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Complete Newbie..

Hi, we have just purchased our first home and it has a lovely south facing garden. I think it just needs a bit of colour - we both come from having no gardens at all to all this space and a bit daunting on who what when where but know we want to do something... Ive been looking at "garden boarders". and saw a post on here of someone who had done wooden edging, filled with soil and planted plants... thats literally my jargo sorry peeps! This is a whole new world for me. But thinking that idea could work. But then being green thumb novices dont want anything that would require a lot of work? We havent even owned a pet yet so a garden would be our first baby to nurture lol looking for any advise on garden keeping and if anyone wants to recommend anything to plant would be grateful :) if you had this garden.. what would you do ?! :D


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 29,062
    Hi, and a warm welcome to the Forum. 
    I think the problem with " if you had this garden.. what would you do ?! D" is the answers will be what other folk want/ would do with the space. 
    I'm guessing you'd not show photos of your new sitting room and ask folk which wallpaper they'd have .
    You need to decide what YOU want. There's no point in folk saying, for example, have a fruit /veg patch if you've neither time ,nor inclination to grow them. or set aside a play area if you don't have / plan to have kids. 
    I'd suggest you look at lots of gardens,in real lilfe, online, in books and magazines etc and  decide what YOU like and distill those idea into your garden. You have no need to rush into it. Take your time, even walk round your neighbourhood and see if any style /plants even, catch your eye
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,065
    You have the proverbial 'blank canvas' there, so just about anything is possible! :)
    If you google 'rectangular garden design' and look at the images, it will give you a way to decide roughly how you would like it.  A lot depends on how much you like mowing grass really, how keen on gardening you are.
    You asked, "if it were yours, what would you do?"  Personally, I'd put a greenhouse on the ready-made paved area on the left, remove the 'path to nowhere' completely and create wide curvy borders which I'd plant up with a few small decorative and fruit trees, a combination of shrubs including some evergreen ones, together with 'cottage garden' type perennials and annuals in the borders.  About half way down, I'd build an arbour to grow clematis up and ground behind that would be used for growing veg.  I'd also sneak a wildlife pond in somewhere! :)
    Whatever you decide, it's best to 'do' a small area at a time and do it well so that you have something to inspire you.  Easiest would be start off with a straight-edged border on either side.  To do that, tie a piece of string to 2 stakes placed 1m or more from the fence and (say) 10 feet apart.  Using a spade, cut down about 3-4 inches along the line of the string.  Lift and cut under the grass towards the fence so that you remove it in a layer about 2" thick (pile up the turf grass side down somewhere down the bottom of your garden and it will turn into excellent potting soil in about a year.)  Dig the new border area over with a fork to about the forks depth, then cover it with a mulch of well-rotted manure and leave over the winter for the worms to break it down and improve the soil for you.  In spring, start planting! :)
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Welcome to the forum. :)
    It's a good space, and every gardener that sees it will have loads of ideas about how they would design it, but you don't have to do anything to it except mow the grass, when it starts growing in the spring, to keep it tidy.
    You don't say where you are but there are almost certainly some gardens near you that you could visit and get some idea of the sort of things you might like to try, the effect you want and the sort of planting you like best. Then you can come back on here and get more targeted advice.
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,532
    It doesn't look like a brand new build, so previous occupants may have planted bulbs and perennials, which disappear underground for the winter.  If you start digging now, you might damage them.  I would just wait and see what, if anything, comes up for the next few months.  Work on getting the indoors as you want it while the weather's cold and wet!  You've received plenty of suggestions already for research and planning, and deciding what you want from your garden.  You might find it worth while to buy a soil testing kit, I think they cost about £10, to find out how acid or alkaline your soil is.  Some plants are very particular about soil chemistry, and this could save you time and money on plants which won't do well in your soil. 
  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 3,984
    edited January 2020
    Best way to go is wait at least until May, just to see what comes up. Then decide what hard landscaping you want, curved or zigzag path, seating at the far end, shady area, as by that time you will know where the sun goes across your garden, which in turn will give you an idea of what plants will like which areas. It's a long process but really enjoyable, with something lovely at the end.😁

    Hope this helps @sabunting
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