Am not much good with chalky soils, as we've got revolting gloopy plasticine-like clay....Once you've ideas of what roles you want your planting to fill, then the RHS Plant Selector (online) is really useful!
We have a big terrace, but I would like a bigger seating area down by the veg patch. And I would like some more fruit trees, we have a problem with trees because of the chalk, dig deep and you just get a solid shelf of the stuff. I would dearly love an almond tree but not sure it would work with our soil. We have lots of blackcurrants, gooseberries and raspberries in the veg patch right now, but fruit trees would be appealing.......
Lavender works well here, and box. Will ponder! Thanks again.
Decide what you want from it. A patio, a large kids play area, a veg area, anything else? Summer house? Greenhouse? Wildlife area? Pond? More than one sitting-out area? Then fill in a bit more detail - e.g would you like a few fruit trees or bushes in the veg area? How big a veg patch? Do you want barbeque in patio area? Do you want patio covered over eg pergola? From that you've got a list of what you want. You might not be able to fit/afford it all, but at least its a start.
How about separating the garden off into "zones", (eg using low informal hedges clipped box or a row of lavendar plants? Something tall but very open, like verbena boniarensis? Both would be OK on dry soils once established). I'd also be inclined to think in terms of framing the view a bit with planting. Once you've a list of requirements, sketch out a few layouts and choose your favourite.
Only then think about planting. At that stage you know what you need/want the plants to do, what height, etc, making choosing them far far easier.
I would love some advice please. We have a 120 ft long garden, about 70 ft wide. It slopes two ways, left to right, and from the top to the bottom, sloping downwards in both instances. We have a lovely view that I don't want to obscure.
Problem is that it is too blank canvas now. We have a terrace with lots of pots and planters, and beds on the side at the upper end of the garden, and a rectangular veg patch in the middle at the bottom. The veg patch now provides the main focal point of the garden, and I can't help feeling we need more structure.
I am wary of anything blocking the view too much, but at the same time think we need some height. I am a big fan of roses, which I have to treat very well as we have poor soil here. Very chalky and dry.
Design ideas would be really appreciated. We have 2 DC, 9 and 6, one of whom plays lots of football and we have a goal. We also have a climbing frame thingy, two sheds and a bike hut.