My tentative garden plans - any tips or suggestion

Discussion in 'Garden Design' started by sheisaeval, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. sheisaeval

    sheisaeval New Seed

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Grapevine,TX
    The actual boundary is up to scale (I pulled from our land survey sheet) but the drawings I made may not be to scale.

    Pictures of what the yard looks like currently (large images):
    http://i.imgur.com/UzDAH.jpg (left of backyard)
    http://i.imgur.com/RKjGW.jpg (right of backyard)
    http://i.imgur.com/dqQ25.jpg (picture of front of house)
    http://i.imgur.com/316qS.jpg (another picture of front of house)

    The garden plan I have:
    http://i.imgur.com/lB0JY.jpg

    ***

    I live in the DFW area, Zone 7B.
    100+ and hot/sunny almost everyday in the summer, could be dry when it's a drought, but when it rains it downpours.
    Doesn't usually get below 40-50s in the winter except for an occasion cold front.

    ***

    Firstly, I know I'm quite ambitious and I know it'll take months if not a few years to probably transform my current yard into what I have in the plan, but just wanted to know if what I want is feasible or if you would suggest another plan, or if I should move some part of my plan to another part, or any tips/ideas you may have.

    ****

    Purple letter notes on the garden plan:

    A: I want to remove some/most of the hedges that are here and shrink the lawn back and build more flower beds. I am thinking of growing some native shrubs/flowers in place. The small shrubs next to the door I may or may not replace, not sure yet. I may also grow some native plants around the root of the tree.

    B: I may replace this shrub.

    C: I want to replace this huge bush/hedge eventually but not sure what to replace it with. There's an AC unit, electric meter, hose and water pipe, and other things that I'd like to hide behind.

    D: There's a little crevice that kitchen windows open to, maybe grow some kind of shady flowers?

    E: There's a shrub here as well. We'd like to cut it down and put our two rain barrels in its place, maybe also grow some plants next to rain barrels? Not sure yet.

    F: Two green circles, we want to grow vines on the pergola. We're thinking grapes but does anyone have any other choices? Something that can provide shade in the hot summer and edible is a plus, and if it has nice flowers that's also a plus. (Pergola picture: http://i.imgur.com/DLwcEh.jpg)

    G and H: Raised beds to grow vegetables. Was thinking about bending a cattle panel between them as a long trellis. Not sure if should build another one instead of fruit tree 4.

    I: Chicken coop.

    J: Our current shed.

    K: Perennial fruits - blackberries, strawberries, raspberries? Not sure if I should do raised bed here or grow it in the ground. Thought about blueberry but it needs acidic soil so maybe either grow it in another place (in front instead of hedge?) or in a pot.

    L: Paths - not sure what to make it out of. We'd like something that looks good and practical, but also cheap. Thought about either using gravel or mulch. Or maybe big stepping stones? Any other ideas? We also want to eventually replace our thick st augustine lawn with some kind of groundcover but not sure what yet.

    M: I put a fruit tree here, but I am not sure if I want to put a fruit tree here or not. I may instead have another raised bed, a fish pond, or a flower garden? Not sure yet, any suggestions?

    N: The red dot is where the faucet is currently. I'd like to do drip to the raised beds G and H but not sure if I should do it through the rain barrels on the left or if I should put a hose around the deck to reach it?

    O: Not sure if you see it, but there's two circles where I'd like the compost bins to be. We already have one, made from a plastic trash container from Lowes with holes punched into it, but maybe we might get another one. (We also just got a worm bin as well for inside)

    P: The circle and rectangle are the previous owner's stone birdbath and bench. They're extremely heavy and we're not sure if we want to keep it or get rid of it, not sure yet.



    Red fruit tree numbers 1-5.
    We want to grow fruit trees but we're not sure where to put which tree right now. The ones we are thinking about growing are:
    Peach
    Fig
    Persimmon
    Plum?
    Apricot?



    Right now my tentative plans-

    This fall/Winter - remove hedges/shrubs/rosebushes/maybe the tree?, build chicken coop, build raised beds, plant fruit trees, sow native seeds
    Next spring - order chicks, plant fruit bushes, sow vegetable seeds, hook up rain barrels, plant grape vines
    Next year sometime - work on garden paths, replace lawn with groundcover



    If anyone has any tips/ideas, it'll be great. Thanks!
     
  2. Loading...


  3. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Messages:
    19,634
    Likes Received:
    5,060
    Location:
    North Central Texas, Zone 8a
    Hi and welcome to Gardenstew. I just wanted to let you know that you are not being ignored but you have caught most of us in a 'catch up from the summer from H***' weekend so the forum has been uncharacteristically quiet. I have looked at your photos and see lots of possibilities especially since the front yard doesn't appear to be as large and have as much potential as the backyard...wow. what we can help you with there is going to be fun!!

    Your questions are going to take some time to answer but it will be so much fun helping you come up with just the right plan to make your gardens really great.
     
  4. cherylad

    cherylad Countess of Cute-ification Plants Contributor

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Messages:
    11,679
    Likes Received:
    3,099
    Location:
    S. Liberty County - Texas (8B)
    Hi and welcome from SE Texas.
    I admire your planning ability and sounds like you have some good ideas. Just be prepared for some of your plans to fly out the window once you get started. Seems that plants that follow you home have their own agenda. :stew2:
    Can't wait to see how it all comes together for you.
     
  5. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    Messages:
    29,088
    Likes Received:
    6,277
    Location:
    Scotland
    This time a warm welcome from Scotland. :-D
    I've never made a real plan for my garden as (Cheryl hit it on the head) plants just seem to leap into my basket and follow me home. ;) I did decide to have curved beds instead of straight, a pond and a wilflower area. I achieved all that but that's as far as my plans went!! I admire anyone who can put their ideas down on paper and I'm looking forward to seeing your progress.
     



    Advertisement
  6. sheisaeval

    sheisaeval New Seed

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Grapevine,TX
    Thanks everyone! This is our very first house - we only lived here for about two months now - and I've been reading up gardening and chickens and homesteading for a while now and now that we have a house and yard, I'm very ambitious as you can see!
     
    Frank likes this.
  7. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Messages:
    19,634
    Likes Received:
    5,060
    Location:
    North Central Texas, Zone 8a
    Does your neighborhood have an HOA (Home Owners Association) that's in control of what you can and can not do to the front yard and even what can be seen of the backyard from the street?
    If not, you will need to find out if the city allows chickens to be kept in town.

    In Texas the state legislature doesn't allow cities to prevent residents from having rain water collection systems but most cities require that they either be in the backyard or fenced from view if they are in the front. Also, when you buy a rain collection barrel/system or even parts to make your own you don't have to pay state sales tax. You can get a tax exempt form... http://www.catchtherain.com/Resource_Li ... es_tax.php to give to the seller. And you might want to print out the page the link brings up to take with you because many stores aren't aware of the exemption.
     
    Frank likes this.
  8. sheisaeval

    sheisaeval New Seed

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Grapevine,TX
    No hoa and in my city the coop had to be fifty feet from nearest house, which is pretty much corner area. We also just bought rain barrels from a nearby rain barrel program for pretty cheap as well. We choose this house pretty much the reason we could have a coop in this back yard and we'll prob put the rain barrels in the back anyway.
     
  9. Stevia

    Stevia New Seed

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    England
    Hey, your tentative garden plans looks good enough. But as you live in Florida which owing to its high temperature provides one of the most favorable habitat to insects and reptiles, I'll suggest you to fence your garden to keep away such unwanted guests.
     
  10. marlingardener

    marlingardener Happy

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Messages:
    11,417
    Likes Received:
    13,531
    Location:
    Central Texas, zone 8
    Hi to Sheisaeval from Central Texas! We're on a small farm and keep chickens. Ask any poultry question you like and us "mama hens" will help.
    We have three vegetable gardens, an herb garden, and flower beds. We planned the gardens, changed plans, and then went with whatever would grow. I think you'll need to be flexible, too. Also, do not believe the plant tag that says "plant in full sun". That tag is for Vermont, not Grapevine, Texas!
     
  11. marlingardener

    marlingardener Happy

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Messages:
    11,417
    Likes Received:
    13,531
    Location:
    Central Texas, zone 8
    While I was out planting broccoli, I was thinking about your plan. Here are my thoughts (for what they are worth :rolleyes: ):
    A: natives are more drought tolerant and attract more butterflies/bees. Planting around the base of a tree is not generally a good idea--tree takes up avaialable moisture, and it's really shady there. A grouond cover that tolerates shade might live, or might not. I'd just make a mulch bed around the tree to facilitate mowing and reduce weed-whacking.
    B: get rid of the shrub, and don't replace it. One shrub stuck on the side of the house looks lonely and out of place.
    C: You need access to the AC unit and other facilities there. a 3 1/2" space between a fence and the house can't get much sun. How about putting a large container with an ornamental at the entrance to the area, and graveling the rest? The ornamental could even be on a wheeled stand so it could be moved when necessary.
    D: ferns! keep them watered with waste water from the kitchen. Or, you could mix ferns with shade-lovers like begonias.
    E: rain barrels are always a good idea. However, if you plant something near rain barrels, the plants inevitably get trod upon. Best to keep a clear area around the barrels, not only for foot traffic but when we get a downpour and the barrels overflow.
    F:Grapes will work, but be sure that the pergola is low enough that you can harvest the bunches. Grapes tend to drop and make a mess, not to mention what the mockingbirds will do while eating your grapes.
    G & H: A cattle panel between the beds will make it difficult to access the sides of the bed near the panel. I'd put the panel at the end of the beds, if at all. Depending on what you want to grow on the trellis, a temporary one of lattice work might do just as well.
    I: How many chickens do you plan to have? The size and location of the coop is really dependent on the number of your flock.
    J: Get the tree/shrub off the roof of your shed. Also trim it back where it hangs over the side of the shed.
    K: I'd suggest blackberries. Much less work (raspberries tend to mold if you pick them and don't eat or process them immediately), strawberries require quite a bit of water, and blueberries are just not suited to your area. You'd put more money into acidifying the soil, even in a container, than you'd get back in berries. If you go with blackberries, get a thornless variety--much less painful!
    L: Gravel moves and some will end up in the lawn (makes mowing really interesting and noisy!). Stepping stones need something between them, and usually that's weeds. How about digging down about 2", using the soil in your raised beds, and filling in the path with shredded cedar? Easy on the feet, no-float cedar mulch doesn't move around much, and it can easily be refreshed when needed.
    M: Fruit trees don't bear for the first 3-4 years, and also need pollinators. If you go with a fruit tree, make sure there is a pollinator nearby. (I'm gently trying to discourage this idea ;) )
    N: A drip system would have to stretch across most of your yard. The raised beds aren't that large. You can easily hand-water them from the rain barrels.
    Compost bins should be as close to the vegetable gardens as possible--that is where most of the material will come from, and where you'll be tossing most of the compost. I'd suggest putting the compost bins next to the chicken coop. You'll also have "material" for the bins from your hens!
    Fruit trees--apricots are problematic--some years they bear, some they don't. See previous reference to pollinators for the other trees you plan.
    I'm so glad to see you have long-range plans. So many new gardeners dig in (literally) and then find they have over-extended themselves. Take it easy, take it slow, and enjoy your gardening adventure!
     
    Frank and Henry Johnson like this.

Share This Page