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Please help me bring my garden to life

Hi everyone here are a few photos of my garden. I want to bring some life and colour to it and want plants / flowers that will look fab each year.

I feel like the triangle is all different heights and isn’t just scatty.

Please throw suggestions at me!?

Thank you


  • SussexsunSussexsun Posts: 1,444
    I would make the border wider and less straight.

    you don’t say anything about soil or how much sun it gets so I will go with sunny from the photo.
    i would say you need something either to trail along the fence and/or something with a bit of height.
    A clematis would go nice along the fence. Maybe a floribunda rose for scent and long flowering period. There is a good choice of hardy fushias which would give some height and long flowering period and easy to grow. Maybe even a standard one.
    For ground cover I would look at some cranesbill.
    i would also look to add some things that self seed like lupins, poppies, hollyhocks
    Plant lots of bulbs in autumn. Dafs, tulips, alium and anything else you like the look of.

    To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower Hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.

  • jblockhartjblockhart Posts: 32
    For colour, what about some hardy fuschias, mounds of geraniums in your favourite colours, Japanese anemones, some climbing roses on your fence and perhaps a small tree such as a Malus 'Evereste' (crabapple) for Spring flower and fruits that the birds enjoy in winter? The Sedum Herbstfreude in your 'triangle' is a good value plant as the flowers will go a brilliant crimson in the autumn and it is easy to propogate for many more plants. For life, what about a birdfeeder or two and a birdbath? 
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700
    It's a common mistake to cut a border that is only around a foot in depth. Most herbaceous plants will over-spill that space in two years. So as suggested from others, re-cut your borders deeper into the grass. If you must keep the grass in a narrow garden, work out the ratios. Normally 2/3 of grass is more than enough, meaning you can afford to cut more out on the left side and even right through the middle to break up the length.

    In small spaces, pick plants with extra interests like the leaf form and leaf colour. Choose to plant against contrasting leaf form rather than colour. Plant in zig zag rows instead of dot plants in rows, especially in narrow borders. The idea is to create irregular flow instead of regimented rows.

    Then it's your soil type and the aspect. Both will help others to select a good variety of plants for your garden.
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,530
    How about something you can eat?  If that garden were mine, I'd grow fruit trees against the fence and plant currant bushes in front of them.  You could alternate the trees with more colourful climbers, and have cheery annuals growing around the fruit bushes.  Hardy things like marigolds, nasturtiums, forget me nots, aquilegia and nigella, which will self-seed year after year.  And lots of crocuses and daffodils.
  • jblockhartjblockhart Posts: 32
    I agree with Sussexsun and Borderline that the border needs to be deeper and more curving or sweeping. I heard Alan Titchmarsh say on GW years ago that one metre is a good depth for a border of this sort. I like to finish off a border with a thick mulch of bark. I like Josusa47's suggestion of fruit trees. What about espalier apples, pear, plum and/or cherries along the fence? These would make a lovely backdrop to the border, give spring flower, fruits into the winter and invite life into the garden. Clematis would also be good, however, I am always reminded of hearing Christopher Lloyd say that clematis at the end of the season looks like a "disemboweled mattress"! My hesitation clematis is that it is important to ensure you are around to keep your eye on it and train it where you want it to go in a mixed border during those crucial early spring weeks before it is too late and all over the plants you don't want it grow. Have fun designing!
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,626
    I agree.  Widen the narrow borders to about a metre and put your 3 new clems along the fences to cover them and give them space to grow.   Work plenty of good compost or well-rotted manure into the soil and add some taller perennials and/or shrub roses to give height and easy plants such as hardy geraniums at their feet as ground cover.

    Your obelisk is pretty but really too small to be a good plant support so maybe turn it into a bird feeder or, as I suggested on your clematis thread, fill it with a string of outdoor fairy lights.

    In a small garden foliage shapes, textures and colour are more important to get right than flowers as they have a longer season so think about evergreens as well as plants with good spring and autumn leaf colour.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Valley GardenerValley Gardener Posts: 2,772
    I would definitely,widen and generously curve the border,curves are more interesting than straight lines. Also I would plant tall Salvias and Penstemons,Coreopsis,a red one, and Verbena. Other annuals you could fill spaces with,Cosmos,Geraniums etc.
    The whole truth is an instrument that can only be played by an expert.
  • Natalie LNatalie L Posts: 125
    Thanks everyone
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,626
    Let us know what you decide and how you get on and don't hesitate to ask for further advice.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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