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Novice gardener, blank slate north facing garden- do I need a garden designer?

(6 Posts)
BubbleFrog Thu 29-Jun-17 20:48:13

I'm just about to inherit a new garden in our new house! It's north facing which i know is not ideal, and basically just a 70ft rectangle of grass.
I know nothing about gardening but really enjoy being outdoors in my parents beautiful one and want to recreate one at home.

Do I need a garden designer? I see these lovely photos of gardens with lots of different zones but do have the foggiest on how to make this? We dont have much money after buying the house but could probably invest £500-£1000 for the next three years in the garden. I don't mind doing the work but don't know what to do!

Any greenfingered tips greatly appreciated!

RippleEffects Thu 29-Jun-17 20:57:27

A grass rectangle is a great place to start. I'd create a pinterest board and pin everything you like. You'll possibly start to see common themes in things you like.

Next make a list of needs, wants i,e. Shed for lawn mower and bikes, washing line (whirlygig or line), barbeque, patio, garden sofas/ dining set, swings, fruit trees, flowers, pond, trampoline, swings etc.

Once you're in you can track the light. Look at where the sun falls at breakfast time, lunch time, home from work and evening time. You can determine which areas are pretty much always shade (good for sheds!) Which area gets evening sun - nice for a dining suite/ patio/ barbeque area.

WellTidy Fri 30-Jun-17 18:12:25

You could buy a few second hand books on Amazon and go from there? All beginners books gave sections on garsen deign for the beginner. I like Alan titchmarsh's complete guide.

squishysquirmy Fri 30-Jun-17 18:20:15

I would say don't rush - give yourself time to look at ideas, scan pinterest, observe how the light falls, see what the soil is like, find out how you like to use the garden, and work through/dismiss ideas in your head before committing to them. If you're anything like me, you'll become very enthusiastic about loads of different ideas that couldn't possibly all fit, before realising that most of them are deeply impractical/impossible. In the meantime, keep the grass mowed etc because once the weeds take hold it takes ages to get it nice again (bitter experience!) Enjoy it!

yamadori Sat 01-Jul-17 21:16:24

I agree with others - it's a waiting game, and you have plenty of time. Where you get the most sunlight will change with the seasons too, and you will notice that some parts will be in shade much of the year. Other places will get a lot more light. You will also be able to find out what the soil is like, and whether there are damp or dry spots (as that will affect what can grow there).
One of the best books I have is called 'Making a Garden' by David Stevens. It takes you through the planning stages step by step, and covers hard landscaping (walls, patios, paths etc) as well as planting.
Another idea is to walk around the local area and see what grows well nearby as that will probably grow well in your garden too.

IdaDown Sun 02-Jul-17 13:14:33

Agree with pps. Take your time and plan. Saves you time and money in long run.

I've got a north facing garden - it's not all doom and gloom.
I've planted lots of evergreen shrubs to add structure - box hedging, pittosporum and hebe balls.
Hebe hedging (hebe parviflora angustifolia) up to 6ft, tough as old boots, white flowers. Lovely fluffy looking hedge.
Different shades of green, variegated leaves and leaf shapes.
Ferns are beautiful.
Lots of white flowers. Hydrangeas - lots of lovely varieties (Annabelle and another with lime flowers / oak leaf types).
Bleeding heart (white)
Solomon's seal
Christmas box (scented)
Variegated ivy - just watch out on brickwork. I grow it on fence panels and up trellis.

I've gone for a formal look, which is surprisingly easy to maintain.
Look for books in charity shops. Have a nosey in local allotments and gardens - I find people are very happy to pass on gardening tips to newbies.

Crocus and Sarah Raven are good websites to look at plant/flower varieties.

If it's a 70ft long - what about plating a tree /pond at the far end directly in line of sight of back of house. Then make garden into 2 rooms with the 'waist' in middle, separated by hedge/tall borders/hedge on stilts.

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