help needed starting from scratch (photo included!)

(10 Posts)
littlem133 Fri 01-Jan-16 09:45:23

Morning all mumsnetters! Happy new year.
We moved in to this house last year now and I want to revamp the garden. I have 3 boys who love football, rugby and slide tackling on the grass so need a big lawn. But I want to make it look pretty so I'm thinking plants round the borders. I'm a complete novice and will have to plant in secret as my husband thinks plants and flowers are for old people! I like the structural plants-alliums, grasses, gladioli. It all needs to be fairly self sufficient! The garden is west facing (or the back of the house faces west?!). Inspire me please. I really want to develop my green fingers! X

MooseTrap Fri 01-Jan-16 14:07:06

Nice view!

A couple of questions.

Are either of the trees at the end of the garden in your garden?

Which of the hedges is yours?

What plant is the hedge on the right of garden?

I'd probably make a couple of raised beds, say two or three metres long and about 80cm wide. I'd make them about 40 or 50 cm high. Then I'd fill them with a layer of manure at the bottom and some high quality soil which already has compost in. I can't remember what it's called but I buy it at a big garden centre in bulk bags (tonne bags)

Then you will have a neat contained area to grow what ever you like. The added height gives it more impact and means it's very easy to 'garden'

Keeping it weed free and slug free will also be a doddle.

MooseTrap Fri 01-Jan-16 14:11:34

Google 'topsoil with added compost' bulk bags. I had a quick look and can't find the one I used but it was something like the one shown in the photo.

It's so easy to work with and my plants grow brilliantly in it.

littlem133 Fri 01-Jan-16 18:04:10

Wow. Thank you!! I hadn't thought of raising the beds. That would give the area with plants in some definition wouldn't it. The hedge on the right of the photo is ours and they're lielandi (sp?) I think. The 2 trees in each corner are ours but the two blossom trees more central are on the field behind and aren't ours. There were trees all along the bottom hedge and we cut them down for the view and as they block out the afternoon/evening summer light. There's not much grass by that bottom hedge or the shed as it's always in the shade and damp. If I plant something there like primrose they'll spread in to the lawn won't they?

MooseTrap Fri 01-Jan-16 18:44:24

There are some species of leylandii that are slow growing but most are really fast growing. If yours are fast growing I'd consider replacing the hedge with something prettier and easier to manage. You could just remove a couple of plants at a time so it's not too big a job. Even when you keep them at a manageable size they still seem to strip out all the water and goodness out of the surrounding areas. A copper beech hedge would look a million times nicer. If you don't want to spend much you could plant small plants and wait for them to grow. It doesn't matter if the whole process takes a few years.

Do you know what the trees at the end of the garden are? I would be tempted to cut down the evergreen in the left hand corner unless it's there to hide something. It's not a pretty tree and will only get bigger and harder to manage. It doesn't really add anything. If you want a tree there I'd plant a less bulky tree like a silver birch which would look pretty year round. I don't think you need a tree there though as your view is so nice and open and you already have the benefit of the two blossom trees. Once trees like that get to a certain height They are an absolute bugger to cut down. Does the tree block the evening sun?

I'd probably leave the rest of the garden as it is as you will only end up creating loads of work for yourself and I think the garden and view looks nice as it is.

You can plant primroses or bulbs in the raised beds for winter/early spring colour then whatever you want for summer colour. Maybe, if you lik the idea of raised beds, you can start off with one close to the house. You could position it close to your garden tap so that it's easy to water.

I've got alliums, grasses and gladioli in my raised beds. They are a bit higgly piggly but nice and colourful. I've got a few of those tower things that you can grow plants up which give extra height as well as support for the gladdi and delphiniums.

Ferguson Fri 01-Jan-16 19:04:15

The boys won't need to play football on your lawn, will they? There's a whole playing field the other side of the hedge; is there public access to that, or is it private? (I guess it might be a school, or something?)

Pipistrella Fri 01-Jan-16 19:10:12

Are those ferret hutches at the end? grin

That's the place I'd put some nice shrubs IIWY

Things that will look after themselves, and have nice pretty scented flowers in the spring or summer.

Something at each corner will frame it nicely.

Can't tell how tall the hedge is at the end or how secure it is, ie how deep the drop is the other side?

I would want to make that more private - you don't want folk walking past the end and seeing you having your barbecues or whatever all the time.

littlem133 Fri 01-Jan-16 19:47:13

I think I agree about getting rid of the tree bottom left. We cut loads of others down but we mindful not to get too chainsaw happy!! The shed/ferret house(!) is very rickety so will come down probably at some point. The field out the back is a public school sports field but we can use it out of school hours. We're out all day so privacy isn't an issue at all as no one uses the bit at the end of the garden. I don't think we'll get rid of the leylandi hedge. It's the only thing that separates us from the neighbours and is great at stoping the football from going over! So if I do 2 or 3 raised beds down the right hand side, border it with Malvern stone and I can do the same the bottom end?

Pipistrella Fri 01-Jan-16 19:53:43

Watch that by cutting down that tree you dont remove all the shade you have in the summer - it's good to have a bit for when it's really hot.

Takes ages to grow a new tree smile

I am envy of your view, it's lovely.

MooseTrap Fri 01-Jan-16 20:32:54

Sounds like a good plan and one you can do in stages. The leylandii hedge is fine as long as you maintain it regularly.

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