Garden design help(35 Posts)
Can I have your thoughts on this rough garden plan? I’ve drawn about a billion drawings so far and this is the latest one. I think it’s got everything I want, but is there anything that wouldn’t work or you think might work better a different way?
The six veg beds aren’t huge (1.5m x 2.7m) but there are only two of us, potatoes are planted elsewhere, and fruit and perennial veg are planted in the back garden. So I think they will be big enough for what we need?
It is NNE facing, but not overlooked, so gets a good amount of sun during the day.
The house is at the bottom of the page, but with a bit of a garden between the front door and start of the plan. The idea was to have something interesting to look at from the house, especially in winter when the veg area may be fairly empty.
If you can’t read my scribbly handwriting, I can let you know what it says
If the house is at the bottom of the page I wouldn’t have a conifer so close. In fact I wouldn’t have a conifer at all. How tall are you going to allow the conifer to grow? As most if left will get huge. They suck all the goodness from the soil around so you could have problems getting flowers to establish around it. Plus they are not the prettiest this to look at.
it looks very formal to me. I've just spent a lot of time & energy ripping out all my low box hedging (inherited from previous owner) because nothing grows next to it and it is so dull and corporate.
also, your paths don't really go anywhere. paths are much more fun if they lead somewhere. I saw a really nice small garden with a narrow path all around the edge (1foot of flowerbed outside of the path). It was great for kids to run around like a maze and made the small space really engaging.
The conifers can go - I was thinking of keeping them fairly low (like shorter than me) and having them as just a structural piece in the centre, but I could have something else?
Also, I want the box kept low, a bit like this photo.
Sorry, should have said, the paths do lead somewhere. There is more garden surrounding the plan, my paper just wasn’t big enough! there is a long, curvy path going down the right hand side, which leads to the driveway after another section of borders, and then there’s another path going horizontally across the bottom of the page which leads to the house and back garden.
It is quite formal I suppose. The other parts of the garden are much less formal, so I wanted a bit more structure here.
I could do something different entirely in that bottom section - it’s only really the veg area that’s important! The aim of the bottom part is to have a seating area for the evening sun, and to look nice all year round when veg area isn’t doing a lot.
I’d have four veg beds - you only need four really.
You’ll need other plants other than lavender and daffodils? Box will be an arse to trim - how about compact lavender instead? Or ornamental grasses? Then you can have low flowering plants like Armenia as well for more colour.
Whats the soil?
It's a nice idea.How do you control the size of the conifers trees. And you have to take care to avoid box blight. Pinus mugo is small and bushy.
It would look interesting and tidy imv so is a good option.
Very difficult to think of things for the winter. There are tall grasses which would remain into the winter and red stemmed cornus.
I just want lavender and daffodils edging the seating area there will obviously be more plants in the beds themselves.
I did think I would maybe do something similar to box rather than box itself. I got some good suggestions on here before which I’ve written down somewhere...
I don’t mind if the perennials in the four beds die back over winter, I think with the box (or box substitute) plus an evergreen something in the centre of each, that will provide enough interest, do you think? And maybe have snowdrops or another early bulb in there before the perennial stuff comes to life.
I originally had four veg beds but then started to think about having one for cutting flowers, and then maybe having a spare for... I don’t know what I can put it back to just having four though.
Oh also, it is on a slight slope, so we thought we would make it level and do a step down as you go into the veg area. I thought I could put an archway with a climbing rose or something there, so again there is some sort of height in the winter? (Obviously the rose won’t be flowering)
You could also have some tulips as well for early interest?
The only thing with evergreens is if they suck the life out of the soil around them. You could get cornus as Gibbous suggests - lovely red or yellow stems in the winter
You could put the cut flowers in the perennials bed anyway as you’ll want to cut them to encourage flowering.
A step sounds nice. A rose or even a living arch made of willow could be an option?
I love that photo you posted Gin, I like the little box hedge, gives it some structure. Really pretty.
I’m going to stick with the box edging (or probably ilex crenata) but I think I might have some obelisks in the centre of the borders instead of trying to find an evergreen shrub. I might even lose the two horizontal paths and just have two box borders instead of four.
I’m a bit stuck with what to do to the right hand side of the plan - the curvy path going alongside it means it changes width as it goes down, and I’m not sure whether to just keep it as a mown strip, or do something else
Well I really liked the original one if it makes you feel any better!
I liked your plan. A lot. Makes me wish my garden was big enough. Seem to remember that you need about 50 sqm per person if you want to be self-sufficient, and your veg beds are a really decent size to give you plenty of produce.
Wonder though if that 1.5m width for the veg bed is about a foot wider than the recommended 1.2 (but that's just based on what I was taught). Or maybe you're really tall? I'd find it harder to reach at 1.5 than 1.2. And maybe I wouldn't have a grass path as the grass is a nightmare to restrain, but maybe you have a method you could share?
Spent two years designing my own garden and so glad I did - we got it done last summer and it's exactly right. So don't give up, it's totally worth spending the time now.
Ah thank you
I think this might be the plan (she says). The curve will be a mini wall almost, where the step down to the veg will be.
I think we will do one path down the middle for both for now, with the thought we can always add more paths if we need them, but it’s harder to take them away!
Charlie I think I will avoid grass paths. I actually dislike grass in general so I’ve told DP I can’t bring myself to sow grass seeds when I’m desperately trying to get rid of it everywhere else. And I think you’re right, I’d spent half my life trying to keep the edges neat.
That's not a bad idea either. And it's allowing you to follow your original design later if that's what you want to do once everything is in place. I find the symmetrical arrangement of your veg beds very appealing. Can imagine a row of espalier fruit trees framing it or soft fruit bushes as standards either side underplanted with strawberries...
I ended up with a tiny veg & fruit patch which I had designed on paper but left as a single area at the time the garden was done (for various reasons). But with the hard landscaping in place it's allowing me to play around with the actual space a bit more before committing to one layout.
Oh yes I like that idea! I’d like stepover apples framing the veg area but I could do standards on the corners.
The veg area seems to be the hardest bit, mainly because it’s the front garden, and everyone walks past it to get from the driveway to the front door, so I would like it to look neat and attractive as well as being productive really.
Next door have their veg patch directly adjacent to where ours will be, and theirs is just a large area with no paths, but they’ve made borders around it so your eye isn’t drawn directly to the bare patch in winter. Their garden path is straight though so theirs is easier to plan
If you are any good with Google Sketchup, it allows you to see your plan in 3D. It was a bit of a learning curve and I keep having to relearn it when I use it again, but it really worked for visualisation and was incredibly handy for calculating areas. I'll try and find my plan and let you see.
Oh yes that looks a lot easier to visualise! Right, I’ll see if I can work out how to use it...
I love your original plan esp the low hedging.
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