Finally I got out of my winter sleep here on Springhill Stories. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy in the garden. Planting hedges, digging out paths, make raised beds and planning and planting the prairie garden around the terrace. In the title I call it a semi-prairie garden as I needed to make some adaptations to get it work in the space where it was planned. The zone around the terrace has some specific challenges. Half of the plot has clay soil and matching water issues (not ideal for a prairie garden), the other half has sandy dry soil. A part is in the shade of a walnut tree ( the troublemaker) and the hedge of the neighbor, the other part in full sun sheltered by the house. Quite a challenge there.
So how did I start the planning ? Well first of all by reading a lot on the internet and the books of Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf, an expert of the wild prairie garden. For every part of the plot I made a list of plants that grow in these kind of conditions. A big inspiration for this was the book “Dream plants for the natural garden” from Piet Oudolf & Henk Gerritsen. But I also found inspiration on the internet and the lovely Jardin Plume in Normandy. A prairie garden is mix of perennials and grasses, so even for the shady part I kept this mix and even found some plants that can bring unity between the different zones (I hope… let’s see how it all turns out) and likes almost most growing conditions.
For drawing the plan I went to take a look on the interesting garden blog http://www.natuurlijk-rijk.be (in dutch only) and took his technique to put it all on paper. On the picture you can see that every plant has its own color code and symbol. Although I took in consideration the height and growing condition of the plants, I must admit that putting it all on paper was a bit of a gut-feeling. So it’s interesting to see what will work and what fails. It’s one of the nice things about a garden, you are allowed to fail 🙂 When I finished the plan I made a count of all the plants and ordered them at our local plant center.
Before the planting I did quite some preparing of the soil. Just to be on the safe side I put a drainage and mixed the clay soil with some bags of lava stone to loosen it all up and mix some poor soil under it as well.
Last Friday the plants arrived and it took me quite some time to position all of them in the right spot. I tried to stick to the plan as much as possible, but in the end I made some changes as well. The day after my parents came to help us for the planting and now it’s all done. To make sure I don’t weed the plants that were planted we added some dark soil on top of it, this way we see exactly where we planted them. Now we’ll wait to see if it all grows, see what thrives and what fails.
If you want to see what I have all put in the mix of plants you can check my pinterest page by clicking here
I keep you updated !