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Tiered garden

lovegardening77lovegardening77 Berkshire Posts: 332
This is my garden, tiered by previous owners. I need inspiration on planting, have you any photos of your tiered gardens?
I don't want to see all f the garden at once, is there a way of making it more exciting?


  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,287
    Hi lovegardening, that is nice, someone spent a lot of time and money doing all that hard landscaping.
    Do you have anymore photos? A few different angles, like where the house situated, and side to side views.
    How deep is the patio area? House walls to raised bed wall?
    Is that steps going up centrally on both levels, up to the back wall trellis?
    Or are they off centre?
    Sorry a little difficult to make out in the shadows. Others may have better eyesight/ perception :D

    It may be too late or difficult to stagger or move the top steps to one side so you have to travel rather than straight up the centre.
    Though I do like the design as a more formal mirror image.
    A few well chosen trailing plants to hang down spill over and soften the walls here and there would help to lead the eyes.

    Depending on the size of the beds and garden. You could use some evergreen topiary type shrubs, or some obelisk's with climbers.

    A better sense of the scale would help with advice.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,023
    Wild edges has a beautiful tiered garden but he hasn't posted recently. Not sure if he was troubled by all the recent flooding and devastation in Wales.... :/
    Simple planting can be used to screen - like Verb. bonariensis, which is airy and can be put in the middle of beds, not just at the back,  but for winter, you'd need something more permanent like a trellis screen or similar. Trellis on it's own can be a feature, especially if you pick the better quality ones with smaller apertures.
    It doesn't look like you have a lot of depth in the planting areas, so something like that with clematis or similar, could also work, if you want colour from flowers as well.
    If you pick an evergreen one or a single montana, you'll have a framework there all the time, which will provide glimpses through to the rest of the space. Along the back of the bottom tier would be the best place for that, but I can see you also have an access path there, so you'd need to pick carefully, and train growth horizontally to get good coverage. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • lovegardening77lovegardening77 Berkshire Posts: 332
    I'm planning on making this bed wider but still leaving some lawn.
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,687
    What is on that top tier section? It's the sort of area for a tree or a taller shrub that creates a slight canopy and some dappled shade. Euonymus Alatus springs to mind.

    Plants like Hebes can come in all sizes and leaf shapes, nice domed clumps can create structure in the winter as well as create a nice contrast to more lighter planting. There's a front garden near where I live that is really steep. A clever mix of Eucalyptus Gunnii, Robinia Pseudoacacia 'Lace Lady', and Cotinus Coggygria frames sections of the garden so you can't immediately see everything in one go. Even in small spaces, taller and bigger plants anchors the whole garden together.

    I agree, the borders by your property can be more deeper. That allows you to plant your clumps in zig zag formation rather than next to each other. That tends to create a more harmonious feel and also makes borders look more natural from all angles.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 10,213
    Looking at the last photo, it occurs to me that if you wanted to, you could take up the path slabs between the top and bottom tier, and relay them the other way round to reduce the width of the path and increase the width of the first border. The proportions seem not quite right. A wider border would give you more scope to plant taller perennials/shrubs/roses etc which would partially screen the higher level. We've got a similar setup - I'll try to post some photos tomorrow.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 10,213
    Sorry for delay - here's some photos as promised
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 10,213
    Apologies if one or more of these photos are too big, I'm not sure what happened!
  • lovegardening77lovegardening77 Berkshire Posts: 332
    Wow Lizzie, that looks gorgeous. Thankyou for the pics.
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,722
    Our garden is steeply tiered, and not dissimilar to yours.  Some ideas.  

    Big planter, big plant, helps to hide the retaining walls.
    Prostrate/low growing plant (in this case an Acer), helps to soften a retaining wall

    A Cotoneaster completely hiding a retaining wall, which acts as a nice foil for other plants, plus lots of pots, which break up the lines of the hard landscaping.

    The other side of the garden, with more pots, tall plants, grasses to give movement.

    Tall wispy plants at the front of the beds will create height, and hide what is behind.  Try using trellis and bamboo canes with climbing plants, or grasses like Calmagrostis Karl Forster.  Small trees grown as standards will do the same thing, and these can be in pots.  A steeply tiered garden can be a pain, but you can also create lots of drama, good luck!
  • lovegardening77lovegardening77 Berkshire Posts: 332
    Wow your garden looks gorgeous too. Thankyou for the tips!
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