkultur beds. ... I got one load of shredded trees last winter and haven't seen the guy since...not even after our two ice storms that brought down loads and loads of trees and tree limbs. sigh...all that good material gone to waste...
Good to know about kiwis liking rotting wood! I'll definitely keep that in mind! Will they grow along a chainlink fence or do they need a higher/stronger arbor?
Tina Paxton wrote: Will they grow along a chainlink fence or do they need a higher/stronger arbor?
I think they would do better on chainlink than on what I have, which is a 4" diameter post fence with two rails. I patiently try to train the vines around the rails, but it would be so much easier to weave them in and out of the openings in chainlink.