New garden & new to gardening

Hi All,

We have recently moved and now have a much bigger garden than what I am used to and it is currently a blank canvas. I would welcome any suggestions to create a beautiful, yet low maintenance garden.



So far my ideas consist of growing evergreen clematis up the garage wall and laying a staggered stepping stone/plank path from the bottom of the steps to the shed. Also some star jasmine to create a bit of a privacy screen to the left hand side, behind the garage/in front of the shed.

I really fancy a stone waterfall-style water feature but would am concerned at the cost that this would involve - maybe a solar powered pump?

The garden is approximately 17m long and 10m wide at it's widest (between the garage and the shed).

Any suggestions would be very welcome!
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  • How about adding a small pong or water feature? thats what we are planning to do to ours, as it should hopefully encourage more wildlife into the garden to.
  • Mark56Mark56 Windsor, BerkshirePosts: 1,653
    edited March 2018
    I'd have a wide, long, curved bed on the right hand side with lots of bee friendly plants and perhaps a seating area at the other end of the garden. I'd also be sure to put in a small 5" sized gap in the right hand fence for toads, frogs and hedgehogs to pass through 
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 16,246
    First things first.  You need a list of must haves and a wish list for later implementation but the most important thing to start with is which way your garden faces, annual rainfall, soil type as this dictates what will grow well and also how exposed your garden is to heavy frosts and strong winds.   You can buy soil testing kits in garden centres and the rest is observation.

    I would suggest you need a path from the terrace to the shed to avoid stepping on wet or frozen grass in winter.  This could be curved past the garage to which you could attach tensioned wires or trellis panels on battens to support climbing roses and/or clematis depending on aspect and soil.   You also need to think about practicalities like where to stash a couple of compost bins perhaps behind trellis panels and/or a gate between the end of the garage and the shed and thus make a work area between that and the shed with maybe cold frames and so on.

    I think you could also make a curved bed t round off the bottom right hand corner as your garden does look very rectangular and could do with softening but that's a matter of taste.   If it's the sunniest area you may want to make it a  seating/eating area instead.

    Once you know the answers to the questions in the first sentence you can proceed to choosing appropriate plants.


    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • DampGardenManDampGardenMan Posts: 1,058
    As the above posters have said, curves! They make a rectangular plot look more interesting. I'd also put trellises running left to right and right to left across the garden (perhaps one running off the far end of the garage) so bits of it are hidden and you have to walk down the (curving) path to see what's happening. Assuming of course you don't have kids wanting to kick a ball around ...
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 5,054
    DGM is very into curves. :) @tonybernet64, I find it advisable to always add a small pong. Genteel, and perfectly formed. 💨

  • FireFire LondonPosts: 5,054
    @Windways137, the National Garden Scheme is wonderful for going and looking at similar sized gardens for inspiration and advice. Great cake, usually, too.
  • DampGardenManDampGardenMan Posts: 1,058
    DGM is very into curves. :)
    Mais oui :wink:

    My first garden was about 15' x 20', and it came (I eventually discovered when I tackled the 3' deep grass one day after being shamed into by my neighbour) that it had, yes, three straight borders, one down each side and one across the back. Made the garden look very boring IMHO. I knew nothing about gardening (didn't even possess a spade) but I thought about things and decided curved borders would work better. And they did. And they made it look bigger! So I've been a fan ever since and am trying to preach to people who are starting out. You have to avoid fussy of course - as @RaisinGirl said on another post "Simple shapes will make it seem larger - too 'busy' can close it in".
  • Your suggestions are really helpful, thank you! We don't have kids (yet) but my husband has requested that we keep the majority of the lawn for future football!!

    I'm now thinking a curved path, which I hadn't considered, and a curved border down the long side. I also like the idea of trellising to hide the shed area which we can turn into a storage/compost area.
    We don't need a seating area in the garden as there is a large raised patio, not really visible in the photo.

    The pH test is proving the soil to be generally 6.something so only slighting acidic and the garden is SW facing and gets quite a lot of sun!

    Does anybody have any suggestions to break up the wall/fence along the right hand side and at the back. The garden is almost stepped down so they walls are very tall on those sides (not sure how we will leave a gap for hedgehogs/toads etc as its quite a fall!).

    Maybe a rockery/waterfall in the top right hand corner with some taller trees?
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 5,054
    You walls could be a delight for climbers and the walls are tall and trellis looks like it could be easily attached. I can imagine an arbour at the end. Climbing roses, clematis, grapes? There is a huge variety of roses to chose from, if you like them - wide range of colours, flower forms, vigour levels, sun/shade loving. Go for what appeals and knock yourself out.

    I'm wondering if you use both the structures on the right of the garden. They take up a lot of space. The colours are quite striking.

  • I'm wondering if you use both the structures on the right of the garden. They take up a lot of space. The colours are quite striking.
    The wooden shed is new, which is why it is bright orange, but we will painting it. The garage is quite useful, although ugly and in a most bizarre place! Unfortunately we need the storage space they provide so now need to figure out how to disguise them!

    My plan for the garage side is something like this:



    And I'm hoping the shed will be much more subtle when painted! There is just a slightly awkward dead space between the 2 now!
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