Small, North-Facing Garden

We've recently bought a house with a small, north-facing garden. We are fairly clueless about gardening but keen to keep a tidy garden and perhaps grow a few edibles. Hopefully this link will work for images.

https://m.imgur.com/a/ddVUG

Any suggestions for the front? As you can see, we have a small hedge. I'm not thrilled with it for a few reasons but don't know if anything can/should be done. One is that it's been planted in a tiny strip of land, so it is starting to bring up the paving stones behind it. Another issue is that it looks a bit strange over winter, as some of it is full and some sparse. It offers privacy, however. And I have seen a few birds enjoying it.

I'd also like to balance it out with something near the other corner of the house. I had hoped for a small tree, maybe a Juneberry? But don't know if it is possible to plant anything there as there is a metal plate in the ground.

We get sun in the front but not much in the back, so wasn't sure if we could plant one or two edibles out there, or perhaps a window box with flowers.

In the back we don't have much space, but the lawn seems to be doing well. We have no clue what's already there but have gotten some help in identification from another forum.

Could I plant some sort of climber along that side wall in the back garden? It faces east and likely wouldn't get much sun, if any.

Or perhaps a climber on the side of the house? I love the idea of roses somewhere.

Sorry for the long post! Looking for any ideas on where to start. What would you do if this was your garden?

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Posts

  • Fire LilyFire Lily Posts: 296

    I would remove everything, even the grass and then grow edibles that also are beautyful, like artichokes, hostas, strawberries, blackcurrants etc. And the wall should be perfect for tomatoes if it is facing south. 

  • KismetKismet Posts: 10

    Thanks Fire Lily. Will tomatoes grow outside? I was under the impression that they'd need to be in a greenhouse. I also forgot to mention that we are in East Mids. I'd love to have fresh tomatoes, though!

  • Fire LilyFire Lily Posts: 296

    There are all sorts of tomatoes, there are even varieties that can grow outside here in Sweden. So no, not all tomatoes need to be in a greenhouse, just check when you buy the seed/plant. 

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 16,801

    Fire Lily says :

    " grow edibles that also are beautyful, like artichokes, hostas, strawberries, blackcurrants etc"

    Please don't eat the Hostas. image

    Devon.
  • Fire LilyFire Lily Posts: 296

    Hahahaha, maybe you should go to Japan where they are grown as a crop and free them all?

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  • KismetKismet Posts: 10
    Freddies Dad says:

    I would look to site the patio towards the garage as that looks like it gets the most sun. As a narrow but wide garden splitting it up to 2 halves makes it look bigger than it is. I found this design online - very applicable to your space.

    The round lawn is also an optical illusion of more space, the patio gives you entertainment space and the borders colour.

    image

    I would some of the shrubs in the back garden, the ones near the garage as the new hedge out front.

    See original post

     Thank you, that looks amazing! We probably won't make any major changes like that for a while (need to redo inside of house first), but I really like the idea of having a patio round the side. It never would have occurred to me to do something like that. I'm great at visualizing changes inside but not used to applying that to the outside as well.

  • MrsGlazeMrsGlaze EssexPosts: 227

    Your garden has lots of potential,  i think using something like a pergola or arch as shown in the plan by Freddies dad with a plant trained over, or maybe a potted tree nearer to the house to detract from the surrounding walls would make a lovely feature. I have used railway sleepers to make raised beds at the bottom of my small garden, this creates some interest and helps to conceal the edges, it makes gardening a bit easier when the soil and plants are raised and it also provides extra seating when you are entertaining (you can just place a few cushions about for some comfort). As the existing bushes you have look fairly established i'd be inclined to leave them unless you do have a complete re-design, as for climbers the hydrangea is good for a north facing wall. Your small hedge at the front looks fine, but you could always swap any bushes that are bare with evergreens like a laurel or photinia x fraseri 'red robin' and keep it clipped for the privacy. Good luck with all your plans.



  • KismetKismet Posts: 10

    Thank you, Mrs Glaze! We do have one hydrangea on the back wall and it's beautiful. I agree that the hedge looks good when it's full, it just looks awful over the winter. I don't think we will do a total redesign for a while, but it's nice to keep it in mind as we experiment this year. 

  • FireFire LondonPosts: 4,054

    Watch and wait a year.

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