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Beds versus lawn

Pam285Pam285 HullPosts: 75
I would like to make more effective use of the garden space I have by creating more bed space for plants. Currently there are no hidden spots in the garden. It is all on view.  I remember when I had an allotment dividing that space up into raised beds with narrow grass strips.  I think triangular ones running from the tall fence to the concrete path would work best. 
Thd total length of the grass area is 34 foot by 14.5 foot. 
Each bed being a mixture of shrub, rose, cottage garden perennial. I should get 4 x 6 foot at the widest point with 18 inch paths between. 
I would value comments and suggestions.  


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 29,180
    I'd lose the grass altogether if it was my garden. 
    No lawn = no need to own a lawnmower, no need to store a lawnmower and no need to use a lawnmower. Win Win Win.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 26,280
    I like a bit of grass - but not bowling green standard - because it sets off borders and can be a place for kids and dogs to play if needed.   You could break up the garden tho by erecting trellis panels with climbers or planting shrubs which block the view and make you want to explore beyond.

    Making circles or triangular beds with diagonal paths will also make the garden seem wider and deeper.  Here are some ideas I found on the 'net.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Pam285Pam285 HullPosts: 75
    Thanks Obelixx. I know what you mean about the lawn creating a good foil for the plants. Ive drawn the outline of the beds I’m thinking about  still retaining grass borders for the time being  I have been inspired by watching the Edible Gardener and also Philips cottage garden which looks wonderful.  Depending on bed size I should get either 6 x 6ft  or 4 x 8ft  at the largest width.  Planting a mixture of shrub, perennial and then veg in between.  At the bottom on the hard standing I am waiting for my 12 x 10 ft greenhouse.  It’s coming next month.  Pam
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 3,997
    I would break the garden into two or three lawned or paved 'rooms' divided by deep beds which you walk through along a narrow path. The beds could have a yew or box hedge as a backbone, with taller perennials which filter the views to the next 'garden room '. 
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 26,280
    edited March 2019
    If you can, take away the original straight path and then have wider grassed areas because the grass will grow better and be easier to cut.  Also, if you do edge cutting or have plants hanging over it you'll find you end up with an ever narrowing strip of grass you won't even get a mower along.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 8,260
    Have you considered taking out the path and treating it as a blank canvas? 
  • Pam285Pam285 HullPosts: 75
    I did when we originally moved in but it’s a very solid concrete path and I believe part of the original garden. The house was built in 1939 and the couple who first bought it stayed there until 1996. There’s an access road at the end of the garden and lots of people have garages. 
  • FlinsterFlinster Posts: 883
    I think in principle the idea is good but triangles can be difficult to plant sometimes. I’d be tempted to square them off a bit myself. Exciting project and a new greenhouse.. 😀
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 8,260
    Fair enough, l don't blame you ! Very envious of the size of your new greenhouse  :o
  • Pam285Pam285 HullPosts: 75
    Revisions. Having perused through Geoff Hamilton’s Cottage Gardens book I realise my design lacks the necessary symmetry and doesn’t exactly invite you in to investigate further.  This layout also allows you to visit each section without having to back track up the same path    
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