How about drawing a (2D) plan of your property so we can better see what things look like. A simple sketched plan showing dimensions and aspect (N,E,S,W) might help.
Ok - a not very good 2D plan and definitely not to scale! Hope it makes sense! I've also added the key window views that I'll be planning planting/features for
Thanks for the plan, Montyfangirl, the second, larger, version is much better. Pity that the garage is sited at the back of the garden and the driveway is "lost space".
It's also a good idea to post views from your windows. When planning a new or renovated garden it is essential to take into consideration the spot(s) where the garden will most often viewed from.
So the right hedge is a Rhododendron. So you may have Acidic soil. That is useful as it opens up a bit of choice for plants like Tropaeolum Speciosum - can scramble over bushes and around the ground.
Your left border could have Ajuga Caitlin Giant, lovely glossy base leaves and most striking blue flowers. Luzula Nivea, fine strappy green leaves and white flowerheads in summer and base of Asarum Europaeum, the wild ginger. Rounded glossy deep green leaves to cover the soil.
Against dark walls of hedges, Hesperis Matronalis 'Alba' will be the repeated accent plant that anchors your whole garden together. Other interest to dot plant around the back and if you have a raised planter either running along the right curve of the lawn or to the front of the lawn, Salvia Nemorosa Caradona, Salvia Pratensis, Knautia Macedonica, Scabious Columbaria, Lychnis Coronaria 'Alba' and Achillea Terracotta, Hemerocallis, Cranesbills - so many varieties, just take a look to find your right one for height and flower colour. They are also the best plants for leaf form when there will be dips and gaps in colour interest. I could go on and on as it goes with herbaceous planting schemes.
I find myself saying the same thing when advising on narrow or smaller borders. Scale is important. The ideas are usually the same, but it's just the scale. Block planting is good if you have the space, but very often we don't or we want too many plants in a confined space. Think about planting young plants into diagonal strips. You will hopefully get a more naturalistic look on a smaller scale. Ground covers near the edge of lawns makes a nice formal feel and the more 'wild' look is held back by this low mound.
Sometimes, it creates a pleasing contrast of control and natural which I think is best usage in a medium to small size area. Leaves of size, shape and surfaces are also things to think about when choosing plants.
The Salvias are a risk on your soil, but if you have worked in lots of grit and compost, and continue to do so every year, there will be loads of plants to add on your list.
Last edited: 17 September 2017 13:39:50
thanks so much Borderline - I'm being drawn to a white/green planting scheme. I'll go away and look up all those plants and see which ones I fall in love with. I'll also get a soil testing kit.
ok soil test kit bought so will do that tomorrow. Can I check, if I do a large bed at the very back against the wall, will it be east facing tolerant plants that I will be looking for?
Last edited: 21 September 2017 20:19:35
Montyfangirl, after seeing your list of plants I can understand where you are going and yes, my suggestions would have too much in the way of colour. I love Libertias and choosing so many white colours and silvery tones will enhance the back-drop and also make your plants stand out.
About the back borders, east facing plants tend to be plants that are tough and can tolerate a range of conditions. Shade tolerant plants should also be on the list. I think any plant that is quite hardy, can take cold winds and can cope with temperature changes.
Hi, read you're query on Houzz and since I was a little bored this morning I did a quick sketch for you.
All info is in the link, hope it works:) https://www.houzz.co.uk/discussions/4877889/design-ideas-for-my-outside-space
and the plan: