Lori Ziemba

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since Jan 19, 2015
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Recent posts by Lori Ziemba

Thanks!  Lots to think about.
2 months ago

Scott Stiller wrote:Maybe a Daphne shrub. They’re pretty small and could hang out in the understory of larger plants. They don’t enjoy a lot of light and are the first plants to bloom here in February. Zone 7b. The blooms smell like Fruity Pebbles!



Don't know how'd they do in zone 10b, but they're poisonous and there's pets and a kid in the building.  What I really need is help laying out the garden.  I would love for someone to draw over my illustration, placing plants where they should go.  Here's a photo of the space:
2 months ago

Mk Neal wrote:Think of how you will experience this garden.  Do you want to be able to sit under the tree, or in the center of the garden and be surrounded by plants on all sides?  Or do you want to fill the whole space with layers of plants to provide a pleasant view from the house?  Any eyesores you want to screen out with taller plants, or views you want to highlight or frame?



I'd like to sit in the middle, more or less.  The area is surrounded by the house, LOL.  There's no view except for blank house walls.  The plants would be the view.  It might be nice to screen out the rest of the yard to the north, to create a private spot.
2 months ago

Mk Neal wrote:I always love walking through the gardens out in San Francsico, but have never lived in that climate so am not sure what plants do best.  Why not take a stroll through Russian Hill or down around Pine Grove Park and see what people have growing in their yards? You could also get suggestions at the Botanical gardens.



I have a pretty good list of smaller plants.  What I really need is help with design, i.e.-placing things to make a pleasing whole.  Guess I'm better at the trees, rather than the forest!  I would love for someone to take my drawing and add in plants in their proper placements.
2 months ago
Hi all,
I'm trying to do something with the backyard of my building.  The building itself is 3 stories high, and borders the west and south sides of the yard.  My neighbor's house is 2 stories, and borders the east side.  To the north is a 7' wood fence.  There's lots of light, but only a few hours of sun in the morning, in the summer, when it's actually sunny.  In addition, there is a 30' cedar tree which shades the north end of the plot.  A lot of the summer is overcast (I'm right at the beach, in San Francisco).  I'm in zone 10b, Sunset zone 17.  No snow or freezing, rarely gets above 75, altho we do have some hot days.  No rain from May through October, but I can water.

I'd like to build a little forest garden around the cedar tree.  Sort of like a glade in the forest type of thing.  I'd like an open central area where I could put a bench or a chair, and sit and read or knit.  

Most of my experience is in growing food.  I've never designed an ornamental garden.  I need help in picking plants and in placing them.  I'd like it to be colorful and smell nice.  I'm thinking coleus, caladiums, begonias, astilbe, bleeding heart, ferns, flowering maple, Scotch moss, honeysuckle.  I need ideas for height, like a small, pretty tree that flowers or has pretty colors.  Japanese maple?  FLowering cherry? Maybe something that gives fall color, altho that can be dicey here, since it doesn't get cold.

I drew this sketch of the plot, with the measurements added.
2 months ago
Hi all,
I'm trying to do something with the backyard of my building.  The building itself is 3 stories high, and borders the west and south sides of the yard.  My neighbor's house is 2 stories, and borders the east side.  To the north is a 7' wood fence.  There's lots of light, but only a few hours of sun in the morning, in the summer.  That's when it's actually sunny.  In addition, there is a 30' cedar tree which shades the north end of the plot.  A lot of the summer is overcast (I'm right at the beach, in San Francisco).  I'm in zone 10b, Sunset zone 17.  No snow or freezing, rarely gets above 75, altho we do have some hot days.  No rain from May through October, but I can water.

I'd like to build a little forest garden around the cedar tree.  Sort of like a glade in the forest type of thing.  I'd like an open central area where I could put a bench or a chair, and sit and read or knit.  

Most of my experience is in growing food.  I've never designed an ornamental garden.  I need help in picking plants and in placing them.  I'd like it to be colorful and smell nice.  I'm thinking coleus, caladiums, begonias, astilbe, bleeding heart, ferns, flowering maple, Scotch moss, honeysuckle.  I need ideas for height, like a small, pretty tree that flowers or has pretty colors.  Japanese maple?  FLowering cherry? Maybe something that gives fall color, altho that can be dicey here, since it doesn't get cold.

I drew this sketch of the plot, with the measurements added.
2 months ago

Kate Muller wrote:

Jeremy Baker wrote:?
That’s a tough situation to be in . Good luck and best wishes. I just take miniature sized bites at a time these days. And get a surprising amount done.



This is exactly what I have spent the last 2 years learning to do.  In my case I have a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.




I have it, too.  It's a bitch, isn't it?
11 months ago

Jain Anderson wrote:
Our area is blessed with a 'bark' plant that takes the outer bark from logged trees and sifts it into different sizes for garden use. One would think that pine bark would be acidic, but its actually alkaline so do check how those wood chips are effecting your soil besides providing moisture barrier and potential soil conditioning.



Hmmm, you mean get the soil tested?  I've been thinking of doing that, because the stuff I planted in the "new" plot did so much better than the stuff I planted in my "old" plot.  I have no idea what kind of woodchips they are.  They're always different.  We just get a truckload dumped for free whenever we ask.  
1 year ago

Jo Hunter wrote:

In the meantime, I do the same as Jay and put down pieces of old cardboard/landscape plastic to attract them, then in the morning feed them to the chickens and ducks. I've done this for about 2 weeks, and I'm finding fewer and fewer and seeing a lot less damage.



I have done this in the past, but the problem is it's a community garden, and it's not that close to my house.  So I only get up there twice a week.  I can't check on it every day.  So I don't know if making a home for them is a good idea in that situation.  My thoughts were more along the lines of making it a PITA for them to get to my plot.  I could maybe put a board down in the empty plot next to it, but it would probably get moved.
1 year ago