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Fancy designing my new garden?

(36 Posts)
Luckygirl Tue 22-Sep-20 15:19:55

This is the new garden I will be moving to - it is quite big.

The weird tea tray thing in the middle is something to do with the biodigester beneath it and is a permanent fixture. I plan to put one of my garden benches in front of it.

I know that we have keen gardeners out there, so if you fancy putting some ideas into the mix then it would be lovely to have them.

Ideas I have so far, based on the fact that I cannot bend very well, so do not want flower beds as such:
- to turn the area behind the tea tray into a wild flower garden, possibly with a small wild life pond. I would plan not to just cut that area off in a straight line, but for it to flow in curves to either side of the bench.
- the patios adjoining the house are quite big and the French doors from the living room and dining end of kitchen open directly out onto them. I wondered about a pot garden which I could look out on from the house - any ideas for plants that would give me all year colour to look out on?
- I thought I might put some netting up the fences and grow clematis, honeysuckle, pyrocantha etc. up them.
- I have been given a plum tree and a cherry tree and I am wondering where best to put them and other trees.
- I am not sure whether to have some raised beds (expensive, especially with soil to buy) or whether to simply plant large shrubs into the grass.
- I want to leave a grass area in front of the patios so that the GC can run around.
- things I really want to have - but where best to put them?:
...........Japanese anemones, guelder rose, alpines, ornamental grasses, lavender, choisia, lilac (tree maybe?), crocosmia, sweet peas (where to put them?).

It is exciting but daunting to have this blank canvas. Can the collective creativity of gransnetters be brought to bear on this?

Oopsadaisy4 Tue 22-Sep-20 15:23:39

Which direction does the garden face?

Luckygirl Tue 22-Sep-20 15:32:04

The back garden faces West - it is in sun most of the day after it has come over the house and it sets behind the end of the garden slightly off to the right. Good sunsets - I have visited at different times of the day, and the back garden is in sun for most of the day.

LadyBella Tue 22-Sep-20 15:38:18

It looks lovely. One thing I will say is that we dug a biggish pond and sited it not far from our big sliding doors at the back which is great as it's always in our sights. We have the pleasure of watching the birds drink and bathe from it. And this year several dragonflies laid eggs on the pond plants. My only real advice is to bring a lot of the garden near to the house where you can enjoy it year-round. Definitely use a lot of native planting to attract insects and birds. Be careful of feeding the birds as we had a rat! I'd keep the bit at the far end wild and hopefully you may get a hedgehog and slow worms. Oh how I envy you starting such a wonderful project. If you look at the website Houzz and click on gardens, there are loads of ideas. Good luck.

Auntieflo Tue 22-Sep-20 15:38:58

Wow, what a brief for someone inventive, not me I'm afraid .
I do wish you well with the design, and how lovely to begin from scratch.
I have been enjoying Garden Rescue recently and some of the raised beds that have appeared , have had seats incorporated, which is a good idea.
You"ll have to keep a photo diary and keep us updated as it goes on.

DiscoGran Tue 22-Sep-20 15:43:20

Wow, you are lucky! My garden is less than half the size of that. I also was going to say Garden Rescue would have some good ideas, and if you had some raised beds close to the house you wouldn't have to do too much bending.

LauraNorder Tue 22-Sep-20 15:47:31

Wow LuckyGirl what a super space, a lovely blank canvas. Can you afford to involve Charley Dimmock and the Rich brothers? They seem capable of creating just what you want for budgets from about £2000 upwards all in a day. Their labour is free apparently.

varian Tue 22-Sep-20 15:47:58

I agree that a large pond near the house is a good idea unless you are worried about grandchildren falling in. If you dug a large pond the soil you dig out could be used for raised beds.

Whitewavemark2 Tue 22-Sep-20 16:01:33

I think first you have to decide what you want from your garden.

So do you want to grow any produce or keep it simply as. somewhere to enjoy.

Next how much time you are willing or able to put into it.

Then think about the hard landscape, paths etc.

You’ve got all winter really to sit dream and plan and save!!

Then look at the sort of beds you want. If you go into Crocus, they have bed plans so you can browse through the them and see if there is any that take your fancy.

I love planning, I spend my life planning the garden😄

Illte Tue 22-Sep-20 16:14:49

Me too WWW. I had some major dental work yesterday and just took my mind out of the chair and into planning the garden😁 The dentist finished before I did!

Luckygirl Tue 22-Sep-20 16:47:43

I would like to grow a small amount of produce. I had in mind a pop-up raised bed somewhere towards the back of the garden. I have friends who are planning to give me seedlings to nurture.

Paths? - ah I had not thought about that!

I also wonder whether there might be some (cheap!) tall structure like an arch?

Jaxjacky Tue 22-Sep-20 16:53:09

How about the fruit trees in the wild flower area, like an orchard%?

Whitewavemark2 Tue 22-Sep-20 17:00:36

We have just bought a couple of Trugs. Not cheap, but absolutely ideal for as you get older and find your joints complain when bending.

Failing that raised beds are good.

We are also following the square foot gardening method. Which would be ideal for one lucky So each trug in approx 6x2’ 6” so that’s about 15 squares. 30 squares in total.

So far we have growing salad onions, winter lettuce, lambs lettuce, spinach, oriental mix, salad mix, carrots, Chard, French beans, onion sets for next year, garlic to go in for next year, 6 winter cabbages ( they need a square each)

That just an idea of what we are growing, but it is incredible fun to do and if you plan it right and keep replenishing your soil you should have something to pick all year around. We have a cloche to protect stuff when it gets cold.

Whitewavemark2 Tue 22-Sep-20 17:02:23

In your planning mode😄look up square foot gardening on google. You can download a chart that tells you spacing etc.

Callistemon Tue 22-Sep-20 18:04:18


The back garden faces West - it is in sun most of the day after it has come over the house and it sets behind the end of the garden slightly off to the right. Good sunsets - I have visited at different times of the day, and the back garden is in sun for most of the day.

Our garden faces west and we have a natural hedge at the back.
What Not To Do:
The mistake I made when we first moved in was to make a shrub border in front of the hedge (which we did have trimmed to about 10ft). Everything in that border leaned forwards looking for light.

I do think raised beds would be worth investigating before you start planting anything. We have a friend who uses a wheelchair and enjoys gardening and they are ideal or her.

Callistemon Tue 22-Sep-20 18:05:32

Paths? - ah I had not thought about that!

A wending path rather than a straight one would be nice

Callistemon Tue 22-Sep-20 18:05:57

Ps to match your lovely patio

crimpedhalo Wed 23-Sep-20 10:11:57

You could join a Facebook group called

Gardeners world

Plenty of inspirational photos of new gardens being transformed and heaps of advice. I put some summer garden photos on a couple of days ago and have had nearly 500 reactions and comments.

Davida1968 Wed 23-Sep-20 10:24:07

Wonderful to read about you planning a garden for wildlife. We've spent the last two two years doing just that in our (much smaller) new garden. Raised beds are wonderful when you're older, so I do recommend them highly. We grow herbs and (bee/butterfly friendly) flowers in our beds. We've fitted in a "wild patch" (with log-pile) & a pond. Also a compost bin. We've even grown a few veggies in gro-bags. Minimal chemicals are used; we aim to be organic. It's all paying off in terms of wildlife and I do at least feel we're making some sort of contribution to the well-being of the environment, which is such a comfort, in these difficult times. Wishing you every success with your garden.

J52 Wed 23-Sep-20 10:28:41

A lovely long garden I would make a modern Parterre garden similar to this photo. Don’t know who the lady is so blocked her out.
Still got lawn, but with a focal point, could be over your manhole cover. Plants could be easy to look after perennials.

J52 Wed 23-Sep-20 10:29:25

Photo didn’t arrive!

J52 Wed 23-Sep-20 10:29:38


scraggiesue Wed 23-Sep-20 10:38:41

How exciting to be starting a garden from scratch. We did this with the garden from our last house. We added a sunken gazebo to provide some privacy and a place to sit and enjoy watching the birds and plants. I love adding trellis for climbing plants, especially scented ones. In terms of design, we started thinking about it, jotting down some ideas. The design evolved and changed over the time as we were doing the garden. We had a new greenhouse installed as I love to grow things from seed and this can work out much cheaper than buying expensive plants from garden centres. Think about what kind of ‘look’ you want to achieve - contemporary, cottage garden etc and enjoy the process. Good luck with your new venture!
Ps make notes of what you plant and where, this can be useful to determine what works or doesn’t.

Acer Wed 23-Sep-20 10:42:59

What a lovely project. I did same a couple of years ago as I moved into what I hope to be my retiring home. With the blank canvas of just lawn and wooden fences.
I decided the most important thing was to create maximum effect with minimum effort, ie chose trees/shrubs that grow no more than 10’-12’. Being aware of evergreen and deciduous.
On far fence line I added a trellis for climbers/honeysuckle
Interspersed with ceanothus, and a mahonia in one corner, potting shed in another. Summerhouse in another. When I had boundaries fairly sorted bearing in mind colour and textures the rest became easier. Do remember any paths work best being a wheelbarrow width. I did look through a gardening book and choose 3 plants for each month to have constant colour
If ever this all becomes too much for me my slow down mode is to turn the garden into some sort of Italian garden, with lots of paving. Good luck and what a perfect time of year to begin.

merlotgran Wed 23-Sep-20 11:06:40

Looking at the photo, Luckygirl, I think you have some 'borrowed landscape' beyond the trees/shrubs at the end of the garden.

I would be careful not to obscure any parts where you can let your gaze extend beyond your boundaries especially as you say you have good sunsets to admire.

I would concentrate on the area closest to the house to begin with, deciding on a low maintenance style which would then give you time to get the feel of the place before you make decisions you may need to change later. Positioning pots hither and thither gives you clues as what looks good where.

You are doing this at the right time of the year. There is no need to rush into any planting other than bulbs in pots. You can have fun planning your design over the winter especially any hard landscaping. There are some great books on garden design and if they have a bit of a 'back story' they are even more inspiring.

I envy you your blank canvas. Have fun!