Forum home Garden design

Ideas for a novice, but keen gardener with a South-west facing garden

Hi All,

My boyfriend and I are renovating our Edwardian house and garden. We haven't yet started much of the building work and in lieu ofappointing a builder we've started on the garden. It was completely derelict so the garden was a jungle overrun with brambles, nettles. bindweed and a strange mound at the end which turned out to be multiple layers of concrete and brick patios as well as a Victorian tip!!


We've started de-weeding, levelling the ground and the earth is full of stones, rocks, random glass, objects so I expect it to take us some time before it is ready for grass seed let alone actual plants. In the meantime we want to develop our longer term plans to keep us on track and motivated! We are both complete gardening beginners. I would be grateful for any comments.

My thoughts so far include:

A patio near the house, shed/ bike storage, some lawn area, a design that brings wildlife in, keen for the garden to be fragrant, I'm thinking a limited colour palette of purple, white and greens and want to maximise textures. Plants on my wish list include wisteria, lavender, jasmine, bamboo, ferns, succulents - no idea yet if these would work in combination or are compatible with our setting.

Ground is a real mix of London clay in parts, gravel/ sandy in others but I suspect that is in part a hangover from it's tip history!

The garden is south-west facing, 19m x 7.5m.

Above is a photo of the current as is - our boundary on the right is at the edge of the muddy bit/ starts at the end of the concrete wall before the tree, we are yet to put up a fence.

Any ideas much appreciated,



  • LoxleyLoxley NottinghamPosts: 4,622

    Envious of your plot. Have a go at drawing some simple shapes on paper, try and think how you're going to use it and how it'll look from the house. Do you want the whole garden to be one open space that you can take in at once, or broken into slightly separate areas?

  • CloggieCloggie Cambs Fens but not black soilPosts: 1,444

    You say you're beginners so I'll mention diagonals in the assumption that you've not read about them yet.  You seem to have done quite a bit of research so far, so good on ya. 

    The Victorians liked their long, thin gardens didn't they?

    Sketch some stuff on paper as Will said, do a scale drawing and try diagonals to lengthen the lines that the eye sees.  You have great aspects, SW facing is fab.  On a SW facing fence in my last garden I had the Chilean Potato Vine, it was fabulous.  Always in flower in summer and seemed to glow at dusk.  Almost evergreen in winter.  However, be careful how you train it - mine made a trunk that wanted to flatten my fence so make sure you train it away from the fence when it is young.

Sign In or Register to comment.