Initial Garden Design for Tillellan


tilly garden ppThis was a rough design I made for the back garden some time ago.

It has morphed a little as I have had to add other considerations to the design, but its not altered much in relation to the positioning of the main trees and structures. This is mainly because my original reasoning behind their situations was determined by the movement of the Sun during the year, the slope of the block, the predominant wind direction and distance from the house.

This rough drawing flowed quite easily. Further renditions of this design have caused me  a little more anxiety or frustration as I have added more thoughts and considerations. Following this paralysis from over analysis I have found it better to get out into the garden and quietly walk around or just start digging and observing. Stepping back in my mind and looking with new eyes. Answers usually come. If not directly, usually at 4 am in the morning.

The top of the drawing is the highest point of the block. Some of the challenges I have faced in endeavouring to fine tune the measurements of the design are the slope of the block and the fact that the block fans out at the back in a wedge shape.

Overall, the aspect of sunshine is fantastic. The back of the block is bathed in full sun during the main daylight hours. So in consideration of this I have placed deciduous trees closer to the house, so that when bare in Winter, they allow light to pass through to those trees and plants further up the block.

The pond is positioned to make the most of gravity near the top of the block and also to shelter it from the hottest hours of sunlight, particularly during Summer.

I will no doubt submit further designs to show how it has evolved from this initial concept.


6 thoughts on “Initial Garden Design for Tillellan

  1. TWO avocados and TWO figs! That’s a lot of avocados, although it looks like they have limited space to be confined to. I mean, they will not overwhelm is kept small. It has been so long since I have worked with avocados, so I still think of them as big orchard trees. I suppose I should become acquainted with some of the compact cultivars, or those grafted onto dwarfing rootstocks, before I select a tree of my own. I have fourteen stock fig trees, and will need to limit my home garden to only two of those options! That will not be easy. I sort of narrowed it down to three, black (‘Mission’), white and (‘Italian’) honey, but can not decide which one of those three to eliminate. I will probably pass on the white fig (nameless), just because it grows into such a big and open but less productive (because of the openness) tree. Is the mulberry a tree that will be confined by pruning, or a shrubby form?


    1. Hi Tony, I have a Striped Fig which is doing well and the Mulberry is a Shatoot which I plan to keep trimmed as it will be in the chicken yard. The chicken yard is going to be two compartments so I can alternate which side the ‘chooks’ go into. I have a friend who has very compact avocadoes that she has grown from seed and which in companion with the other avocadoes in the immediate area, are very well pollinated and with favourable crops. I plan to plant out many avocadoes so that I can choose which ones to keep. I just realised that you are looking at the labels on the garden design – so there are many more avocadoes trees planned but not all will remain, and the figs will be pruned. Closer to the back of the block I will allow the trees to shape up a little more naturally. P.S. What a choice you have to make from 14 to 2! Regards, J

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      1. Compact avocados from seed in interesting. There are so many more cultivars nowadays that I am not familiar with. I remember a dwarf cultivar many years ago, but it was grafted (from adult growth). I do not know how true to type it is from seed, or if it goes through the juvenile phase like all the avocados I grew up with do. Many of us kids grew avocado seeds in the early 1970s, but they grew very tall an very lanky through their juvenile phase before fruiting many years later. No one knew what the fruit was going to be like until then. Fortunately, they all made good fruit. The problem was that it was so high up. It would be nice to be able to grow more small trees of different cultivars rather than one or two big trees. In my former neighborhood, single trees did reasonably well because there were other trees reasonably close by in other gardens.


      2. Hi Tony. I completely acknowledge that it will remain a mystery until the trees are mature. It is indeed an experiment that is not so much grounded in science, but I guess is more to do with the ‘feel’ of the event of growing and seeing what occurs. I’ve grown quite smitten by their big, smooth seeds and the shape and colours of their leaves that it seems a waste to throw the seed away. Even when we do, on the odd occasion, it goes into the compost and inevitably at some point – grows!

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      3. My best peach tree grew from a seed in a compost pile. The best avocados I grew up with started in a Dixie cup on a kitchen window sill. Cultivars are great for those of us who know exactly what we want, but there are certain advantages to the unknown as well.


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