macdanger
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Location: Mayo, Ireland

Basic Garden Refurbishment

Hi

First time poster on here looking for some advice :). Apologies if this thread is posted in the incorrect section or anything.

My sister's garden is currently a wasteland - there's not much soil, some rubble and lots of weeds!!! She's leaving Ireland to move to Canada for a couple of years and is planning to rent her house (in Dublin) while she's away. I'm planning to fix up the garden a little so that it's low maintenance and is at least presentable.

My plan at the moment is:
1. Clear away the rubble and weeds
2. Lay some sort of "plastic" covering which will allow rain to percolate but stop weeds from springing up
3. Plant a few shrubs (miniature evergreens maybe?) through holes in the "plastic".
4. Spread pebbles / stones over the plastic covering

I know it's pretty basic but does this sound ok?

Is such "plastic" covering available? What do I ask for?
Any recommendations on plant types? Or what sort of stones to put down?

I also have a couple of other jobs to do like hanging a side gate and perhaps building a BBQ or something.

Thanks in advance :)

bullthistle
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Use woven plastic but weeds can still grow on top but they will be easy to pull.
Use some manure when you are backfilling the holes after planting the shrubs and throw in a handful of bonemeal that will promote root growth and water 2X a week for a couple of months. Might want to look at euonymous emerald gaeity, evergreen with a variegated leaf besides a plant that all green for contrast.

cynthia_h
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bullthistle wrote:Use woven plastic but weeds can still grow on top but they will be easy to pull.
My experience with woven landscape cloth is quite different. My BIL hired landscapers to rehabilitate my MIL's yard in August 2007, after my FIL passed on. The landscapers went wild with landscape cloth. But I was doing most of the weeding until this past year.

Pulling the weeds that grow through the "weed-proof" landscape cloth is *very* difficult: it's hard to get the entire root to come out. Either the cloth is pulled up from the ground in an unsightly clump, or the weed root breaks off, guaranteeing a return weed.

Can you smother the weeds with multiple layers of weighted-down newspapers?

Cynthia H.
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rainbowgardener
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Yeah, depends on what you were wanting. The landscape fabric/ plastic works great the first year, not as great the second year and after that turns in to the kind of mess cynthia was talking about, weeds growing through it, that you can't pull. I always end up ripping it out again. If you just want weed control for two years, and don't mind pulling the stuff back out when your sister comes back, it might work for you.

But I like cynthia's idea better. Lay down a bunch of layers of newspaper for weed suppression, plant through it. Cover it with wood chips instead of pebbles. By the time your sister returns the newspaper will be long gone and she will have nice planting beds.
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macdanger
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Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:40 pm
Location: Mayo, Ireland

We're starting this project the weekend after next so just getting to buying things now.

As regards the covering, what would you think of just using heavy plastic perforated with holes for drainage? Or would I be better going with the newpapers and mulch?

The garden is 72m square - how many bags / tonnes of pebbles would I need to cover it?

Also, I'm planning on hanging a side gate - was just down in the garden centre and they have a metal gate suitable for a width 840 - 920mm (the gap is ~ 860mm). What's the best way to hang this? Just bolt it to the block wall? Or put a timber jamb onto the wall and hang the gate from that?

Thanks in advance

macdanger
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Location: Mayo, Ireland

Thanks for the helpful replies by the way rainbowgardener, cynthia and bullthistle, much appreciated :)

bullthistle
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Since I did landscape design for a couple of decades I never had a problem with weeds coming through the woven plastic and I always went back to my jobs to see if problems surfaced. Of course I didn't use rock either which will put holes in the plastic if you just dump it on. Some people have no clue how to lay woven plastic just like they don't know how to plant plants and leave air pockets.

macdanger
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Location: Mayo, Ireland

Hi

So we're going to start this tomorrow and I'm taking your advice and going with the newspaper & mulch.

Just one question though - we have a much wetter climate here than you guys do, will that be a problem for me with the newspapers?

Thanks in advance :)

macdanger
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Location: Mayo, Ireland

I hope she does too :wink:

Thanks for your help guys, will let you know how it goes

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