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Colour for garden but clueless - please help me! (pics included)

(5 Posts)
butterandcrumpets Sun 28-Feb-16 17:05:01

Bought our house a year ago but front garden has not seen any tlc yet. I grow veggies round the back but are clueless when it comes to flowers/flowering shrubbs/pretty stuff etc.

There are:
in front of window: some roses which probably need cutting back (and a whole lot of weeds). One daffodil - wohoo!
on side: some shrubbs (no idea what they are, just greenery). I would like to turn this into a proper flower bed/border
in bed with brick border: the world's smalles hydrangea and another non descript thing (greenery)

What I want:
Hardy easy to care for perennials
A nice mix of colours at different hights
Maybe some low stuff around the edges...lavender maybe?

Lots of morning sun.

Help - I don't know where to start. Please advise oh green-fingered MNetters.

butterandcrumpets Sun 28-Feb-16 17:07:12

Oh god...typos galore. Please excuse.

shovetheholly Mon 29-Feb-16 08:58:37

Lots of morning sun in the back garden or the front? So do you face east?

What's your soil like? It looks pretty nice from the picture of the bed with the roses!!

Where are you, just roughly - I'd recommend different plants for a garden in Cornwall compared to one on Shetland!

Also, what kind of planting do you like? Cottage gardeney? And do you like the shrubs that are already in (because if you don't, get rid - life's too short to put up with things you don't really enjoy).

Immediate thoughts (will think about plants when I know more about your soil)

- planting some climbers up those fences would really make a world of difference.
- I like the curve on the bed by the fence, and I'd keep this. But I'd make the whole thing much wider. You want space for shrubs at the back and then perennials at the front. I'd continue it along the side with the hedge too (you may need different plants, as it looks shadier there)
- sorting out the soil first will mean that anything you buy and plant has the best possible chance of growing - as you undoubtedly already know from your veg growing! Get loads of cheap compost (and I mean loads) from the garden centre- the stuff that is 4 huge bags for £10 is fine, and you will almost certainly need at least 8 if not 12 or 16 bags. Dump it on the soil to a depth of 3-4 inches and give it a good digging in. If you have heavy clay, this is the time to add horticultural grit as well (though from your pictures, it doesn't look like terrible clay so this may not be necessary).

MyNightWithMaud Mon 29-Feb-16 09:06:55

Great ideas from Holly already.

For easy ground cover perennials, I'd recommend hardy geranium, heuchera, pulmonaria and vinca (if you've got room to let it spread). Euphorbias are gorgeous, but produce an irritant sap if damaged (which might be a problem if, say, you have small children kicking balls into them).

butterandcrumpets Mon 29-Feb-16 15:16:18

Ok, will try and answer your questions. Yes, east facing front garden. I am beyond ignorant when it comes to soil so honestly no idea grin. Slightly clayey maybe? I am in Mid Devon, edge of Dartmoor if that helps. I like the cottagey feel and happily get rid of the existing shrubs (except for the roses maybe) though dh likes the big thing along the long fence 'for privacy'. I might cut this one down rigorously though.

I was planning on turning the fence side into a proper border, keeping the curve around the big shrub but making it wider as you said. No plans for a bed along the road facing hedge. We might get rid of it. To have shrubs at the back perennials at the front, how wide should the bed be?

I love the idea of having something climb up the fence panel in the first picture. What would you suggest?

Thank you so much for your help.

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