How to turn an abandoned lot into an ornamental garden
The sight of a neglected site causes mixed feelings in the new owner, something between doom and a thirst for change.
Dreams of a piece of paradise are mercilessly shattered against the rocks of insurmountable circumstances.
You see in front of you the impenetrable thickets of an old orchard, a boundless sea of couch grass swaying in the wind and mountains of garbage left by neighbors or previous owners. And you only have two arms, two legs and one salary …
A large part of summer residents went through such a situation., and I am no exception. Therefore, I propose a plan of action based on my own experience and mistakes, as well as really useful tips from the Internet.
WHAT TO DO FIRST
1 CLEAR. Without tools, on bare enthusiasm, the site can only be freed from large debris.
Wooden fragments in two piles — strong then can be used as firewood, rotten — in warm beds.
Bottles and cans (I got a decent pile) can come in handy later. If you don’t plan to do needlework, feel free to hand it over to the recycling center along with broken glass. There will be no profit from such an operation, but get rid of illiquid garbage.
Plastic containers and tin cans — there too.
Old pottery (jugs, plates and even shards) can be used in decoration or simply buried at a distance — there will be no harm from them.
2 BUY INVENTORY. Irreplaceable assistants for a novice summer resident are tools.
bayonet shovel – a bestseller))) She is indispensable: digging, leveling, cutting small roots – this is her profile. I inherited from the previous owners, even with a sign of quality … Indestructible.
Adjustable fan blades are ideal for picking up weeds after weeding and picking up small debris. They break often, but they are very comfortable.
Ordinary rakes: choose only metal, wide, you know, such an iron bar (corner) with welded pins (I bought mine at a local flea market). They will last a long time. All others are high season.
Secateurseven the simplest one will do fine with small branches.
Roulette a geodesic 20-30 m long will help you (more than once) to mark the territory.
Manual braid — not our method))), I recommend an electric one, with a power of at least 1800 watts.
Benzokosa — a great thing, but only for men and not for frequent mowing. If you have to mow a lot and often (more on this later in the article), an electric scythe is both easier and more economical.
Yes, you need an extension cord, but then you will need it for a concrete mixer, and for a water pump, and for a brush cutter. I bought myself 70 meters of ground wire, a street outlet and a plug. Without coil. Gets to any corner of the site and beyond.
Have you planned to mow with a lawn mower? This is definitely not at the development stage of the site.
First, you should get rid of the old molehills and level the site. This will take time.
Then, with a lawn mower, you can only mow grass no higher than 10 cm. And in the country, this moment can be missed))) Plux, hard-to-reach places (around trees, slopes, under a fence). So a lawn mower, especially a self-propelled one, will be an excellent assistant for you, but you still can’t do without an electric scythe.
garden file or a hacksaw in the country is necessary, but this is if there is at least one male power in the house.
For women, I recommend a jigsaw of a reliable brand. Not cheap, but convenient. They can cut everything that the secateurs cannot handle in the range of 20-80 mm. Very easy to change saw blades, light weight.
A chainsaw or its electric counterpart is the choice of those who plan to harvest firewood, in other cases they will lie idle.
You can hire someone to cut down large trees once.
We got the tools, we move on to the next stage of work …
3 MOW THE GRASS. This is important in order to be able to assess the relief of the site, take the first step towards getting rid of weeds and developing the area for beds or flower beds.
4 GETTING RID OF THE GROWTH is not easy, but real. On this topic, I have a separate article with a video and photo report. I recommend!
Ideally flat areas are necessary for the garden and lawn.
In other cases, any unevenness will give the site a uniqueness.
The old garden is a godsend for a summer resident. It is a pity that most often it is fruity. The trees are already (or almost) not bearing fruit.
No problem. Make a close inspection of the trees, watch them during the season. Which of them bring the harvest, and which are good as a pleasant shading.
Those that bear fruit can be rejuvenated: cut off the top and thin out the crown. Please note that more than 25% of the crown cannot be removed in one season.
Old, long-bearing trees with spreading crowns are good for creating places for recreation under them.
In their shadows you can organize fern garden and a low-maintenance host.
Lilac, viburnum and elderberry grow in almost every village garden. When neglected, they can look terrible.
Trunks of viburnum and elderberry can be given a beautiful silhouette by cutting off extra branches. The growth around should be dug up with roots.
It is better to remove the overgrown lilac completely. Young shoots can be transplanted and formed from them into a bush with an umbrella crown.
Choose three—four, plant in one hole.
When rooted, weave a pigtail from flexible trunks and fix it in the upper part with a hemp rope.
The branches that have grown on the trunks are broken out (below the dressing), preventing them from getting stronger.
Three years later, the rope is cut, the trunks will disperse, but remain bizarrely curved.
With a garden and fruit trees on an empty plot, there are few difficulties: I planned it, plowed it, planted it.
But with a decorative garden, everything is much more complicated. Even if you plant relatively developed specimens of trees and shrubs, you can grow a truly luxurious garden in a deserted place in twenty years.
And what all this time — to sit and wait? There is no need to make sure that the root circle remains clean (mulch), carefully mow the rest of the territory.
Only when wheatgrass and nettles stop growing on the site, you can start laying out flower beds. You can start with one, expanding its boundaries with each spring.
The cereal garden is the ideal solution for outdoor areas.
The arrangement and maturation of the landscape will take more than one year: the plants need to be propagated and planted tightly so that there is no free piece of land left, they will immediately be occupied by weeds. So be patient and take action.
If there are lowlands on the site where water accumulates in the spring, then the gardener’s first desire is to make drainage and divert water. But on the other hand, water accumulates here in the spring and during periods of prolonged downpours. And the rest of the time it’s just an area with high humidity.
So why not take the opportunity and make a wet flower bed here. It makes sense to deepen the depression even more, giving it a smooth outline. This work should be done immediately after leaving the water.
The next step is to decorate the slopes with a rocky embankment. This is how you define its boundaries. It is better to cover the bottom with a thick layer of bark mulch and cover it with stones in order to keep moisture under them as much as possible.
The bottom, which will be swamped, is planted with plants for shallow water: yellow iris (marsh), calamus, loosestrife, meadowsweet, marsh marigold.
BEAUTIFUL RELIEFS IN THE GARDEN
Here are some ideas for decorating uneven areas. Most of the height differences are artificial, some «knolls» are semi-shrubs and creeping evergreen shrubs.
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