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Gardening newbie - Can I borrow your collective wisdom for some advice before I start?

(5 Posts)
sweetheart Mon 11-Jul-16 16:14:59

I am a self confessed plant killer! So I'm posting here with a vague optimism that with a bit of help and encouragement I can be turned into a green fingered goddess........

We move house 18 months ago, have completed an extension / conversion of the house and a couple of months ago dh and I built a rather fabulous patio together. So next I want to turn my attention to the garden.

Our garden is really one of 2 half's. The top half nearest the house gets plenty of sunshine. It is mostly laid to lawn with shrubs / bushes down either side. None of these tend to flower much and I would like to inject more colour into the garden. There is a apple tree in the center of the lawn which doesn't require much looking after which suits me very well.

The lower part of our garden is currently overgrown with weeds and nettles. It is very shady as there are lots of surrounding trees and I don't think grass will grow there. i had hoped that perhaps I could use this space to grow some vegetables but I've been told this won't work as it's too shady - is this correct? This part of the garden is very wild. We will put our shed and wood store etc down there so it just needs to be tidy more than anything although would be nice if we could get some colour there too.

So as mentioned I'd like to possible grow some veg, deffo a herb area of some sort and some colourful plants that are EASY to look after. Dh would love a rose garden but I think they are just going to be too much hard work for us as beginners.

Can anyone suggest any wonderful ideas. What plants should I be looking at which are easy to look after, colourful and flower for a nice long time?

I'd really appreciate any input and advice before I waste my time and money with the wrong thing.

crappymummy Mon 11-Jul-16 16:22:12

Plants that are easy to grow in full sun:

Plants that are easy to grow period:
Most roses

I am a craptacular gardener, but these have worked for me

handslikecowstits Mon 11-Jul-16 18:17:35

General advice: match the plant's natural growing conditions. So if a plant naturally like damp shade then put it in the shady part of your garden. If a plant likes dry well drained soil in full sun then make sure you give it that. It sounds really obvious but you'll find your plants will thrive this way.

One other thing I'd say is don't rule out foliage plants like heucheras (yes they do have flowers but are often grown for their colourful foliage). You can get them in lots of colours some suit shade and some suit full sun. Some foliage plants are evergreen which is nice in winter and they come in all sizes and some have flowers and berries later in the season.

And don't forget that many plants can be grown in containers and I would advise that your herbs are grown in pots near the house simply because some herbs like coriander aren't very hardy and if they're in pots you can move them according to the weather, some herbs like mint are thugs and will take over and come winter when it's slushy and rainy, it's nice just to nip out and cut a bit of what you need rather than traipsing down the garden. Many roses can be grown in containers (it depends on their eventual size) and in my garden they've been more successful grown this way than planted in the soil (claggy). Veg can also be grown in containers (carrots, potatoes etc).

handslikecowstits Mon 11-Jul-16 18:23:08

Sorry just to clarify: I mention containers because I know people who believe that they don't have room for certain plants/styles of garden because they are concentrating their efforts on the ground which is fine but container growing extends your garden in a way and you can grow stuff that for whatever reason (soil type for example) prohibits certain plants.

My garden in largely a mediterranean- style container garden with fruit trees in the ground. It works for me. smile

dodobookends Mon 11-Jul-16 18:28:49

You mention that the shrubs and bushes in the garden don't really flower much. Have you been able to identify what they all are yet? The reason I ask, is that quite often they will need to be pruned or cut back at a particular time of year depending on what they are.

If you prune a spring-flowering shrub in the autumn/winter for instance, then you might get no flowers, because it is the growth made in the previous autumn which will have the dormant flower buds.

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