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Building my first garden!

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Building my first garden!

Postby dehm83 » Apr 25, 2013 2:41 pm

Hello All,

I am attempting to build a garden this spring in the back of our townhouse in Ottawa. I have never been great at keep my plants alive inside, and I am hoping to have better luck with outside! But I am completely clueless when it comes to all things gardening.

Our house is part of a new development where the builder put in a "living fence" at the back of the property. The purspose was that the shrubs and trees they planted would grow tall and give more privacy from our rear neighbours. Well, essentially everything they planted didn't seem to take and died within a week or so.

I would like to replace it all with something low maitenance and pet and child-friendly.

Do you have suggestions for me? I know it's not a lot to go on, but I am open to anything! I think I am mainly thinking of greenery not necessarily flowers. The area gets about 60% sun, is about 2 feet wide by 18 feet long. Our soil tends to be sandy (so I'm told), and they had put in that black barrier under the soil. I've been told by some to rip it out...

Thanks so much!
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Re: Building my first garden!

Postby Countryboy » Apr 25, 2013 7:07 pm

I guess the first thing I'd do is to revisit the sales contract. If a living fence is included, then the builder may have to replace it. If they 'planted' shrubs and trees in the usual 4" of topsoil then they were guaranteed to fail. There should be a minimum of 12"x12" holes full of good soil to even start them in.

Cedar, I think, is always the first place to start if you're creating a green fence.
Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience.
.....Ralph Waldo Emmerson....

Frank . . ON5a
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Re: Building my first garden!

Postby Canadian Ent » Apr 25, 2013 8:33 pm

Countryboy wrote:I guess the first thing I'd do is to revisit the sales contract. If a living fence is included, then the builder may have to replace it.


It might even be covered by your Tarion warranty. One strategy might be to contact the builder and see if they won't foot the bill for the replacement and you choose the plants.
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Re: Building my first garden!

Postby Knitwitch » May 17, 2013 8:56 am

Have you found anything out about having the hedge replaced? I am fond of roses as a living fence. There are large bush types that would work admirably if treated right and are practically low to no maintenance. Winter hips might attract some birds etc to your yard for winter interest.
Lilac also makes a great hedge. Siberian willow. Privet. Honeysuckle. Dogwood. The ubiquitous cedar or juniper.
The main thing is to amend the soil with compost or something so that they stand a chance, keep them watered for the first season and maybe use a good layer of mulch to keep things tidy and weed free while the roots get established.
Alison, in zone 5b Nova Scotia
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Re: Building my first garden!

Postby LittleJackie » May 28, 2013 8:04 am

Canadian Ent wrote:
Countryboy wrote:I guess the first thing I'd do is to revisit the sales contract. If a living fence is included, then the builder may have to replace it.


It might even be covered by your Tarion warranty. One strategy might be to contact the builder and see if they won't foot the bill for the replacement and you choose the plants.


This was a very good idea, I wonder if the builder paid for it in the end...
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