landscaping using a burm

Discussion in 'Garden Design and Plant Suggestions' started by rashena, Dec 11, 2007.

  1. rashena

    rashena Member

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    very recently our front yard was dug up to repair a broken water main. the bob cat left a pile of dirt which i thought i would use as a burm, as we live on a busy traffic street. does anyone know of a good web site showing pictures for ideas for doing what i mentioned. rashena_arlotta@yahoo.ca
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    'Berm', if you want to do a web search!
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Dump it where you want it and rake to shape. Rocks and sticks that pop up during raking can be removed at that time, if desired.
     
  4. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    If you find the pictures, how will you tell the good designs from the potentially faulty ones?

    Almost all photos posted for that kind of display look good.

    But which ones are really the best choices?
     
  5. growing4it

    growing4it Active Member 10 Years

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    The pile of dirt that was left by the watermain work may not be, is likely not, good planting topsoil. However, the dirt pile will make a good base for your berm and the topsoil that you spread over it for your plants. The BC Landscape Standards recommends a minimum topsoil depth of 30cm for groundcovers and 45cm for shrubs and 30cm on allsides of tree rootballs - under and the sides.

    When shaping your berm think about where your front property line is. You should propbably keep your berm on your property and not on the boulevard/sidewalk/road. Soil can't be piled too high with too steep sides or it looks unnatural and odd. You may also want to think about the edge of your berm - how does it meet the flat part of your yard?

    Stand across the street and look at your front yard. You could even take a picture (I love digital cameras!!!) and start drawing on the picure. Is there a part of the front yard that you want to screen or hide to create privacy? Is there a part of your front yard that you want to see - like your front door and address? Think about where to put the highpoint of your berm and where you put tall plants like a tree or shrubs.

    Do you know any BC Master Gardeners? or perhaps you could chat with your local garden centre staff for their opinions on your design.

    Good Luck, I hope this helps!
     
  6. rashena

    rashena Member

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    thanks soo very much for all the thoughts you gave me. some i had already thunk of , but some were new to me. THANKS !
     
  7. unther

    unther Active Member

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    >If you find the pictures, how will you tell the good designs from the potentially faulty ones?

    >Almost all photos posted for that kind of display look good.

    >But which ones are really the best choices?[/QUOTE]

    There's a good book entitled _Rock Garden Design and Construction_ published by Timber Press that has an entire chapter on berms. You may be able to find a copy at a good library or a good book store. It has a lot of good information on helping you to keep your berm from looking like a fresh grave.
     
  8. unther

    unther Active Member

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    >The pile of dirt that was left by the watermain work may not be, is likely not, good planting topsoil. However, the dirt pile will make a good base for your berm and the topsoil that you spread over it for your plants. The BC Landscape Standards recommends a minimum topsoil depth of 30cm for groundcovers and 45cm for shrubs and 30cm on allsides of tree rootballs - under and the sides.

    Don't be too quick to condemn your subsoil. It's where all the good minerals are that plants need. Look at most natural soils and you'll easily see that there will be a relatively thin layer of organic material overlying a predominantly mineral material. This will be particularly true there in Kelowna. Also think about what is meant by "topsoil." While this usually refers to the aforementioned organic layer, here in NW OR, I've seen sandy loam or some mix of sandy loam and compost being sold as "topsoil." Before you choose what to use to overlay the berm, decide what you want to plant on it. Different kinds of plants will want different kinds of soil.
     
  9. rashena

    rashena Member

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    thanks for the book suggestion. i agree looking at pictures is great in some ways, but the actual construction is critical for maintaining what "looks great". thanks again
     
  10. Benchmark

    Benchmark Member

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    We have a steep berm for the purpose of reducing traffic noise and privacy. I have found that there are several ecologies on the berm. The sun side and the deep shady side created by the berm itself. On the shady side, I have planted sweet woodruff and sword ferns. Also there is a top dry ecology and a bottom damp ecology. The first plantings must consider plants which will protect from rain and watering erosion. When the larger plants have established a root system, it isn't such an issue.
     
  11. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Native soil depth and fertility varies markedly with site. Putting loose topsoil with high organic content under newly installed trees is undesirable as they will sink as the topsoil compacts.
     
  12. Scubaman2151

    Scubaman2151 Member

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    About the soil discussion, ask your local soil and water office to come out and check your soil. Some will even do this for free, they will tell you how much of each chemical is in the soil and the Ph level. After this is done you can then decide what to plant.

    Scuba
     

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