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Typical new build house garden - help!

(10 Posts)
autumnleavesdancing Sat 22-Mar-14 18:33:14

I've just bought a brand new house. It's a typical new build, with a garden that's far too small, but on the positive side, it's south facing.
I don't want to have a square lawn and nothing else: I plan a pergola at the back of the house, a raised vegetable bed, and I need some kind of shed. I also like lots of shrubs and flowers, so need decent borders. Does anyone know any apps etc to help with garden design, or do you have ideas/advice? If I'm not careful I'll end up with a crowded mess! TIA

ItStillLooksLikeRainDear Sat 22-Mar-14 23:53:27

Have you had a look on Pinterest?

antimatter Sun 23-Mar-14 00:03:39

I would first have good dig to see what is the quality of your soil.
Builders are often cover rubble with a thin layer of soil on to and some grass on it.
Once you find out what the soil is like you can start planning ....
Also - is there tap outside & how much room do you have for spare pots & gardening utensils.

If it's a 'typical new build' with space for a pergola, raised veg bed, shed, shrubs and decent borders then it's not typical for round here!

I always make a paper plan for this kind of thing, or you can take a photo print it out big and put tracing paper over it and draw on top of that.

Finickynotfussy Sun 23-Mar-14 08:03:33

I did a similar garden - Homebase had a design service at that time, which was cheap and pretty good. I made a little circular lawn and used some nice York stone paving to add interest and we made raised beds so we could grow things quickly without dealing with the poor soil quality.

MisForMumNotMaid Sun 23-Mar-14 08:10:23

I second pinterest for ideas, and a scale sketch. Maybe do scale cutouts for the objects you'd like and experiment with them in different locations.

I love lawn but I'm not a fan of it in small spaces - too much maintenance and for me with DC and pets it would spend more time as a partial mud bath.

Think about all the things you need from your garden like laundry drying, bike storage, tool storage, bin storage, comfy seating and possibly at a table.

Raised beds are very fashionable, I've got one myself, but planting veg amongst a less formal collection of flowers and shrubs works really well in a smaller garden too.

I borrowed this Alys Fowler book from the library and enjoyed some of the ideas

funnyperson Sun 23-Mar-14 09:25:25

Gardeners world magazine has a supplement for small gardens this April which has some nice ideas in it.
Roy Strong writes well about small garden design in his books- borrow from library.
Here are my thoughts
a) boundaries first: think about the vertical and whether you want trellis and what to plant up it- roses/clematis/honeysuckle for summer: cotoneaster/garrya elliptica witchhazel for winter or what
b) think about small trees/fruit trees/flowering shrubs/mahonia for winter vertical interest etc
c) think about where you will sit and enjoy your garden as the 'view' and paths from there are crucial and its nice to be able to sit and relax right form the start because you can always fill in with seasonally planted pots while the garden matures
d)visit a garden show and local NGS gardens as this can be really inspiring.

funnyperson Sun 23-Mar-14 09:30:15

This probably sounds silly but I made a spread sheet of 'plants I want' and then I looked for them in sales and bargain spots so I didn't just impulse buy at the most expensive prices. After a while I had to add a column for 'plants bulbs and seeds to be planted' which helped me remember what I had bought and to put them in the garden, and now I also have separate columns for 'plants in each bed'.

ShoeWhore Sun 23-Mar-14 09:36:03

I've got a book called John Brookes garden design which is great for ideas and advice on how to plan.

A key tip I picked up from that is to create strong shapes and focal points inside the garden to draw the eye away from the boundaries. Eg make your lawn a definite shape and don't put long straight beds round the boundaries. I have made my garden look tons bigger following this advice.

Also try googling Alan Titchmarsh how to be a gardener.

autumnleavesdancing Mon 24-Mar-14 07:42:13

Thank you for all your suggestions, they are really helpful!

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