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Back garden planting advice please

Hi everyone. Would love to have your thoughts on what plants to use in my back garden please. 

I've steadily been structuring the space to work with its constraints - long(ish) and narrow, on a slope, a not overly attractive shed, overlooked by a house higher on the hill at the back - by creating the zones shown in the photos.

View from first floor:

View from ground floor:

I'm learning (!), so have some plants already in that came with the house and others that likely need relocating/rehoming. The first zone is gravel, with box, bay and olive in planters, and mixed shrubs in the beds. The second zone is grass. The third zone is currently bare earth, awaiting planting and bark as some cover over the steps and a small area to sit at. There's some shrubs at the fence right at the back. I have red robin on the right and laurel/conifer on the left. The aspect is west and the soil clay. 

As the weeping tree at the back loses leaves, the overlooking house becomes visible, so I'm hoping to lead the eye through the sleepers to the grey planter at the top of the garden as a focal point, to detract from it a little. I was thinking of using box in the planter as the other symmetrical ones. I was also thinking of having some winter-flowering jasmine on the trellis for winter interest and to detract from the house when the tree's leaves . 
  • What shrubs do you think would be a good compliment to the yellow euonymus right at the back? I wondered perhaps if a hosta or viburnum tinus would be good?
  • What do you think would be good in the new area I've made by the steps that's currently bare earth? I was thinking of lots of lavender for the pollinators and as we have some with box at the front. But I'm not sure if that would look right and how to tie that in to a design, and if the result would lack height in this area (I'd like to reduce the impact of the shed a bit, as well as have a little space to sit at for a different perspective than the gravel area at the bottom of the garden).
  • What do you think I should have in the beds in the first gravel area? There's some yew and other pale euonymuses I can relocate, and some hebes that are sweet with neat small leaves.
  • What colour scheme/theme do you think could be used as an idea to hold everything together? With the big conifer on the side, a new jasmine and the euonymuses, yellow is repeated. There's green of course, and red. The viburnum in the bed in the gravel area has white in the winter.
  • How would you tie everything together? Totally different zones with planting? Or relocate various shrubs and spread things out in a repeated way? I'd like to keep things as restrained as possible within reason and in the constraints, so thinking about what would work better for colour, shape, etc. To reduce cost etc I'd like to keep the yellow euonymus in the ground, as well as the hebes and the red robin and laurel of course. Also to keep the box and bay containers. But the rest can relocate/find a new home, I'm very open to try and get a planting scheme that works and am unsure of where to start!
Thanks in advance.


  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 11,020
    Bumping the thread  up while l give it some thought  :)
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 10,542
    You have made a very good start in planning your garden so here's my thoughts:-
    I agree with MrsGlaze that an arch would look very well between the trellis, but I would make this a straight one not an arch, to tie it in better with your geometric theme.
    I would not put winter jasmine on the trellis, as it's a very rampant untidy plant which needs constant tying in. Most climbing plants will be too heavy for that trellis, so I would be inclined to leave it bare, it's pretty as it is.
    I would bring your grey planter at the back, a little more forward towards the "v" in the steps and plant a standard variegated holly in it, both to give extra height and lighten the area. I don't think lavender will work at all there as it's too shady, think about hostas and ferns instead, with spring bulbs to again lighten the area.
    Can you paint the shed perhaps with a light pretty blue. You could then tie this in with
    say a caryopteris which has blue flowers. Blue looks good with yellow shrubs so I would stick to a yellow, blue and white colour scheme. 
    Finally, personally I would have the tall conifer to the left taken down if it's in your garden - it's far too tall, oppressive and shades the gravel area too much. You would get much more sunshine in the garden without it, which most plants need. Hope this helps. 
  • SuesynSuesyn South Somerset Posts: 614
    You have the bones of a lovely garden there.If you stretch wire between the posts on the trellis you could grow some climbers, perhaps clematis,  some are quite dainty just be a bit selective and don't buy a thug. I would also think about putting something light reflective against the back fence, try standing a big mirror there ,it would make the garden appear bigger and brighter .
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,286
    A focal point at the end of the garden ... yes  :)... but please not a mirror ... so many birds fly into them and into reflective windows too, and break their necks  :'(
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

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