What can I do with this?

(11 Posts)

This is my front garden, I want to make it look lovely.
I can't remove the hedge (it's in my tenancy agreement) and there is a drain under the window that needs to be clear I assume.

My children want a mini apple or chert tree in the middle of the grass, is there space? Would it grow in the ground or be better in a pot?

I quite fancy a little rose garden with them climbing up the front of the house.

Nothing that would scare my resident hedgehog off please.

We have people round to trim the hedges several times a year and they are ruthless about cutting down anything near or on the hedge (like my hose pipe.. angry) so that needs to be considered.

Flumpnugget Fri 16-Sep-16 17:28:09

Would a tree not block light eventually, through your window? I do think there is space for a small area in the centre to be dug out and one planted, but it is a consideration...

Alternatively, how about some raised beds for the children to grow some flowers & vegetables in?

Yes I thought a tree might block out light, the kitchen is tiny and the light does make it feel nicer.

I want something nice to look at, we have lots of veg and chickens etc in the back garden.
I feel compared to other houses ours looks a little bit bare and dare I say shabby. blushblushblush

GardenGeek Fri 16-Sep-16 19:24:54

Have you thought of a Indian Bean Tree; its one of the last to come into leaf in spring, and one of the first to lose its leaves in winter. Huge leaves the kids will like, bigger than the size of your hand spread out.

It can be coppiced too, so it will be tolerant if anyone accidentally chops part off.

If it was me though I would do some planting. Can you put some beds in around the lawn?

I can yes, I'm just the most indecisive person ever and keep changing my mind. blush

GardenGeek Fri 16-Sep-16 20:15:26

If people need to get to the hedge, maybe you could do the other way around; so grass lawn near hedges and planting from the house around the path.

NanTheWiser Sat 17-Sep-16 09:33:42

An Indian Bean tree (Catalpa bignonioides) would be a very unwise choice for a small garden - it can grow enormous, unless pollarded (not coppiced as GardenGeek mentioned). I have one in my garden, planted 20 years ago, all the annual branches (which can grow 6 feet in a season) have to be cut off each Autumn, which is now becoming a problem for me (getting too old to do it!), and when the leaves drop, they make a soggy wet blanket beneath, so it is quite labour-intensive.

GardenGeek Sat 17-Sep-16 12:22:48

Nan
I think you will find they can; according to RHS wink

Ours is quite small, 2m wide x 3m tall.
Although is in a dry area though, so I think that keeps it in check.

I have seen on holiday huge Catalpas and wondered if it was magic grin
Never seen one in UK that big.

sentia Sat 17-Sep-16 12:30:58

Pear trees can be espaliered if you wanted to grow one up the wall, and you can get them on root stock that will stay relatively small.

What way does it face and what is your soil like? Much of the question of what you can grow will depend a big on this!

One of your big problems - and I say this as a person with a similar front garden - is that the privet? hedge will suck out a lot of moisture. I think you can see the effects of that a little bit on the lawn - and if grass is feeling the stress, most other plants will too!

I find that the only way round this is to plant things that are slightly drought-tolerant, and to add plenty of organic matter - I mulch with a good covering twice a year. I haven't been able to grow roses in mine - but this may just be a pecularity of my garden, as, in addition to dryness, I have thin, very free draining soil at the front. My house is built on an old quarry and there is rock about 30 cm beneath the surface of the soil at the front. Because I'm on a slope, however, the back is totally different - I have a really deep, moist clay soil there. If you go under the floorboards of my house, there is about a foot of space at the front before rock, whereas at the back there is almost a room's worth. I suspect this may be more of a factor in the dislike the roses have of it than the privet).

It's SW facing and I don't know about the soil, I have never touched the front garden blush

Our back garden has lovely soil though and we have a rose growing that was planted by my late mother 10 years ago and it has loads of beautiful blooms every year.

I think I would like to fix a trellis around the window and have some climbing roses up it if they'll grow and extend the boarder under the window out to where those pointless stepping stones are and put bark chipping down and something colourful and lush looking, does that sound do able? I thought at the back of the boarder I could plant some fruit bushes (raspberries) so the kids still get their fruit. smile

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