Ideas for a new garden please

Joined: May 8th, 2018, 1:23 am

May 8th, 2018, 1:27 am #1

Please help me design my garden- I am moving to a house soon with a north facing garden which gets sun in the lower half of the garden. I am planning to get rid of the 2 large green bushes/ trees on the right hand side to get more sun. Things I would like are- some flowering creepers, a vegetable patch/ raised bed, a lawn, fragrant plants and some all year plants that can give some structure during winter months. A bit of gravel to add texture would be nice too. Have looked online and there are so many ideas just getting confused, don’t want to overcrowd it either.I am new to gardening and would like to make the most of it!
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Jane_T
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May 8th, 2018, 8:04 am #2

Do you have the dimensions?  The brick circle you already have suggests at some point someone had a structure which has been lost over the years.

My back garden is north facing and the one thing from your list which you will probably have problems with is the lawn as where you will probably want to grow veg and sit is when the grass will do best.  If you want a "green patch" you could use Astroturf which does not care about having full sun. Perhaps in the existing circle with gravel and planting around it.

Personally I would take out all the overgrown shrubs and then "live" with the space for a while, till you can work out where the sunny and shady bits are.  Pop in some marker canes for the shadows.  Most Veg does best in full sun, so any raised bed would probably need to go on the south facing fence where the shed is now

Up near the house in the shady spaces you can have some lovely shade loving plants .
Jane

"Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad."
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kitty58
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May 8th, 2018, 8:11 am #3

Hi and 
leaves.gif

It would help if we had some dimensions. I'd also get rid of the fir at the end and have the roots killed off. It will be taking up a lot of the water. 

I'm not a landscape gardener and from my own experience it is difficult, and often costly if it doesn't work, to create an instant garden. If that was my garden I'd clear the existing grass and re sow with grass seed suitable for shady areas. I'd gravel the key shape area enclosed by bricks. You can put lovely pots on it to provide colour through the year and have a pleasant place to sit. Create slightly deeper borders. Put a trellis on the sunny side and plant a long flowering clematis. Taylors Clematis is a fantastic site to work out which would be best. Pop in a couple of Hidcote lavender bushes for all for scent and of course theyare evergreen. Maybe a few heucheras that are evergreen. Fill the rest of the space with long flowering annuals/bedding plants. For the shady side Just look at perennials that like shade and choose a couple you fancy. There maybe evem be a clematis suitable on the Taylors site. I have clematis freckles, evergreen with small flowers over winter and a rose called goldfinch which rarely see the sun. Are you replacing the shed? I would create a raised bed for veg towards the house side. 

I don't know if this is of any help but I do believe you should start small and let your garden evolve seeing what does or doesn't grow in it. Good luck and just keep asking us questions 



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Joined: May 8th, 2018, 1:23 am

May 8th, 2018, 10:07 am #4

Hello Jane, thank you so much for your reply. The dimensions of the garden are roughly 4m x 10m (13’ 8” x 32’). I like the low maintenance factor of the astrotruf but also like to have real grass where I can walk bare feet and enjoy the smells when it rains etc etc. 😊 I am planning to take out the 2 big green shurbs from the right hand side and the shed. I think that wall facing south would be ideal for growing vegetable. You highlight the circular bit at the front – laying gravel there sounds good however, I will not get any sun in that part of the garden as it will always be in the shadow of the house. May be I should see how the sun moves and how it feels after removing the big shurbs. Do you know what the red flowering shrub is and if its worth keeping, may be its moved to the end of the garden so its not blocking any west sun onto the ’lawn’ area.
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Joined: May 8th, 2018, 1:23 am

May 8th, 2018, 10:10 am #5

Hello Kitty, thank you for a warm welcome and some absolutely wonderful suggestions. The dimensions of the garden are roughly 4m x 10m (13’ 8” x 32’). I will get rid of the large shurbs on the right side along with the shed as that’s where I’d get most sun in the garden. I appreciate your comment regarding instand garden. As a first timer its easy to get lured by amazing pictures of the gardens online but it probably takes a few years to get to that stage. 😊 agree with resowing the grass. Do you think resowing will work or should I go for turf laying? Not sure if it would be worth the expense? Re. graveling the circular shape – it will never receive direct sun so in that aspect it makes sense however would we sit there if it never receives direct sun…I will take onboard your suggestions regarding plants selections – I think most of them will work here. I like the approach of starting small and not aiming for an ‘instant garden as shown in lot of TV programmes. Would like to work on it and then feel proud to have put grown it all by myself. 😊
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kitty58
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May 8th, 2018, 11:25 am #6

Hi again stars and fireflies. (btw love the name). The tv instant gardens cost thousands if not 10s of thousands!!!!!!. The reason I suggested grass seed is you can select one that is particularly designed for shady areas. Turf at garden centers tends to be pretty basic but you could order from a specialist company. The other reason the current lawn is patchy is down to the shrubs. Not only do they cast shade but they will have an extensive root system that takes water and nutrients for the soil. There are probably roots running close to the surface. If you were to spend money I'd hire a firm to come and dig the shrubs and roots out and that would give a good foundation for a new lawn. I suggested stones for the key hole shape because it would add texture which is what you wanted . If you got white chippings it would brighten up the garden. Then you could place bright pots on it and create a Mediterranean feel It could cost maybe just do the circular area. I rarely spend a lot on plants. I go to the 'sick bed' and pick them up at the end of their flowering season and plant them ready for next year Garden centres often reduce plants to clear the shelves. Do make sure they are healthy though. Do keep asking if there is anything you want to know.

Here some ideas of pots, oh and you can paint your own. Just treat yourself to one, maybe two a year

EDIT. Just read yu want to know the name of the shrub with red leaves. I think it is 
Mediterranean 1f3ff673074a5b38cb60e7305bfdcc9a--mediterranean-garden-painted-pots.jpg



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kitty58
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May 8th, 2018, 12:03 pm #7

OO you might like this. One of my pots with trailing begonia. There are three plants in it middle front and middle sides. Bright, cheerful and lasts until the first frosts

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 If there is anywhere that gets the sun most of the day Budleja jaz is compact and attracts butterflies

Budlja.jpg



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Jane_T
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May 8th, 2018, 5:17 pm #8

I am with Kitty on the Fir,  if it's not on your Hit list I would add it.  Your neighbour at the back will also thank you I am sure.

As I said I would get the Shrubs and the tree out and then check what the light levels are.  You might be pleasantly surprised when the Sun is high in the summer.
Jane

"Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad."
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Taffy
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May 12th, 2018, 6:56 pm #9

A little late with a reply, but I was watching with interest the ideas put forward.
I don't like rushing into a garden that is new to you till you have had time to see just what grows there.
I would agree about the conifer at the end of the garden, looks as if it could be a leylandii that has been clipped lower down but left to grow on the top, as they can make 60ft and more not the thing for a small garden.
the Bushes nearer the house are on the left as Kitty said Photinia red robin with a spotted laurel in front of it.
The Photinia could be pruned so that you clean up the trunk so growth starts about 6ft up and then you keep the top pruned to hold it back, it does give you good colour in spring.
On the other side you have a nice one that I would try to keep, that is the one with the catkins, that's a Garrys elliptica  https://davisla.wordpress.com/2011/03/0 ... elliptica/  They can make a lovely small tree. Again I would remove all the lower growth back to bare trunk/s. This will give you a lot of lower light and make it much more of a specimen.
I may be wrong but it looks to me as if your garden runs roughly West to East, so you do have a bit of a problem if you want to be able to sit out in the sunshine and have a sunny site for your veg as I think the house will shade a lot of your garden in the afternoon and evening, making the bottom of the garden the only part getting sunshine later in the day.
Whilst the feature in the centre is asking to be put down to paving or gravel or some form of hard standing I'd test it to find out if it has any good soil. If it has then it could make an interesting veg plot growing

circular veg garden.jpg
The shed if in reasonable condition could be painted, and would give you a place for storing your barbecue and tools, garden furniture etc, try a climbing rose against it, or a peach tree or some form of climbing fruit like a loganberry, you could then have your seating area close to it with again climbing roses or some other climbers along the back fence.
I'm afraid I would be wary of Budleija in a small garden, there are dwarf forms but they can still make 6ft or so and are bushy, getting rid of the light you need lower down.
But first do use a spade to find out where you have any depth of soil and what it is like.
Enough for now or this will end up as a book.
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kitty58
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May 13th, 2018, 8:15 am #10

I love that idea for the veg garden Taffy. I have two patio budlejas and to be honest I wouldn't bother. Although great for butterflies I find the base of the cluster flower (flower spike) begins to die before the tip is in full colour and it looks quite ugly. I'm actually getting rid of mine.



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May 13th, 2018, 9:22 pm #11

Hello and welcome, in the past we have had small skinny gardens like this.  My advice would be to break it up by making circular lawns and beds, this gives it interest and makes it looks wider.  Think about breaking it up with trellis; plant hedges etc.  Also consider planting trees such as Birch, Rowen and apple, pear cordons on fences can look great.  Not sure where you live but we've gardened in Essex in the past with a garden very much like you have and grew grapes, very successfully on the fences which always was a talking point.
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Joined: May 8th, 2018, 1:23 am

May 14th, 2018, 12:32 am #12

Foxcub wrote: Hello and welcome, in the past we have had small skinny gardens like this.  My advice would be to break it up by making circular lawns and beds, this gives it interest and makes it looks wider.  Think about breaking it up with trellis; plant hedges etc.  Also consider planting trees such as Birch, Rowen and apple, pear cordons on fences can look great.  Not sure where you live but we've gardened in Essex in the past with a garden very much like you have and grew grapes, very successfully on the fences which always was a talking point.
Thank you for your reply. Do you have any pictures you could share for the ideas you mention above. I would like to break it up and add trellis etc. But not sure how as its not a very big space. 
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Joined: May 8th, 2018, 1:23 am

May 14th, 2018, 12:39 am #13

Taffy wrote: A little late with a reply, but I was watching with interest the ideas put forward.
I don't like rushing into a garden that is new to you till you have had time to see just what grows there.
I would agree about the conifer at the end of the garden, looks as if it could be a leylandii that has been clipped lower down but left to grow on the top, as they can make 60ft and more not the thing for a small garden.
the Bushes nearer the house are on the left as Kitty said Photinia red robin with a spotted laurel in front of it.
The Photinia could be pruned so that you clean up the trunk so growth starts about 6ft up and then you keep the top pruned to hold it back, it does give you good colour in spring.
On the other side you have a nice one that I would try to keep, that is the one with the catkins, that's a Garrys elliptica  https://davisla.wordpress.com/2011/03/0 ... elliptica/  They can make a lovely small tree. Again I would remove all the lower growth back to bare trunk/s. This will give you a lot of lower light and make it much more of a specimen.
I may be wrong but it looks to me as if your garden runs roughly West to East, so you do have a bit of a problem if you want to be able to sit out in the sunshine and have a sunny site for your veg as I think the house will shade a lot of your garden in the afternoon and evening, making the bottom of the garden the only part getting sunshine later in the day.
Whilst the feature in the centre is asking to be put down to paving or gravel or some form of hard standing I'd test it to find out if it has any good soil. If it has then it could make an interesting veg plot growing

circular veg garden.jpg
The shed if in reasonable condition could be painted, and would give you a place for storing your barbecue and tools, garden furniture etc, try a climbing rose against it, or a peach tree or some form of climbing fruit like a loganberry, you could then have your seating area close to it with again climbing roses or some other climbers along the back fence.
I'm afraid I would be wary of Budleija in a small garden, there are dwarf forms but they can still make 6ft or so and are bushy, getting rid of the light you need lower down.
But first do use a spade to find out where you have any depth of soil and what it is like.
Enough for now or this will end up as a book.
hi Taffy, some brilliant ideas there. Thank you. 

I like the Photinia tree, however as its in the middle I was wondering if it would be possible to relocate it towards the end of the garden. Not sure if it can take it. I really like idea of prunng these small trees at the bottom to make them almost sculptural. 

The vegetable garden in the circular bit would have been nice but it wont get much sun as its very close to the house. The only bit possible for a sunny veg patch woul dbe towards the end of the house. The shed is falling apart a bit and is in the sunny part of the garden - so was thinking of getting rid of it and placing a small outdoor storage in the shaded patio for the tools etc. 

I will post more when we move in and when I start on the garden...thanks again for your reply!
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SpideyTheGhost
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May 18th, 2018, 9:53 am #14

I like that brick circle, but no surprises there as I used to have one. All the topsoil from that area was dug out and chucked on the flower beds, then horticultural membrane was put down and a large amount of gravel was added. It worked for me. This garden, by the way, is east-facing and only about 7 metres square, so shade-tolerant plants only for the most part, and especially on the right-hand side which was permanently shaded. There are a few more pix in "Spidey's garden" in Members' Gardens.

I can probably list most of the plants on sunny and shaded sides from memory if you're interested.

Edit: Forgot to say that the soil is clay, to which generous amounts of compost and grit were added when the garden was first planted.




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kitty58
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May 19th, 2018, 7:33 am #15

I remember that beautiful garden. Lovely to see a pic again.



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Taffy
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May 19th, 2018, 11:15 pm #16

Lovely pic of a great garden
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Joined: May 8th, 2018, 1:23 am

August 10th, 2018, 12:02 pm #17

Hello again everyone, Thanks again for posting on this thread. We have now moved into our new house. As the garden wasn't looked after for months, it grew into a jungle. So the first things we had to get done was to get it cleared. I got the Photinia and Garrya elliptica cut about fence height, so hopefully there will be new leaves at some point. Also got the shed removed which was falling apart anyways. I am looking to get the back conifer about fence height too so we can top it off ourselves from time to time. Also thinking of getting rid of the brick circle, but its cemented in - so will have to get someone to do it for me. I have a 3.5 year old so would love a grass patch to play and sit in. Another idea I have is to do a raised bed at the back of the garden, next to the back fence in a small L shape, next to conifer, as that will be where the sun is the longest. Would love to hear your thoughts on these ideas.

My daughter and I have already planted some lettuce and radish seeds as we just couldn't wait! :) We will continue to plant more plants that we like, and not just all weather shrubs. It looks a bit barren in the after picture, as due to the heatwave all grass has gone brown. 

I would like to ask you for an opinion, on the left hand side, we have a wire mesh fence about 90cm high. I would like to get a fence on that, but the quotes I have got so far exceed £1200. Is there another alternative for privacy? If I put trellis panels up supported by the wiremesh will it stay? I can grow flowering creepers on it as its west facing. 

Also, looking to paint the fance panels at somepoint. 
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