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Where to go from here? (photos)

(18 Posts)
HaveYouSeenHerLately Mon 05-Sep-16 22:31:14

I moved into my terraced house 2.5yrs ago and immediately set about improving the garden grin

This included replacing missing fence panels and gate, adding trellis/height to existing fence, removing insane amounts of lleylandii, pruning to let light in, improving the lawn, widening meagre flowerbeds, painting the shed, installing a water butt and compost heap, improving the soil, acquiring and staining 2nd hand garden furniture and so on and so forth grin flowers

The garden had been pretty empty albeit tidy. It has some interesting elements, they just weren't very well thought out (see above). Practically no plants apart from laurel, 10-15 identical euonymus (?!), 3 skimmias, a nandina, fatsia and fabulous acer smile

They were all bunched in far too tightly so I've spread them out in the correct aspect and filled in the gaps with a mixture of evergreen and deciduous climbers, shrubs, perennials and annuals.

I've now reached the stage where I'm not quite sure what else to do! I'm fortunate that the garden is SE facing and I have a lovely patio. I have a passion for splashy annuals and do go in for overflowing baskets and planters during the summer.

I can't help feeling that the garden lacks structure/ depth. All the planting is around the edges with lots of well-maintained lawn in the middle. I've exhausted my design skills and don't really have the budget to do anything extreme. Am I missing any tricks?

I considered adding a wooden arch but my neighbours have just done this so I feel a bit of a copycat! I could still do it though grin

Another idea was a small wildlife pond - I already have a preformed liner. Just not sure where it would be best positioned? I don't want it to be another flat element so I'd like to build it up a bit like a rockery.

I guess I'm stuck between it looking too 'flat' but scared of introducing height elements which contribute shade. Logically this shouldn't be a problem in a SE facing garden but I already have a few trees surrounding (that we've thinned and I'd like to keep) and I'm scared of having a really shady garden grin blush

Sorry for rambling, I'll get some picture up tomorrow.

HaveYouSeenHerLately Wed 07-Sep-16 17:50:23

Sorry forgot to come back and add the photos!

Please ignore the camping chair and rotary washing line, they're to be moved smile

The sides and rear of the patio are a frenzy of annuals in large pots and baskets. I used to have a couple of big statement pots at the edge of patio and lawn but they began to get in the way/ make the patio feel crowded so I moved them to the front garden.

I have no experience of hard landscaping and little budget for outside help/ materials argh!

Any simple suggestions?!

JT05 Wed 07-Sep-16 19:49:03

No expert on the landscape side of things, but the gardening programmes suggest you put curves into straight line lawns. So perhaps cut to a figure of eight with a feature in the middle? Perhaps a pond with a solar fountain?

Thecontentedcat Wed 07-Sep-16 19:58:58

It looks lovely, I think you should just enjoy it! grin

Thecontentedcat Wed 07-Sep-16 20:00:05

I do love the idea of a pond though, and the rhs/dk book on garden design is great for ideas!

Aftershock15 Wed 07-Sep-16 20:03:25

What about a square pergola somewhere? Gives height and not much shade and gives you something to grow some climbers up.

ChardonnayKnickertonSmythe Wed 07-Sep-16 20:05:14

I'd be tempted to do something like a French pottager, with formal raised beds in back of the garden.

Ferguson Wed 07-Sep-16 20:26:51

Hi - the lawn looks in nice condition, and you HAVE got curved edges - big, sweeping curves are best, (which you have), and not 'scalloped' little bits, which are 'twee'.

It takes bravery to reduce an area of lawn, but one plant that can add height AND is also 'see through' is Stipa gigantea; the leaves remain fairly short, but it sends up VERY tall straw-coloured flower heads at this time of year.

I'll mention a few other things in a couple of days. Meanwhile, here some stipa gigantea:

(you would only want one clump of it, not a whole border!!)

HaveYouSeenHerLately Wed 07-Sep-16 21:51:46

Thanks everyone, didn't expect replies so quickly. It's quite nervewracking posting pictures blush grin

The lawn's overdue a cut, once it's done the curves are a lot more defined! They were only put in a couple of months ago, it was very rectangular wink I just guessed at long sweeping curves, it's sort of a work in progress!

I'll be chopping the buddleia back in front of the shed as soon as it finishes flowering. I'll let the bees enjoy it a little while longer.

JT05 love the figure-of-8 suggestion. I sort of envisaged this with an arch over the narrowest part and border either side (maybe mini pond to the left...) as you look down the garden.

The humongous beech tree is in the council house/s behind and I don't think they have any plans to prune! I've come to like it (ish) for the screening and habitat it provides. By the time it gets its leaves in May the sun is almost high enough in the sky for it not to matter. The winter sun shines through the bare branches.

The plan with the laurel at the end is to trim it into a hedge 2-3ft above fence height (I've forgotten the term for this!)

gleegeek Wed 07-Sep-16 21:59:01

Your garden is gorgeous - like a much improved version of ours! Very envious...

HaveYouSeenHerLately Wed 07-Sep-16 22:08:45

Thanks Contentedcat! I get a bit restless and I've suddenly realised I've exhausted my gardening repertoire! Will check out the design book flowers

Aftershock I hadn't considered a pergola, I'll investigate. Now you mention it I've seen them used to good effect on the garden design programmes, thank you!flowers

Chardonnay a potager sounds interesting (I've just had a Google!) The end of the garden is definitely wasted. The lawn used to be non-existant due to the shade of all the lleylandii and the unthinned sumac. We've managed to get the grass back for appearances but it feels a bit boring! The neighbours have created a 2nd patio at that end as it gets the last of the evening sun.

Ferguson thank you!! Funnily enough I inherited a stipa gigantic from a relative but I couldn't get on with it! I'm not a fan of grasses, I can only apologise! I appreciate them in other settings but they annoy me in my own garden. I think it's the rustling?! blush
I have an active cat who would take pleasure in pouncing on all the delightful golden stems and snapping them off angry

Oh I almost forgot, I'd like a greenhouse too! Maybe a shallow/tall lean-to one? I've seen a few that could fit the bill.

shovetheholly Thu 08-Sep-16 15:34:00

You've done amazingly, it's GORGEOUS!

Here's what I'd do: I'd build a long, curving path through it to create a sense of a 'journey' and to ensure that you can't see the whole thing at once. And I'd create a series of beds that come out far further into the middle of the garden, and plant some larger things towards the middle. The idea being to create sections of garden (not rooms, it's not as extreme as rooms) that give a sense of surprise and variation as you walk through. The path would not be very wide through it, to give lots of depth. Also, lots more room for plants!! grin

It's almost like you've started to do this already with the curves on the edges of your beds!!

shovetheholly Thu 08-Sep-16 15:36:28

I explained that really badly! what I mean is that I'd create these curved beds so that you can put taller things towards the middle and then get glimpses through to the end of the garden, but you can't see the whole thing from one vantage point, IYSWIM. I'd keep a lot of continuity in the planting between them - no sudden changes, the whole thing very harmonious, but the fact you can't see everything at once sort of entices you out and through.

HaveYouSeenHerLately Thu 08-Sep-16 19:53:53

Thanks Glee! Everyone has been so complimentary blush flowers

When I see some of the gardens on here mine looks er...rather basic grin

I was afraid you'd say that shove (I've seen pics of your glorious winding garden!)
A path sounds like...WORK! I'm scared!!

I appreciate there's rather a lot of lawn, lovely as it is. I think that's the element that's boring me. I know what you mean about the 'journey', I've seen some fantastic photos on Pinterest of deep wiggly beds with continuous lawn top to bottom (path or no path).

The curves were a bit of an experiment and obviously aren't very dramatic. I wanted to see how I felt about having the beds encroach towards the centre, I approve!

Any ideas on how to install a path/ general cost? Lots of cats about so gravel probably not an option (plus it pinging into the lawn and wrecking the mower). How winding would you make the path? Please could you draw me a diagram and design my whole garden for me?!? wink

I tried to come up with a creative design when I first moved in and gave up! A lot of the resources seem to be for larger plots/ requiring lots of funds/ massive amounts of hard landscaping/ ultra contemporary (no lawn!!). I couldn't even find elements to modify/ downsize.

Feel free to add photos of your gardens everyone, I need the inspiration grinflowers

Ferguson Sat 10-Sep-16 21:04:05

Gardeners' World has just started designing a new garden, and is mostly lawn at the moment.

The hardest thing (that we never mastered in forty years!) is to get year-round interest.

(I'll come back sometime.)

HaveYouSeenHerLately Sat 10-Sep-16 22:51:33

Thanks Ferguson, I'll give it a watch grin I tried watching gardening transformation shows for a while but got fed up when the budget was quite obviously ££££. I presume the tv company pay for the everything?
I'd like to see the team challenged with a tiny budget. I suppose the results wouldn't be as dramatic/ instant hmm It would still be interesting to see what they came up with.

Agree about the year-round bit! I might get some dogwood this year grin I planted snowdrops in front of the hedgerow section on the right (my mini woodland!) but they didn't do anything. I'm hoping they may establish and leap into action this year? Probably wishful thinkingwink

I have a good selection of evergreen shrubs and climbers, hellebores, spring bulbs and self seeded primulas which make winter edition moderately appealing. Must remember to protect my camellia buds this year smile

ChishandFips33 Tue 13-Sep-16 01:35:28

We are experimenting with curves atm which is going against the grain as I'm an 'angular' person but it's growing on me

I liked this sort of thing but our garden is wide rather than long but it would suit yours and kind of depicts what Shove was saying about peeking behind the taller plants to glimpse what's beyond

It's more severe in loosing the lawn than what you're probably looking for though!

shovetheholly Tue 13-Sep-16 10:40:41

Yes, that's exactly the kind of thing I was thinking of- if you don't go too shady (I.e. think careful about the placements of taller plants and be a bit more sparing than in that picture) you can use the existing lawn. Then all you need to do is dig out the turf and maybe edge with one of the good quality edging products like everedge. This cuts down on the work of hard landscaping tremendously! Plus, a green path looks nice. I wish I could have one but grass struggles in my north-facer!!

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