Where to start? Garden planning help gratefully received!

(13 Posts)
TooManyButtons Fri 19-Aug-16 19:36:28

I've lived here for several years, and have never done any more than keep the weeds at bay, and lant a butterfly bush which hasn't died yet. But now I want a proper garden. I really like the jungly look - big leaves, ferns, and I think I'd like a colour scheme of orange and dark purple flowers to contrast with the greenery.

As I look to the back fence I'm facing north - I'm assuming this means my garden is north facing? The soil is quite sandy and drains quickly. I'd love to have a landscape gardener come and plan it all but my funds don't run to that.

The shed is in an irritating place, it's about 2m away from the back fence, but it's on a concrete base so its not really an option to move it. I was hoping to turn the wasted space behind the shed into a wildlife garden - lots of wild flowers and long grass.

TooManyButtons Fri 19-Aug-16 19:50:30

This bit is where I'd like to start - I think the bush in the neighbour's garden is a privet? Hopefully I'll be replacing the hideous wire fence for a proper wooden one.

evelynj Sat 20-Aug-16 10:10:40

What's on the other side of your back fence?

You've got a great base to start with there. I paid £300 for a couple of site visits from a landscape gardener & full design & drawings to scale done. So glad I did as he gave me a few fab ideas. His design would have cost about £30k to fully do but we've been able to do bits of it gradually & I know I'm doing something sensible & I won't think, 'should've done such n such instead'

North facing is great for the leafy green stuff ypu speak of. I'd start by buying & potting up things that you will want to plant to give them growth time. I'm trying to give up a pot habit & looking forward to some raised beds.

Imo, you want a seated area, a flower bed area & a path-do you want formal or country style? Straight lines or winding? What materials do you want to use?

evelynj Sat 20-Aug-16 10:12:38

If you can't move the shed Id camouflage it, it's slap bang in the middle of your view, but I'm itching to see behind the back fence!

TooManyButtons Sat 20-Aug-16 11:46:17

There's a railway line behind the fence, behind that there's fields. The trees you can see behind the fence are on the far side of the train track.

I've alead got a path running down the side of the garden to the shed (the RAF really did want to make a feature of the bloody shed when they did the garden confused) - it's just a straight concrete path but I want to soften the edges with some plants spilling over the edge. The strip of grass next to the path is 1.5m wide so seems to be a useful width for a border.

TooManyButtons Sat 20-Aug-16 12:44:53

What lies beyond my fence grin

evelynj Sat 20-Aug-16 16:43:51

Have you children/pets or could you consider taking the fence down? I'd want to make use of the open aspect, wouldn't even bother me if there were loads of trains passing through & looking. You could potentially use some toughened glass panels instead of fence. I'm also thinking move the shed & get rid of the concrete base - if you're planning on staying there why put up with something you wouldn't choose?! The shed if in good enough Nick can easily be put on some breeze blocks somewhere else out of the way.

That's an awesome view!

evelynj Sat 20-Aug-16 16:47:08

If you kept the path, you could turn the small lawn strip into a leafy border quite easily.

TooManyButtons Sat 20-Aug-16 19:55:18

I have dogs so the fence needs to stay grin It gets the sun most of the day so I'm hoping to grow stuff up it. The thought of moving the shed is a little scary, I wouldn't know what to do with the concrete underneath, I'm assuming it would need more than a hammer haha

I've been happily browsing gardening websites all afternoon, I've got a wishlist of plants a mile long grin

FreeButtonBee Sat 20-Aug-16 20:06:55

I'd have a seating area right in front of the shed. That way the table and chairs will distract. Plant a clematis Montana or two on it and it'll disappear in no time.

MadSprocker Sun 21-Aug-16 10:59:33

You could move the shed and use the concrete plinth for a seating area. I would put the shed in the top left hand corner and soften the fences with the planting you want.

TooManyButtons Sun 21-Aug-16 13:17:36

OK, so the shed's moving. I think I might put it where the buddleia is now, then it's at the end of the path. I could cover the concrete plinth in decking, and surround it with lovely leafy plants? That part of the garden gets the sun all day so would make a lovely seating area.

shovetheholly Mon 22-Aug-16 09:04:42

OK, I'm going against the grain here! But I would leave the shed where it is and use the area behind as a compost heap/storage area. Every good garden needs one of these, and looking at your shed is way more attractive than looking at piles of rotting waste. It will also save you a hell of a lot of work - trust me when I say that levelling the area for a shed is a BIG job. It took me an entire day of backbreaking work to do mine - and I do mean hour after hour!

I would, however, put in an S-shaped path running up to the shed from the house. This will give you some really lovely, deep beds to fill with jungly things - I would buy and plant some fairly large things towards the middle more to give a sense of a journey, so that you can't see the whole space at once, being careful not to block the light from your main seating area of course!

If your soil is sandy and free draining, you may need to invest in lots of compost and organic matter to get these things started off - and you might want to avoid things that like their feet constantly wet (or build a special bog garden to put them in - this is a relatively straightforward job if you're doing major landscaping anyway and prepared to put your back into it).

I'd be tempted to treat the right hand of the garden as slightly different, maybe as a wilder/orchardy area.

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