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new house and gardening virgin...help

(9 Posts)
mamazee Thu 18-Sep-08 20:44:00

hiya
i have just got a lush new house ...our first house and first garden grin
the back garden is lovely lovely and the front is a drive with a 2 foot high brick trough type thing. i have a couple of questions to help me make the most of it...

1. there is a twisted willow in the middle of the lawn that overhangs the path. i need to prune it so the path is clear my MIL suggests it may be best to either get rid or keep chopping lower branches so it gets more umbrella like (at the mo only my toddler can walk under it..thought it may be a nice shaded spot but don't want it to be huge)

2.what can i put in the trough? i thought about lavender, rosemary but people have said they get very 'woody'. i am not going to be big on up keep so what can i put there ? i love white flowers, things that smell in summer and would like it to grow to about 3 foot.

3. i have fallen in love with 'blacked eyed susan' plant ...where is best to put it ?

4. what can i plant that will grow over the porch and up the front of the house ? we have a clematis at the side and back so not that.

5. what veg/fruit is the easiest to plant and grow with my son ?

6. i have also fallen in love with himalayan balsam but have noticed that at our friends in devon it is EVERYWHERE...i would love that but think my neighbours may not is it as rampant as i think ?

and finally (well done for getting this far

6. should i grow herbs inside or outside all year or a bit of both. why do they always shrivel and die on my windowsill?

sorry...a bit of an epic...
really appreciate the advice.

thanks in advance

Pannacotta Fri 19-Sep-08 15:42:17

WHat direction do the trough and front wall face as this will affect what you can plant there? Also waht type of soil do you have, acid/alkaline? If you dont know you can buy soil tesating kits for a couple of pounds from garden centres/B&Q.
Personally I would prune rather than remove the tree, might be worth getting some prof help with this and your planting as well.

mamazee Fri 19-Sep-08 15:55:06

thanks pannacotta
just off up there to check !
be back on later.

2cats2many Fri 19-Sep-08 15:58:36

I think herbs are a great idea for your trough. There's nothing better than having fresh herbs in the garden- really handy.

mamazee Fri 19-Sep-08 19:50:25

hiya
pannacotta the trough is north facing but is in a quite open space so gets a reasonable amount of light.
only thing about herbs is the trough is in the front garden so a bit of a hassle to pick mid cooking
i love the smell of rosemary, thyme and lavender though...mmmm...maybe
thanks

ib Fri 19-Sep-08 20:05:28

Rosemary, thyme and lavender really want as much sun as you can possibly give them, or they will get really woody.

I think herbs are usually best grown outside, you can have basil inside in pots over the winter if you use it a lot (will die outside in the winter). Anything in a pot on the windowsill will need a fair amount of water.

A lovely plant that is white and smells divine in summer is the madonna lily, but it dies down after flowering (although shortly after the leaves come out again). Takes care of itself in my garden but then I am in the south of France!

I would put a nice rose over the porch and the front of the house - choose one which is recommended for a north facing aspect.

mamazee Fri 19-Sep-08 20:54:45

hanks ib...great about the basil..i may not live in the south of france but i aim to live like i do a rose sounds great...do they take much looking after ?
thanks

Pannacotta Fri 19-Sep-08 22:17:16

I don't recoomend herbs for north facing a aspect, they like the sun.
There are other things you could plant in the trough, hellebores, Busy Lizzies, bulbs like Cyclamen, depends on which colours you like too.
Are some good suggestions for shady beds here
www.plantsforshade.co.uk/index.html
Agree that a rose above the front door woudl be nice, try and find a scented on which will flower without the sun, there are some.

ib Sat 20-Sep-08 07:29:41

If you find the right one ime they don't take much looking after, but of they are unhappy they can be a nightmare, so choose carefully.

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