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The last of the cliffs!


By resi


the second and last of the two cliff blogs, although i actually started it before the north cliff and i had this idea that i would be able to plant it without terracing it first
well i did it but if i had the choice again i never, ever would!
this was how it was in december 2006
this cliff is the one on the right.

i tried to dig all the plants on their own little mini terrace.

but discovered very quickly that the soil wasnt going to stay put, so i had this idea that our good old roof tiles would do the job, which they did but only to a certain extend

there is a lot of creeping thyme on there and different sedums, white valerian, stachys, two roses, and R. rugosas, cotoneaster horizontalis, Oenothera siskyou, iris, ericheron, Yuccas, a Budlea, mint!! lavenders, dentata and officionalis, rosemary, euphorbias and honeysuckle etc

for a couple of years i had to resort to using planks, metal poles, turning the tiles upside down and lots more techniques which i now rather forget about, quite a few plants didnt make it and came down , helped by deer jumping on them and the dog of course, not to forget the fact that snails just love the upturned rooftiles, but then so do frogs and toads and voles and snakes, so i take the good with the bad.

i am now in the process of slowly removing most of them, as they are not needed much any more.

i put in 2 honeysuckle- Lonicera Halliana- , or ‘The Beasts’, as they are now known but they certainly helped with the stabilizing, they havent flowered much and need a lot of looking after!! as the cliffs are so dry but all the plants together are now at the stage where they are creating their own mini climate zone, and they provide shade for each other
each year the vegetation becomes that bit more lush.
One surprise was the mint i planted, i never for one moment expected that to do well in such a blazing, hot and dry bed, but it went rampant!
and i am still experimentign with more plants, as there is another piece of cliff to be filled in, but that had some cotoneaster horizontalis stuck in it 4 years back, and left to its own devices totally, seems nevertheless to have sort of established itself, as this is a cliff behind the blind north wall of the house, where it is hardly visible, it can do its own thing as i am fed up with clambering and hanging upside down like a monkey tyrying to persuade things to please grow there huh!

this next one was actually taken well over a year before the previous one but i cannt seem to change photos around, never mind

all in all it has been a very worth while experiment, but one never to be repeated, thank goodness
horizontal gardening is a lot easier!

More blog posts by resi

Previous post: New rose garden nearly ready.

Next post: Herb garden



What an amazing project! Well done.

25 Jul, 2011


Wow! you did work hard this is very inspirational, it just goes to show where there is a will there is a way. Well done you!

25 Jul, 2011


Fantastic acheivement. Well done.

25 Jul, 2011


Gracious Resi, you've done really well. What a horrendous task to take on, but now it's all looking great. You deserve a rest now!

25 Jul, 2011


That looked a daunting task but you seem to have overcome it, well done Resi, it looks great......

25 Jul, 2011


brilliant job, well done

25 Jul, 2011


What a challenge that cliff must have been! Wow... I'm going to be planting a rock wall that's all sand...need something that will establish quickly and survive serious cold... any suggestions? How did you pic your plants for the cliffside? Love your view of the valley too... lucky person,you!

25 Jul, 2011


Very nice and worth the effort :o) And you've got a lovely view aswell

26 Jul, 2011


You've tackled that really well! It looks amazing now - and what a view from your bench!

26 Jul, 2011


thank you goys for all your lovely comments.
a challenge it was and a daunting one, but it was a very good thing , as i mentioned somewhere before , that i had no idea what it was i was really tackling.
andof course the satisfaction level was and still is there, every time i look at it and as we look out at both cliffs from our terrace as well as from the french doors on one side of the kitchen , where we spend most of our indoor time!, i get a lot of that LOL

actually at the moment we have had so much rain that the whole garden is beginning to take on a surreal look, yes it is beginning to have that definite english greenish look about it, lush is the word to describe it , and that normally happens only in march and april, not this year though!
my pond is full, slug and snail orgies everywhere, especially under the upturned roof tiles!! strawberries growing enormous, the hedge isnt dying back yet amazingly, the grass and the clover in it are still growing -even more amazing that, normally brown and dead this time for months - the dogwoods are refusing to turn bronze and havent fallen yet, fungus coming up, fungus related allergies starting up
i can feel a rain blog coming on...
Lori your rockwall, is it shady or sunny and does it get lots of water running down it from above, and is it an existing rocky wall or one you make up yourself oh and probably a stupid question but what did you mean by 'pic the plants for my cliffside?' photograph them or plant them or choose them?? some days the english side of my brain refuses cooperation, today being one of them, is probably the rain doing my head in, in a positive way though as i love it, going out in it again right now.... squelch squelch
ps how is the weather doing your way Nariz?

26 Jul, 2011


love it...nothing like squelching wellies! I meant how did your choose the plants?...did your neighbours advise what would grow or not? or did you talk to goY members? The only plant I'm sure will grow well here is the rockcress...creeping plox. I'm not sure the soil is good enough for thyme. it's a very quick draining sand, quite heavy. it is partially shaded in the late afternoon and it's above the there is drainage toward the stream but the runoff is in small increments except in spring..when the steam is swollen with snow melt. I have windflowers, poppies, and hosta planted and the hosta are loving it!! will have to post a pic of them with their wonderful blooms.

26 Jul, 2011


that is absolutely brilliant, well done,

26 Jul, 2011


you have no snails or slugs??
i had a think and a trail, how about these little ones...
creeping willow - alix reticulata , you could even grow some bulbs through them
some of the low growing mountain gentians, or the Alpine Forget-me-not -Myosotis alpestris.
primroses and cowslips , Saxifraga 'Iranica', some
honeysuckles, creeping instead of climbing.
good luck and dont forget to post the before and after piccies svp

i started out with colour coordinated planting ideas for the slopes and searched in all my books and internet for ideas and tips, asked neighbours etc
taking into account that watering is very difficult as pointing a hose , however gentle, makes soil roll down instantly, so steep.
well so much for scientific planting, most of the stuff i planted died, dried up and frizzled to nothing and tearing my hair out at times i resorted to just about anything and called it experimenting!!
to start with i left and encouraged all the weeds, esp the clovers, silver weeds or potentillas, bindweed does a brilliant job and if i broke most of the stems of before flowering i had some sort of control there.
they are all very good at binding the soil and i planted my plants in between them, so they had some shade...sort of!
whatever i cld lay my hands on went in and if it survived it got to stay, if not it went on my 'banned' list.
seeds dont work at all apart from the odd love in the mist or maybe a poppy or two
white valerian is great, just trying some red valerian now, why not before??

most of the french garden in totally different ways from me and have neat and ordened gardens , not really my cup of tea although i like it in other peoples gardens LOL

just come back from the big town and Mr. Bricololage and bought brick/stones for the paths in between my raised herb beds, yes 'bought' , not many things i buy as most of my garden stuff is recycled, but this time something had to give..

26 Jul, 2011


Wow... thanks Resi! I have the silverweed, I think. it's quite pretty. Going to try to find some Artemisia ludoviciana.
The place where I want to start a large flower garden is to the right of my front has been so dry the the sod (what there was of it) can be rolled up like a rug! and underneath there are GRUBS!! chewing away on what's left! I know this because the raccoons have found them...raccoon escargot! I leave water in a shallow dish...finger bowls..he he... for them and they are doing an excellent job of eating up all the pests! love it when nature works in my favour! Will post a won't believe the mess. once I've removed all the dry sod I'm going to compost it...and work some peat moss into the soil. The I think I'll broadcast some flax seed...mixed in with a meadow seed mix which includes daisies, alyssum, Bachelor Buttons, Butterfly weed, Candytuft, Columbine, Cosmos, purple coneflower marigold, poppy and coreopsis. like the creeping honeysuckle idea and that reminded me to look for cotoneaster... do you have it? would it work for you?
I went to a local stone merchant near my other garden and he told me he had an area where he kept the overage from custom jobs and he was selling it off at 1/3 the regular price... I got great pavers 6x6x2 for next to my pond...the pics are still on my other page...and did a good sized area quite inexpensively! I was desperate because I had planned to use pea gravel for my walkways and the soil kept gobbling it up..had to rake it all the time or it would disappear!...and next time you're at the bricolage ask if he has discontinued or overages you might find something you could use at a good price. and a penny saved..can go to buying more plants!!!!

26 Jul, 2011


the flower garden by the front door sounds so lovely, i like your flower mix in there.
am looking forward to your raccoon, escargot, finger
bowls blog!!!
good luck with the Artemesia Lud. that one was on my banned list, after a spectacular failing! i had great hopes for it!
yes i have cotoneaster horizontalis on the cliffs, doing well but ever so slowwwwwww
i have had a lot of my stones from our local stone yard, also overage like yours, they used to throw their offcuts over the top of a hill and we cld go and help ourselves!! but they dont seem to do it anymore, such a shame.

i dont want anymore peagravel if i can help it, we had so much of it for our drive and the walkways around the house, it took them 3 lorries to bring it all
i just want a different texture in there now and the little, old red bricks are lovely and just right for the herb garden
i will have a look at your old site for the pond pavers now, your gardens are giving me lots of ideas.
hows your early morning, fluffy slippers walkway coming on ;- ))
are you using your deck a lot, inbetween jobs?
i hope your husband is recovering well Lori.
just taking Jesse for a last walk now and seeing if the glowworms are still there, even in the rain we are having they keep shining.

26 Jul, 2011


Weather has been a little 'iffy' looking, Resi, but no rain. We've been watering the garden with a hose for the last week or so. We keep getting sudden 'waves' of heat and expect a storm, but nothing appears! Then it cools down for evening - just when I'm all showered and in a 'G&T on the balcony' mood! Woken this morning to clear skies so it looks like another scorcher. Hmmm, the neighbour's pool may need to be checked out. ;o) No bears in there!

27 Jul, 2011


Fantastic project Resi, it looks really great, wonderful colour and plant varieties as well. Worth all the work as you say. I can't get the picutre of you hanging upside down doing your planting though :-) All my gardening is on the flat which means I have to use variable plant heights to make it interesting, as I really am not into building bunkers!! We look up and along the valley at the mountains for our views. In the Ariege/Aude we have much much too much rain at the really is a case of be careful what you wish for...squelch.....:-))

27 Jul, 2011


thanks Yorkshire, Nariz , long may your neighbours pool stay 'bearfree', just imagine LOL
i have swum with snakes in our pool, unbeknow i hasten to say! only noticed a western whip in with me after i climbed out and looked down at the water., funny sensation that.
and Troddles, i didnt do all my work upside down hehe but sometimes i cld only reach the middle bits from the top, otherwise the soil would come down if i climbed on it.
thank goodness, that time is over and the combined roots are doing a good job of holding the soil together now, mostly ;-(
i am now loving my gardening on the flat

28 Jul, 2011


That looks very good, just shows thw wait can be worthwhile.

29 Feb, 2012


I've been very lazy this winter so far and have not done the amount of research that I had hoped to accomplish. Must get busy as it's March already...and now we start to get snow! Our winter weather has been bizarre! Temps have been milder than usual. So the blog about the raccoons and grub fingerbowls will be along sometime soon, I hope. Just saw Terry60's pics of snow in the Sabine you have snow in France and Spain?

2 Mar, 2012


hi there Lori, you made it through your canadian freeze?
We have been having a lovely last week, all sun and blue sky, and temps in the 20s, it really feels like spring.
but we had thick snow and temps of -12C 2 weeks ago, for about a week, our normal cold snaps dont last longer than the odd day.
i have been starting up my herb garden project again and B has nearly finished his new pond, he made it smaller from 8m x 4m to about 4m x 4m, all by hand!! now just planting in and around it, that will be a project in itself.
Looking forward to seeing ur blog re raccoons and grub fingerbowls!

4 Mar, 2012


I see you exchanging gardening ideas with Lori in Canada. We gardeners live in such varied places climatewise. There could not be 2 such different climate driven problems. You have heat and dryness and probably a mild winter and Lori has heat at times and a long snowy winter. UK has whatever gets thrown at us. All three of us have rain, which is lingering, and getting annoying, as it interferes with complicated garden projects. We have done our big project many years ago and are too 'full of years' now to do anything but try to maintain the status quo. Good luck with all your efforts.

28 Apr, 2012


One of the reasons i like GOY is to see the totally different conditions people cope with and gardens thrive on and all the different problems and victories that i never even dreamt of, which exist out there. I hope you are not still on your wheels Dorjac - backwards! - i am still in the process of reading your blogs in a rather haphazard way so i am not really up to date there.

28 Apr, 2012


My wheels are resting at the moment Resi. My left ankle is still grumbling. I have to get on with it. I am just about keeping up with the garden. We do have a bit of help with grass cutting and odd bits I can't reach or have the strength for. Jack is 82 and not very active so I have plenty to do. There have been some marvellous Italian gardens hosted by Monti Don.....I hope you could look at them on BBC I player.

28 Apr, 2012


we dont have access to bbc i player i am afraid, not for non uk residents!! but we have a satelite dish and can get uk tv that way. i assumed that the italian gardens and monty were a repeat of last years so i didnt actually watch them again, hope i didnt miss something there

28 Apr, 2012


I just managed to catch up on 2 I missed first time round. Those old competitive popes liked a nice steep incline to install their waterfalls and fountains.

29 Apr, 2012

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