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Sam Allison
Posts: 12
Location: Northumberland fells, UK
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Does anyone fancy taking a look at my plans for my new garden (MY garden, MINE - sorry it's a wonderful feeling to be able to plan a garden knowing that I actually own it!)

It's a smallish garden in a rural English village, south facing but it's at the foot of the Pennines and facing the fells so it can be pretty exposed. It measures 16m (50ft) long and about 13m (40ft) at it's widest. We have dogs and children so at least for now we plan to divide the garden in half - the east half with grass for the dogs and kids to have some space, the west half as a garden/veg patch and with space for the chickens. Over time, as the kids get older and we have less dogs I envisage beginning to garden some of the east half.



I plan to plant fruit trees and train them as cordons along the fenceline of the kids/dogs bit and have a narrow bed with comfrey etc right the way around the fence line. Plan is for plants we won't eat (dog wee!) but will still be useful (attract insects, good as compost/mulch etc) and fast growing and resilient enough that they can cope with kids and dogs. At the north end of this section there is a flowerbed (with no flowers in it at the minute) which I hope to raise slightly and plant more useful dog/kid proof plants, and an area of hardstanding which I plan to use for a small workshop/toolstore and a small patio.

The west side I plan to have a run and house for my chickens and ducks at the top (the theory being that that will mean I have to walk the length of the garden at least twice a day - so I'll be less likely to neglect a section because I don't see it/notice weeds ect). There is already a beautiful rowan tree in the garden and I plan to plant bulbs and wildflowers around it's base (shown by the yellow shading in the picture) and possibly have a small wildlife pond there. Along the fence down the middle of the garden I plan to plant a mixture of fruit bushes probably with my rhubarb plants planted amongst them. I plan to put my greenhouse in the centre of the garden (so I can see it from the house and so it's not shaded by the tree/fence any more than it has to be). The areas shaded in pink between the greenhouse and the chickens are raised beds. The space between the greenhouse and the flowerbed near the house at the minute is just grass, I'm thinking maybe a bed with edible perennials and stepping stones following the faint pencil line in the picture.

Ideally I want a garden that will have space for the dogs and kids to play, space to sit if we get decent weather, chickens and ducks, planting that looks pretty, produces food, is beneficial for insects and fragrant and a 'wild' space.

Any thoughts?
 
Casie Becker
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Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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It sounds like you've put some thought into both how you can use it immediately and in the future as your circumstances change. There are only a couple of things that I'm not seeing that I would expect.

Have you designated an area or a plan for handling garden waste such as prunings or chicken litter? Most garden excess can be easily cycled back into the soil to increase fertility, but most methods also require an area, such as a compost bin, to work in.

I'm also not seeing any type of watering plan. Do you have dry spells where you'll need supplemental water? On the other hand, are you prone to heavy or sustained rains where you need to divert the excess to avoid drowning the plants? Often you can use your land's natural slope to help manage natural rain to your best advantage, so if you're still planning, you may want to start by determining that slope.

To be honest, I expect you've already thought of these issues and just didn't include that level of detail in your post.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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Is that a curved fence around the chicken run? Curved fences tend to sag, work themselves loose, or cant. For that reason, I prefer straight fences.
 
Galadriel Freden
Posts: 358
Location: West Yorkshire, UK
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Sam Allison wrote:Does anyone fancy taking a look at my plans for my new garden (MY garden, MINE - sorry it's a wonderful feeling to be able to plan a garden knowing that I actually own it!)

It's a smallish garden in a rural English village, south facing but it's at the foot of the Pennines and facing the fells so it can be pretty exposed. It measures 16m (50ft) long and about 13m (40ft) at it's widest. We have dogs and children so at least for now we plan to divide the garden in half - the east half with grass for the dogs and kids to have some space, the west half as a garden/veg patch and with space for the chickens. Over time, as the kids get older and we have less dogs I envisage beginning to garden some of the east half.



I plan to plant fruit trees and train them as cordons along the fenceline of the kids/dogs bit and have a narrow bed with comfrey etc right the way around the fence line. Plan is for plants we won't eat (dog wee!) but will still be useful (attract insects, good as compost/mulch etc) and fast growing and resilient enough that they can cope with kids and dogs. At the north end of this section there is a flowerbed (with no flowers in it at the minute) which I hope to raise slightly and plant more useful dog/kid proof plants, and an area of hardstanding which I plan to use for a small workshop/toolstore and a small patio.

The west side I plan to have a run and house for my chickens and ducks at the top (the theory being that that will mean I have to walk the length of the garden at least twice a day - so I'll be less likely to neglect a section because I don't see it/notice weeds ect). There is already a beautiful rowan tree in the garden and I plan to plant bulbs and wildflowers around it's base (shown by the yellow shading in the picture) and possibly have a small wildlife pond there. Along the fence down the middle of the garden I plan to plant a mixture of fruit bushes probably with my rhubarb plants planted amongst them. I plan to put my greenhouse in the centre of the garden (so I can see it from the house and so it's not shaded by the tree/fence any more than it has to be). The areas shaded in pink between the greenhouse and the chickens are raised beds. The space between the greenhouse and the flowerbed near the house at the minute is just grass, I'm thinking maybe a bed with edible perennials and stepping stones following the faint pencil line in the picture.

Ideally I want a garden that will have space for the dogs and kids to play, space to sit if we get decent weather, chickens and ducks, planting that looks pretty, produces food, is beneficial for insects and fragrant and a 'wild' space.

Any thoughts?


It's a great feeling to have a garden of your own, isn't it?

I would like to add that we have done something similar with our similarly sized Yorkshire garden--roughly divided it into a grassy half and a growie half, and like you, we initially had the growie bit at the back of the garden, far from the house. I learned, over several years, this was just too far for me to bother gardening every day. Even though I had to walk by it to get to my chicken coop, often it went several days without me actually visiting it. Maybe it was raining, maybe I was too busy, maybe I just couldn't be bothered...in any case, I did not get back there to notice pest infestations, rampant weeds, overripe fruit, damage from cats digging, etc. Productivity was lost.

Last year I moved the main bulk of my growies to beds closest to my house, bordering on my patio. When watering my window boxes and planters, I could see any problems and deal with them immediately. It really required no extra effort, even in the rain, even when I was busy. I saw when things were ready to harvest, and harvested! When the beds were at the back of the garden and it was raining (or I was tired, or stretched for time) at dinner time, I would instead rummage through the fridge to find vegetables; this happened frequently.

Even though the farthest I had to walk from the house to the back beds was no more than 10-12m, it was still just too much of an effort. I therefore suggest keeping the veg beds closest to the house.

Good luck!
 
David Livingston
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Location: Anjou ,France
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Hi
I used to live in Weardale so I know the area Have you given thought to intercropping your Fruit trees with Black Currents etc and are you high enough for cloud berries . How about some Bees ?
No shortage of Rain so how about some rhubarb?

David
 
Sam Allison
Posts: 12
Location: Northumberland fells, UK
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Casie Becker wrote:Have you designated an area or a plan for handling garden waste such as prunings or chicken litter? Most garden excess can be easily cycled back into the soil to increase fertility, but most methods also require an area, such as a compost bin, to work in.

I'm also not seeing any type of watering plan. Do you have dry spells where you'll need supplemental water? On the other hand, are you prone to heavy or sustained rains where you need to divert the excess to avoid drowning the plants? Often you can use your land's natural slope to help manage natural rain to your best advantage, so if you're still planning, you may want to start by determining that slope.


I have two compost bins that I've just moved to the house, at the minute they are in the to corner (where the chicken run will be). The plan is to place them somewhere between the chicken pen and the greenhouse, maybe between the rowan tree and the fence - that way I'll be able to reach them easily with old chicken bedding and with garden waste (although most garden waste will go to the chickens first) but the widlflowers will disguise them a little.

Not much chance of a dry spell here! Although I plan to collect the water off the greenhouse and chicken shed roofs for any water I might need.

The soil is quite heavy, peat based soil and I know from our old garden that it will hold water quite readily. This is a big part of the reason I have gone with the idea of raised beds rather than planing into the ground, at least I have a little more control of the soil from day one. I'm busy researching plants that will improve the soil structure and drainage (I would imagine planting fruit trees would do a lot of good).

Thanks
 
Sam Allison
Posts: 12
Location: Northumberland fells, UK
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:

Is that a curved fence around the chicken run? Curved fences tend to sag, work themselves loose, or cant. For that reason, I prefer straight fences.


I had thought a curved fence would be nice, but The Husband will be building it and the first thing he said when I showed him my plan was that the fence would have to be straight!
 
Sam Allison
Posts: 12
Location: Northumberland fells, UK
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Galadriel Freden wrote:I would like to add that we have done something similar with our similarly sized Yorkshire garden--roughly divided it into a grassy half and a growie half, and like you, we initially had the growie bit at the back of the garden, far from the house. I learned, over several years, this was just too far for me to bother gardening every day. Even though I had to walk by it to get to my chicken coop, often it went several days without me actually visiting it. Maybe it was raining, maybe I was too busy, maybe I just couldn't be bothered...in any case, I did not get back there to notice pest infestations, rampant weeds, overripe fruit, damage from cats digging, etc. Productivity was lost.

Last year I moved the main bulk of my growies to beds closest to my house, bordering on my patio. When watering my window boxes and planters, I could see any problems and deal with them immediately. It really required no extra effort, even in the rain, even when I was busy. I saw when things were ready to harvest, and harvested! When the beds were at the back of the garden and it was raining (or I was tired, or stretched for time) at dinner time, I would instead rummage through the fridge to find vegetables; this happened frequently.

Even though the farthest I had to walk from the house to the back beds was no more than 10-12m, it was still just too much of an effort. I therefore suggest keeping the veg beds closest to the house.

Good luck!


My thinking was that I could have the 'pretty' perenial bed close to the house and the raised beds further away. This way the view out the house window was pretty, rather than raised beds, and so that the raised beds weren't shaded by the plants in the greenhouse when the sun was in the south (although I don't think this would be that big a problem).
I'll bare in mind what you say though,
Thanks
 
Sam Allison
Posts: 12
Location: Northumberland fells, UK
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David Livingston wrote:Hi
I used to live in Weardale so I know the area Have you given thought to intercropping your Fruit trees with Black Currents etc and are you high enough for cloud berries . How about some Bees ?
No shortage of Rain so how about some rhubarb?

David


Weardale is just down the road

I had planned to put fruit bushes along the dividing fence down the middle, I was trying to avoid anything low that we would eat in the dogs bit - to avoid the dogs pee'ing on it or eating it. I guess we could just harvest the higher fruits and leave (or feed to the chickens) the ones lower down in dog wee range.

Not sure about cloudberries I will do some research.

Bee's I would love but the mother in law is terrified of them so they would never visit (and I get on with my in laws so that would be a shame!)

Rhubarb I was going to space amongst the fruit bushes along the dividing fence. None in the dogs bit as the leaves are poisonous (not so much for current dogs but if we got a puppy at some point.....).

Thanks
 
Sam Allison
Posts: 12
Location: Northumberland fells, UK
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Hi,
It seems like ages since I posted this thread and I thought I'd update anyone who commented on how I've got along.  It's been a lot of work, and I've still got so much to do but we are finally living in our own house, I got some produce from the garden this summer and all our animals are happy.

There is a (rather picture heavy) post on my new blog that I've started to try keep track of what I'm doing - https://spottyduck.wordpress.com/2017/01/01/spotty-duck-hq-then-and-now/

I pretty much stuck with the plans on the drawing up the thread, the greenhouse is closer to the house and some changes in raised bed sizes and shapes but the basic idea stayed the same.  I never got my wildlife area or pond done so that's a job for early this year. 

I can't believe how well things grew this year, yes some things got neglected as life got in the way (I pray to any god that cares to listen that I spend less time in hospitals with family members this year) but things grew, my garden was green and jumbled and full of flowers and yummy veg (I even had to give some away to our new neighbours as the freezer was full and we couldn't eat them fast enough!).

I can't wait until the winter is behind us and I can start again with earnest!
 
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