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Developing a Turkish Oasis garden using Shoot's garden planner

Shoot member Simon is building a garden oasis in Turkey. The garden is still being developed and Simon turned to Shoot to help plan out the space using our newly improved garden planner software.

About Simon's garden

The garden is on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, in a protected area of natural and archaeological beauty. It is in a small village, where most of the locals have a farming heritage, so we have no shortage of expertise on how to deal with the local species. It's about 200m above sea level and about 1km or so to walk to the beach. We have 300 days of sun a year with plenty of rain in winter, but a severe water shortage during July and August, so we need species that can tolerate no water for a few months of the year.

Developing a Turkish Oasis garden using Shoot's garden planner

Development of Simon's garden

We got the land several years ago when it was mainly just a massive pile of rocks. Over the last few years we have built all the walls and terraces (about 700m2) using the rocks from the garden and then last year we built the house and driveway using the same rocks. Now the rocks are gone and we can see we have a lovely rich, red coloured loamy soil.

Developing a Turkish Oasis garden using Shoot's garden planner

Plants and trees original to the garden

We also managed to preserve all the original trees and most of the shrubs (Olive, Mulberry, Almond, Pomegranate, Karoub). We have since planted a lot more, maybe 200, consisting of oranges, lemons, bouganvilea, melissa, avocado, loquat, walnut, pine, lavender, rosemary etc. But the garden still looks bare! We tried grass this spring and it grew a lawn in about a week, but then the drought came and it 90% dies off except in the heavily shaded areas.

Developing a Turkish Oasis garden using Shoot's garden planner

Simon's dream garden once developed

Our dream is to make a really beautiful garden, mostly consisting or plants with a purpose (eating, smell, flowers, herbs etc). We already have quite a lot of veg growing  (aubergine, pumpkins, beans, tomatoes, onions, pepper, oranges, pomegranate, lemons, berries (raspberries, but not sure!) garlic and Okra. Long term we will grow more food plants as they grow so well and the variety is excellent.  Our aim is to keep everything as natural as possible. Use local stone or cedar for any construction. Deploy as many native species as possible, but a lot from Africa have now been localised in Turkey.

Developing a Turkish Oasis garden using Shoot's garden planner

What Simon was looking for when he found Shoot

I was looking for something to help me plan what plants to use and to model some garden features such as walkways, trellises and pergolas etc. I found Shoot reading the reviews on best garden design apps. In the end the ‘Which’ review seemed to be the most useful and directed us to Shoot.

Developing a Turkish Oasis garden using Shoot's garden planner

How Simon created his garden plan using Shoot's improved garden planner

I started my plan based on the land survey from local government, plus the view from Google earth. I uploaded those images and by overlaying both in Shoot meant I was able to get the exact dimensions and see all the main features and translate them into Shoot. I could then plot out the location of all the planting on top.

Simon's garden plan using Shoot garden design software

What Simon likes most about Shoot

The plant species database is the best I have come across and this is key as many competitors don't have the plants we have in real life, so they end up just being a drawing tool, which wasn't what we needed. The drawing interface on Shoot is quite workable, but sometimes a little unpredictable in how it behaves and not a smooth as some of the competition - but in the end, it's the ability to recognise the real plant species which is fundamentally important. I also think the automatically generated tasks diary is very powerful and makes it easy to plan what work needs to be done.

Plant list in Simon's garden

In addition to the plants listed below, Simon has used our plant request factility to ask we add these new plants for him: Tamus communis (black bryony), Porrulacaria Afra and Dombeya burgessiae

Thymus vulgaris
Juglans regia
Olea europaea
Pinus pinea
Salvia officinalis
Fortunella japonica
Cupressus sempervirens 'Green Pencil'
Eriobotrya japonica
Ensete ventricosum
Cucurbita pepo (any summer squash variety)
Nerium oleander
Petunia 'Melissa' (Tumbelina Series)
Abelmoschus esculentus
Solanum melongena 'Black Beauty'
Rosmarinus officinalis
Prunus dulcis
Bougainvillea glabra
Persea americana
Cupressus macrocarpa 'Wilma'
Citrus sinensis
Rosa 'Geranium Red'
Punica granatum 'Mollar de Elche'
Ficus carica
Morus alba
Citrus x limon
Lavandula x chaytoriae 'Gorgeous'
Prunus armeniaca 'Alfred'
Ceratonia siliqua

Simon would love any suggestions from members on drought tolerant species that he could consider for the garden. Please suggest some here.

We hope to get an update from Simon in the future as his garden develops into his dream!