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Ideas/inspiration for small, shallow front garden

zugeniezugenie Posts: 30
edited August 2020 in Garden design
Hello! I have front garden either side of the path for our front door, it's south facing, and fairly exposed, it also slopes front to back.

Left side:
210cm wide x 90cm deep, there's a drain almost in the centre leaving 80cm to the left and 95cm to the right, it's clay soil that's had compost mixed in so is a lovely quality. 

Right side:
130cm wide by 90cm deep, there's also a drain here leaving 70cm to the left and 30cm to the right, this side is top soil (there was only rubble there when we moved in, no soil)

Currently I have a pot on each drain with a standard lilac and white lavender in, those are staying, both sides have berberis planted along the path that I'm not against removing, there does need to be something there though to protect the other plants from dog wee (owners will let their dogs walk onto peoples gardens to pee) currently it looks patchy and blends into the soil so I'm not attached to it.

I have a beautiful rose, blue moon, on the left side, right next to the front door path which is also staying, I have ordered another rose, ferdinand pichard, to go the other side of the drain. The right side has nothing I'm attached too, currently just a scabious and a snap dragon, and only berberis on the narrow side of the pot. 

As it stands I'm not happy with it, I want something quite neat, and that doesn't just look like a load of shrubs/plants plonked in with no thought, which is what the houses come with round here (new builds). I'm considering replacing the berberis with something like a japanese holly trimmed into a low (30cm-ish) hedge. I have a large piece of garden down the side of our house running up to the public footpath as the front does, which in my humble opinion looks great, the front garden is letting the side down :#

Sorry for that wall of text!! My biggest dilemma is what to plant between the rose and the drain on the left side, and what to plant at all on the right side, suggestions on what I could replace the berberis thunbergii atropurpurea harlequin with would also be greatly appreciated, preferably something that I could grow on both sides. 

This is a little plan if it helps people visualise, the stumps are where the drains are.




Posts

  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 8,225
    I'm guessing that you want quite a formal look ? I was thinking of maybe the low growing grasses such as stipa tenuissima but that may not fit with the style you want. Would help to cover the drain covers but still allow access. 
    Will have a think, in the meantime this should bump your post up and others may advise. 
  • edhelkaedhelka GwyneddPosts: 1,972
    Can you post a photo? I have problems imagining the space.
    I don't like the idea of a formal design, it needs symmetry and that can't be achieved with the position of the drains and the path. Also, your roses are of different types. I would go for a wilder, more cottage garden-like look. If you want it as need as possible, it needs repetition - only choose between 2 and 4 plants and repeat them there. A short hedge (lavender, box, box alternative) next to the path or at the front could also help.
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 3,956
    Formal doesn't necessarily mean symmetrical, you could use box balls (or box alternative) with a simple undeplanting (geraniums?) and spring bulbs, alliums, agapanthus...
  • AnniD said:
    I'm guessing that you want quite a formal look ? I was thinking of maybe the low growing grasses such as stipa tenuissima but that may not fit with the style you want. Would help to cover the drain covers but still allow access. 
    Will have a think, in the meantime this should bump your post up and others may advise. 
    I just want it to look purposeful, rather than like a bunch of shrubs have been shoved in the ground. The drains are covered by the pots so I'm not worried so much about that, it's just what to put between the rose and the drain, and what to put on the right side full stop! Thank you!
  • edhelka said:
    Can you post a photo? I have problems imagining the space.
    I don't like the idea of a formal design, it needs symmetry and that can't be achieved with the position of the drains and the path. Also, your roses are of different types. I would go for a wilder, more cottage garden-like look. If you want it as need as possible, it needs repetition - only choose between 2 and 4 plants and repeat them there. A short hedge (lavender, box, box alternative) next to the path or at the front could also help.
    There's currently a short berberis hedge but it's very spindly, I've looked into replacing it with Japanese Holly but I can't really justify the cost, I am however considering replacing it with a green berberis so you can at least see it (currently it very much blends into the ground)
  • SuesynSuesyn South Somerset Posts: 445






    This is my narrow  "front garden" which as you can see is directly on the road. When we moved here it had a concrete strip up to the wall which my other half took out so I could plant out there. It is about 80cm deep and I have a climbing rose at each end, a pyracantha next to the postbox and bergenia on either side of the front door. In between there is a mix of heuchera and grasses and an underplanting of spring bulbs. It's never very colourful but there is always something to look at and it doesn't need much maintenance. 
  • Suesyn said:






    This is my narrow  "front garden" which as you can see is directly on the road. When we moved here it had a concrete strip up to the wall which my other half took out so I could plant out there. It is about 80cm deep and I have a climbing rose at each end, a pyracantha next to the postbox and bergenia on either side of the front door. In between there is a mix of heuchera and grasses and an underplanting of spring bulbs. It's never very colourful but there is always something to look at and it doesn't need much maintenance. 
    That's beautiful, I'd love to have heucheras but sadly we have vine weevils!
  • I went to the garden centre yesterday intending to get some japanese holly, got there and didn't like the way it looked, after browsing I opted for Yew Hicksii, I hadn't realised you can grow a dwarf hedge with Yew so I'm quite excited as I love how it looks. 



    This is the awkward spot on the left side, I rediscovered a drain I'd completely forgotten about! Ideally I'd like a plant to go between the rose and the pot, obviously it'll have to sit behind the drain (but I'm not worried about it growing over the top)



    And this is the right side, I'd like something to go where the snapdragon is currently, I am debating something like a white echinacea since this is the only spot in my garden I could grow that!! The yew will have the whole of the other side of the pot so this is the only spot I need to sort!
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 7,771
    I think you will find that as the rose grows, it will fill that space anyway. Personally I don't think a white echinacea would fit in well, it is rather prairie style plant and rather straggly which will die down in the winter and leave a gap anyway. How about a lavender or catmint?
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