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Finally my own garden

Hello everyone,
After living in rental properties all my life, I have finally got my own property. The most exciting part of this (other than not paying off other peoples mortgages!) is that I now have my own garden.
It's a new build property so a blank canvas. Turf has since been laid at the bottom of the garden. 
I was wondering if anyone has any ideas? I have attached a plant list that I have been working on. Most of them are shade tolerant plants. The garden faces south east.

The garden is 8.5 x 15m.

I am thinking about some fruit trees down the right hand side fence (cherry stella, feijoias (as I already have 4 large plants in pots) pear. 

Any ideas appreciated! 



  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 14,605
    First of all, where are you? I ask because Bananas are not hardy in most of the UK.
    My second thought is, if the garden faces SE, it is in the sun, so why have you chosen lots of plants for shade?

    I think you need to decide how you are going to lay out the garden, I cannot visualise how all those plants are going to go in that space.

    Are you going to have a path through that border?
    How will you divide the planting area up?

    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,157
    edited January 2020
    Hello and welcome to the forum  :)
    Just a couple of thoughts, if the garden is South East facing,  it should be fairly sunny, although it could be affected by nearby buildings. 
    Also, tempting as it is, l wouldn't go too mad and plant everything on your list, although l can fully understand your excitement and enthusiasm. 
    Are you planning on extending the existing patio, or maybe having another seating area elsewhere in the garden ? Also things such as a washing line, shed etc. may need to be taken into consideration. 
    Get the hard landscaping etc.sorted first, then you can start with the beds and planting. Then it's do you want curves or straight lines ? Take your time,  it will happen.  Tempting as it is to rush it, get the basics right first,  it makes what follows much easier. 
    You've come to the right place for advice! 
  • newprojectgardennewprojectgarden Posts: 113
    edited January 2020
    Hello and thanks for the replies.
    I am due to move into the property at the end of the month. So at the moment I know what direction the property is facing,although I'm not aware of how much light etc the garden will get. As you can see the property backs onto a woodland, which is a nice backdrop but will/could cause a bit of shade. There is also a propery next door which is where the sun will set behind. I am in Wiltshire.

    In regards to the banana plant, I am happy bringing it inside over the winter months, as I currently do at the moment. I do the same with my canas and ensete. They are on that list, just because I have them at the moment so i'll take them with me, ill pick a sunny spot for them.

    My initial list has been mostly shady plants, maybe for some reason I'm expecting the garden to be shadier than it will actually be..

    My first ideas for the garden was to extend  from the woodland behind, which was why I liked the idea of the ferns and shadier plants and then flow into more tropical looking plants such as the Fatsia, palms etc. Not sure what I will do with the back fence.
    As I will be doing the work myself, I will keep a fairly simple patio, I was thinking of extending it so it's about 3m.

    The sketch below has straight beds, 1.5m wide. I am also looking a curved designs too.

    Thanks again,

  • Thanks for the photos of your garden. It's interesting to see how it has changed over the years, and it's looking great. 

    I am currently an apprentice gardener, hence my enthusiasm, but you're all right in advising to take things slowly, thanks for reminding me.! 

    I work on an organic estate that has incredible gardens, so I have unlimited supply of some fantastic compost. This will prove very useful when I'm working on improving the soil, which is something I'm looking forward to doing. This was my thinking behind getting the shape of the beds designed, as I can then at least work some compost into them and try to start improving the soil. 
    I will do a soil test, first impressions was that it was clay/chalky, not the best drainage (like many new builds, the ground has been compacted with machinery driving over it and the quality of the garden was the last thing on the construction sites/house developers mind. 
    In regards to how much time I have to garden, it's something I enjoy doing and am passionate about, so I will be spending many hours a week out there gardening. 
    I really appreciate people taking the time to comment. I will try to keep this thread as a diary updated with developments

  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,157
    That would be good if you could do that. Speaking personally, l like seeing the progress of new projects  :)
    I envy you the supply of decent compost, and empathise with the compacted ground. A pickaxe was very handy l found !
    I was thinking about your plot a little more, and l would be inclined to go with curves to soften the squareness of the site. However l am a member of the older generation,  and you may want a more contemporary approach which tends to go for straight lines. Good luck with it all.
    PS Lovely garden @madpenguin
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 23,110
    edited January 2020
    It all depends on your own taste and what you will use the garden for. People with children like a play area, dogs like a lawn or their own separate space, some like to grow vegetables.

    I like a lawn, I think it sets plants off nicely and it's nice to walk on with bare feet. I like curves, roses and flowers. We bought a cottage in Norfolk 18 months ago. I watched the sun last winter and planted flowers in a bed that was sunny in the winter, but then then leaves grew on trees and the sun moved differently so I had to re-plant with shade loving plants.

    I like some of those designs above that @Obelixx has posted and @madpenguin 's garden in 2015 is lovely, but I do like a bit of lawn.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • newprojectgardennewprojectgarden Posts: 113
    edited March 2020

    Hello everyone, I hope you are all well,

    It's been 2 months since I posted. I moved into the house 2 weeks ago. It's great to be moved in :smile:

    As promised, here is a little update..

    I have done a couple of bits in the garden, mainly planted some trees that I managed to get for free. There are 2 pear trees that had been trained previously against a wall, and a quince. I had to cut all of them back pretty hard before removing them from the ground so that I could transport them easier. I have planted them in a location that I think will continue to receive the most sunlight.

    The first issue that I have encountered, is , bloody leatherjackets. Hundreds of them in the turf and the terrible job that they did laying the turf on top of all kinds of rubble. As you can see from the photos, the turf isn't looking very good and it's only a few weeks old.!!

    I may just have to start rolling it back and pick out the leatherjackets and rubble add some compost and then put the turf back down (it hasn't rooted much yet and the ground is compacted with rubble, sticks, weeds, although the quality of the soil is not too bad).

    I may also try nematodes when the ground warms up and then overseed.

    Along the left side fence, I have my potted plants from my old house. There are 3 feijoas, 2 x blueberry, some strawberries , redcurrants and blackcurrants.

    The right hand side is shady, I am playing around with some string for border shapes, you can just about make it out..! There are some hellebores that I dug up from my old house. I will put them and some other shade tolerant, tropical looking plants there.

    Damn that turf looks terrible in the photo! I have e-mailed the developer to complain. They should have at least rotavated and or removed some rubble. The leatherjackets came with the low quality turf I'm assuming. Which, they include a clause for in the house documents.

    Anyway, I'm focusing on a curvy border design for now. I think it will have to be wider than the string is in the photo and that's just a very rough idea.

    I have ordered a ton bag of organic compost for the borders and I have currently been using homemade compost and john innes 3 when i planted the trees,

    Enough of my rambling!

    Stay safe!

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