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Help with back garden please

(9 Posts)
creambunnie Wed 05-Sep-07 22:36:40

Hi, wonder if you lovely folk could give me some suggestions to help sort out my back garden? Where I live plants get blasted by the wind and generally don't do well especially over the winter... so... might anyone advise what types of shrubs and flowering shrubs I could plant in my back garden that are "hardy" (believe thats the term in gardening world!)

Also any decor ideas/inspiration would be great... we have a chipped area with borders and corner decking all requiring sprucing up.

Thanks x

curiouscat Thu 06-Sep-07 12:10:37

Hi creamb, for strength you can't beat ivy if you want to cover ugly fences. Slow growing but evergreen.

Just a few thoughts, I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will be along soon. Do you have bare fences (my speciality) or just beds to fill?

Choiysia (Mexican orange plant) is hardy, has pleasant yellow/green leaves, evergreen.

If your soil is acid camellias are lovely, dark shiny leaves with fab spring flowers, evergreen.

Bamboo's really nice and tough, you can choose all sorts of interesting stems and leaves and heights. Pots or ground are fine.

Passionflowers are great climbers with lovely flowers, also solanum are prolific climbers.

Fuschias always give good colour. Where you live will affect what will survive outdoors overwinter - more choice down South obviously.

claricebeansmum Thu 06-Sep-07 12:13:51

Brilliant list Curious Cat - especailly the choiysia and bamboo

CissyCharlton Thu 06-Sep-07 12:25:41

How much sun does the garden get? Do you know which direction it faces?

creambunnie Thu 06-Sep-07 13:50:07

Thanks girls! nice to get help and suggestions!!

Curious cat am curious myself re the bare fences (could take a pic to show you if you want) they are bare ie, just slat of wood after slat of wood.....

It gets the sun in the morning to mid afternoon (when it shines!) .... though just under the house eaves is shadowed all day.

curiouscat Thu 06-Sep-07 14:13:19

Hi creamb,

I've really learnt as I go along. FWIW
7 years ago our north facing 30' square London garden had depressing brown fence all round it and boring brown shed. 2 ft bed around lawn.

Don't want to ramble or seem smug, but there's now no fences visible most of the time, as my confidence grew I've tried different things.

1.Painted white the fence outside our kitchen window (side return of house, gravel on ground). Huge terracotta pots with tall bamboos in. (Expensive plants but I've divided up original ones). Result: pretty view and much brighter than previous brown fence.

2. Stain the shed green. This makes it seem further away. (work for fences too but haven't done it). Cut away grass from edge of shed. Stole ivy cuttings from local passageway, rooted them and planted them along bottom of the shed. Result:variegated and other ivies covering the shed so thickly I now just trim them to let light in.

3. Bare fences. I inherited established jasmine and clematis montana climbing up them. Elsewhere install trellis/nail them to fence/posts in the ground whatever. plant: solanum, passiflora, virginia creeper, honeysuckle, clematis, pyracantha, ivy, various climbing roses. Result: no visible fences.

4. Beds. Permanent shrubs include roses, choiysia, lavender, rosemary, stachys (low furry leaves kids love stroking). Result:fragrant and low maintenance, add bedding plants/bulbs when can be bothered.

I do hope this helps. I'm no expert but asked anyone for advice and snooped at others' gardens for ideas. don't be scared to mess up or rip things out that don't work or you don't like. Happy gardening

CissyCharlton Thu 06-Sep-07 14:25:56

I would be a little careful with using bamboo if it's a very windy spot. Wind is very drying and could cause problems. You may be better with plants that can withstand a little battering and not lose too much moisture through their leaves. Anything with leathery, glossy leaves may suit. Curious' idea about bamboos in pots may be OK because that way, if you think they are drying out, you could move them to a more sheltered position.
I would approach a local independent garden centre because they will advise on which plants are best for your area.
Curious, your garden sounds lovely.

curiouscat Thu 06-Sep-07 14:35:54

Thanks Cissy,

You're right about the bamboo and wind, but we're pretty sheltered. The only thing that kills bamboo is drying out (not subzero temperatures) so watering pots can be a pain too. I failed to mention various edible troughs and herbs I've got in the garden. Kids like watching their own spring onions/alpine strawberries/sunflowers grow.

I have an allotment also, so the garden gets neglected because of it. But compared to how it started out I'm pleased with it. Under the benign neglect regime now (don't mow to beat the drought etc), and I was thrilled to see a hedgehog snuffling around our patio this week. We've had a mother fox and 3 cubs gambolling around in spring time too. All in West London.

creambunnie Mon 10-Sep-07 22:34:29

Thanks "c"'s .

Any chance of seeing any pics for inspiration too?

I bought some bulbs today to get started and hope to visit our local garden nursery soon (with list of your recommendations).

Thanks again x

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