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New Build - Ideas Welcome

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  • Rik56 said:
    The thing with asking such a question is you will get a lot of good suggestions - which is great - but I would compile a list of things you want from "your" garden.
    eg..
    How much time will you spend in it?... will you actually do any "gardening"?
    Do you want to entertain or will it be a private space you can relax in?
    Will it be used by pets or kids?
    What style of garden do you like?
    Whats your budget?
    Give yourself 6 to 8 months to think about what you'd prefer.. have a walk around the local area to see what grows well & perhaps talk to neighbours with established gardens?
    In that time note how wet or dry it becomes & see where the light falls.

    I would be chomping at the bit to get going too but try and resist so whatever you decide wont disappoint you later on (or waste time & money).

    True.

    I think visiting mature gardens is probably the best idea. It's the little things i'm unsure on e.g.

    I would like to under plant my collection of japanese maples with snowdrops to create an dwarf forest effect in a shady corner. But once the snowdrops disapear, the effect would to and I'm not quite knowledgeable enough to know what people usually use to fill the void after early flowering bulbs.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 31,022
    Look aorund your area to see what grows well too.
    This is the ideal time of year to 'make plans'. People often jump in and start creating, without thinking about the important, everyday stuff. You don't want it to become a chore to maintain if you have a busy lifestyle.
    The soil will probably be rubbish too, so it's always worth improving any areas you dig out for planting, before you get to the stage of buying plants or sowing seed.  :)

    I'd also say that if you decide to have a pond - site it near the house. It gives a nice focal point and viewpoint from the house through winter, especially when those birds start arriving  ;)  
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 5,296
    I think Japanese maples look best on their own, but agree that snowdrops would look good underneath if you can get them established (don't buy them as bulbs but as plants either in flower or just after). Possibly some ferns? 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 31,022
    Hakenochloas look great with Acers, especially the dark ones.

    They grow in shade/sun, wet/dry - anywhere really. They'd come into growth after the snowdrops [around May here] so they'll help hide the dying foliage of the snowdrops, but they stay looking good right through autumn, so you'd get a good display with the acer colours and their foliage together.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • FireFire LondonPosts: 6,439
    I would deep some deep holes and see what the ground is made of - if you have much topsoil, how it drains. The nature of the ground may well determine what you do with it.
  • Fire said:
    I would deep some deep holes and see what the ground is made of - if you have much topsoil, how it drains. The nature of the ground may well determine what you do with it.
    6 inches of top soil 
    Then compacted clay (building machines rolling over it)and rubble 

  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 1,032
    You will have a lot of soil improvement to do in the future...amazing how the developers are allowed to do this. It's not a sustainable depth for long-term gardening. 
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • You will have a lot of soil improvement to do in the future...amazing how the developers are allowed to do this. It's not a sustainable depth for long-term gardening. 
    My last place was worse.

    The clay here isn't as heavy and the rubble doesn't seem to be as bad (fingers crossed). At my last house, anything below 6 inches required a pick axe and I eventually just gave up.

    My plan of action is to make my designs by mid March (I don't think I could go a summer living in the garden without making a start), then bring in a mini digger to break up the soil in any planting borders, mix well with manure (I have 3 black bins of horse manure kept aside) and then purchase a few thousand liters of loam to top.

    I liked the idea of a bog garden to soak any over spill from a pond running towards the house. I'm fairly sure that I won't even need liner with how the clay is holding moisture at the minute.
  • I'm prefer to draw than write so I did a sketch (a very rough one) based on your pictures. I think a couple of circular lawns will add some structure to the space and give you plenty of space around them for planting. I've put the office in the closest corner through a rose arch which will keep the space open in the larger part of the garden which has better views beyond.  A birdbath or bird table outside the window of the office will be a welcome distraction. In the other corner there's space for a focal point - maybe a pergola with a bench beneath ?  The fences here would be lend themselves well for training a couple of fruit trees up. Between the lawns there's a small pond to keep the wildlife happy and give you something to look at from the house. It's all very exciting and you'll make it your own but hopefully there's a couple of ideas here that will get you thinking. Best of luck.

  • I'm prefer to draw than write so I did a sketch (a very rough one) based on your pictures. I think a couple of circular lawns will add some structure to the space and give you plenty of space around them for planting. I've put the office in the closest corner through a rose arch which will keep the space open in the larger part of the garden which has better views beyond.  A birdbath or bird table outside the window of the office will be a welcome distraction. In the other corner there's space for a focal point - maybe a pergola with a bench beneath ?  The fences here would be lend themselves well for training a couple of fruit trees up. Between the lawns there's a small pond to keep the wildlife happy and give you something to look at from the house. It's all very exciting and you'll make it your own but hopefully there's a couple of ideas here that will get you thinking. Best of luck.

    Thank you, great to see some different ideas. 

    Very similar to what I've come up with.

    I do agree with the circular lawns but I was hoping only to level a patio area and paths, I feel a structured lawn would also have to be levelled to get the full effect? 

    The outdoor office has now become less of a priority as I've managed to find office space elsewhere.

    The focal point in the far corner is something I had definitely forgotten to add to my draft plans. I'll have a think what would be a suitable focal point. 

    At some point I'll upload my own sketch
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