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Feeling overwhelmed

First post and looking for a bit of advice please.   I’ve had my garden rejigged and there is a lot of space to fill.   I’m looking at the whole thing and feeling completely overwhelmed, I have googled so many shrubs and I’m still none the wiser just more confused!  Do I need to stop googling and get walking round garden centres/ nurseries?   I want shrubs with lots of colour,  evergreeens and anything else to add interest. Help please!


  • I would be inclined to go to one of these little nurseries,where you will get good advice and not pay so much.If you're thinking tree,I would recommend a weeping Cotoneaster,they are evergreen,and have masses of red berries which the birds love,and don't grow too tall. Myrtle is nice too,but there are lots to choose from.Once you get a few in, it will become easier.
    The whole truth is an instrument that can only be played by an expert.
  • jj75jj75 Posts: 3
    Thanks.   Am planning a trip next weekend, so hopefully will come away with some ideas. 
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  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601

    Don't be overwhelmed! Gardens develop gradually, so take time, think about what you like and what your conditions are, then look at garden centres and nurseries. Try to get to some of the Open Gardens that happen all summer and have a look at what other people have done. Some of these are huge but there are always little corners or plant groupings that may catch your eye, and some are just normal gardens with much to emulate.

     You can always change your mind, too. If a plant is in the wrong place, you can move it. If you wish you had chosen a different colour or the damn things keep dying, there will be other plants and other years. There's enough stress in life: the garden's for enjoying.

  • Daisy33Daisy33 Posts: 1,031
    Another useful plan is to walk around your neighbourhood/area if practicable and see what grows well locally. You may be lucky enough to chat to folk gardening at the moment, seeing as it's getting warmer for the first time this year. :o
    Take it gently; trust me in a few years time you will be back to ask where you are going to find space for all the seeds you have just sown. :)
  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 6,897
    If your garden is reasonable small - i.e. you can see all of it from your back door/window - then think in terms of an over all shape. Where do you want something tall/wide/evergreen to 'frame' the view or enclose the seating, or screen the neighbour's windows? Then follow IanC63's advice on light, aspect, drainage for those places and do your research - both Google and nursery - to find those. When you've planted the bigger trees/shrubs, then you begin to think about filling in.

    If it's a big plot then it's better to break it down into different areas and follow the same process but one area at a time. You can always throw some annuals seed or get some bedding in to the bits you haven't got round to yet and come to those next year or the year after or the year after. Gardens are better if they aren't made all at once, but grow with you, as you become more experienced. If you fill the whole thing on day 1, you've no opportunity to try something new next year - and you should always try something new every year - make it a rule  :)

    If you have a good local nursery and you go in and say "I need something to grow about so tall and wide, in a sunny corner - can be a bit windy there - what do you think? My soil is heavy clay." Then they can give you really good advice. If you go in and say "I want a plant - dunno how big, not sure what my soil is like - I just want it to be yellow flowers" then they will struggle. And Google is exactly the same.
    “It's still magic even if you know how it's done.” 
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  • DampGardenManDampGardenMan Posts: 1,054
    Avoid garden centres unless you know exactly what you want. @raisingirl's advice about finding a local (small) nursery is spot on. They are (a) knowledgeable (unlike the teenagers staffing the GCs) and (b) they really do want you back as a regular customer. Make friends with them and they'll be a never-ending source of good advice.
  • jj75jj75 Posts: 3
    Thanks everyone, some great advice.    When the sun starts shining this week I will make a note of which side is getting it at different times of the day.   The garden is quite small, probably tiny to most of you, but the new border has freaked me out a bit!  I’ll suss out what soil I have and use that as a starting point.     I would like year round interest, I have a camellia which is in full bloom now and I love that in winter it’s still green.     

    The new patio is much bigger than the old one so I’ll be using it a lot more for eating outside and entertaining...... fingers crossed.         Open gardens is a good idea,  I’ve definitely  been noticing a lot more of what is growing recently in the area.    I need to just relax and try to enjoy it!
  • FireFire Posts: 17,348
    Try the BBC series 'Big Dreams Small Spaces' and 'How to be a Gardener'. Both might offer inspiration.
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