Does anyone know anything about gardening?

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  • My Clematis is starting to grow again. But there is nothing on the fence for it to grip to. Any suggestions for something subtle I could put on the fence?

  • “Subtle” it is not, per se, but might blend in: expanding trellis

  • Can anyone recommend am evergreen, climbing plant that will grow against a shady north east facing fence?
    I know ivys will grow almost anywhere but is there anything else for this shady spot?
    Ideally some summer flowers would be amazing too.

  • I have holboellia latifolias planted this year in quite small pots in a shady sunked bit of the garden and they are already doing great.

    Not flowering yet, but when they do they are meant to be highly scented.

  • Trachelospermum jasminoides?

  • As I was clearing in preparation for the fence, I realised that the ground where I wanted to put it was quite a bit more above the edge of the concrete culvert than I thought and thanks to years of neglect, ivy roots, and fix digging, very loose. If I tried to put posts in, they'd just topple into the brook. So I need to think about some kind of retaining wall to essentially extend the height of the concrete culvert.

    I was thinking, dig down to the top of the concrete then set reinforced concrete posts down my side of the concrete and then 2' in height of reinforced gravel boards. Back fill, level then my wooden fence a few feet inboard of that.

    You can just see the top of the concrete culvert in this photo taken from the park, across the brook. The difference in height looks quite exaggerated.

    Some of the shit I cleared included no less than 3 previous fences that had collapsed and we're hanging over the brook. Ivy had grown through that and the foxes diggings were all piled on top of it too.

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  • I'm not worried about the strength of the culvert, this is about 10 houses down.

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  • Looks like you'd have to shift a fair bit of earth, rake it back and level it. It's will look amazing, your left-over wild bit of garden is bigger than my garden.

  • Does your garden go all the way to the edge of the channel or is some of the land at the side owned by the council (or whoever)?

    And doesn't a culvert run under something rather than being open?

  • I may be using the wrong term then, it's essentially a big, open, concrete lined stream.

    Gardens go right up to the edge.

    Fairly comfortable with digging down, installing a retaining wall then back filling. My main concerns are A) what kind of wall? Will concrete posts and gravel boards work? B) I'll have to be careful not to undermine my neighbours fence. There's a small tree that might have to go and removing that could fuck their fence/retaining wall.

    Edit: open culverts exist

  • my garden slightly slopes up the way - the back is about 20/30 cm higher (roughly) than the bit by the house. is it a big (i.e. expensive) job to either level that out (by lowering the back by 20/30 cm) or create a lower section in the back? I'd quite like the back of the garden to be lower, to feel more secluded

  • If I concrete these posts down 2 feet below the height of the concrete then double stack the gravel boards, that will give me another two feet of height. I reckon that would be enough. Is this a terrible idea?

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  • we just bought a couple of these and are very pleased - willow trellis, round top

  • I've become very disillusioned with any trellis made of wood, as it's only a matter of time before the wood rots and the whole thing comes tumbling down. And, needless to say, trying to replace trellis when it's got plants growing up it is deeply frustrating if not impossible, as is trying to treat the wood. That's why I've started making my own trellis from 6mm solid stainless round bar. Should be good enough for my lifetime, after which it's someone else's problem.

  • I have seen less holding back more, but concrete posts and gravel boards are not a proper retaining wall, although they might hold (or not). If you want a permanent fix, I would go with 9" hollow blocks on a concrete foundation, with the voids in the blocks filled with wet concrete to form a solid concrete wall. I will try to calculate material costs tomorrow.

  • needless to say, trying to replace trellis when it's got plants growing up it is deeply frustrating if not impossible

    does the plant not eventually become the trellis


  • I think it's going to depend on my level of ability. I'm fairly confident I could do the posts and boards myself. Never poured concrete or set a block wall like you describe. It would be good to know more about it. How do the blocks key into the concrete foundation? Or does the wet concrete you fill them with mean they just "stick"? It would be about 18' long by 2' tall, for reference (if that wasn't obvious from the screenshot).

  • From what I've seen I think you build it up like a normal brick wall, with mortar between the blocks and the foundation, then fill the voids with concrete afterwards to give it extra strength and heft.

  • That again pushes it to the levels of skill that I'd not be comfortable to do myself. At least not having the confidence to look anywhere half decent. I'll try taking some photos of other solutions along the brook so you can see my competition. And I use that term very loosely, some of it is shocking, but clearly hasn't fallen in, yet.

  • Honeysuckle?

    Also there are millions of clematis, so have a hunt for a variety that likes your conditions. My folks have one on their north wall (which admittedly does get sun at the top once it grows).

  • is it a big (i.e. expensive) job

    You don't give the other dimensions, so it's hard to know how much earth in total you'd be moving. But the short answer is probably, yes.

    Obvious factors to me:

    • how much soil do you have to remove? If there's a reasonable amount you need a skip, which adds up.
    • how do you remove the soil from the site? - ie can a digger get access? - if not, then you're paying for people to dig with spades, which adds up. Can earth be wheelbarrowed away? - if not it's truggs through the house, which adds up.
    • can the boarder walls/fences cope with the amount of earth being removed? If not, then you need to build retaining walls, which adds up.
    • etc.

    However, if it's a small garden and/or none of the issues above apply then I can image you could DIY or find labours to do it for a grand. Worth remembering that compacted soil is very compact. As soon as you dig it up its volume will increase so check any guestimates for skip requirements.

  • One solution to getting rid of so much earth would be to build raised planters, you could then not dig down so much but by building planters around the end of the garden make it feel more secluded?

  • Pulled out 3 large laurel stumps yesterday and I can deffo feel it today! 3 more to go!

  • As it won't be seen above soil level it doesn't have to be pretty, besides, blocks never are.

    You would need 36 blocks, a ton of concrete and half a dozen bags of sand, total cost approx £250. See picture below for how to lay them (note: yours is not high enough to need steel rod). I would tap the lowest course of the 3 into the foundations before the concrete went off, less mortar and stronger fix.

    A grand should get it done if you are employing someone.

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  • As it won't be seen above soil level it doesn't have to be pretty

    It will from the park, and it's on our "go the fuck to sleep" walk with mini_com so we'd see it most days she's not in childcare.

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Does anyone know anything about gardening?

Posted by Avatar for carson @carson