Forum home Garden design

what next? - new build gardener advice

I moved into my first home in early summer 2019 - I'm in my 20s and very new to gardening!

After spending almost a year looking out onto a blank canvas over the course of spring/summer 2020 I have been adding to the garden.

Garden is north east facing but have had no issues with a lack of sun -  garage wall and pergola area have sun all day and the sleeper bed has dappled sun throughout the morning and full sun for most of the afternoon.

The 3 images below show the progress so far:
[1]April 2020 [2]August 2020 [3]December 2020

I'm happy with the garden now but feel it needs something else? Maybe something to break the field of vision outwards - i'm unsure but feel something is missing! 

Any suggestions / advice on plants or features to consider would be a great help

Current project:
I have cleared the area behind the garage accessible through the pergola where I plan to build a small lean to greenhouse so that i can grow a small amount of veg and plants from seed. 

I have also dotted some snowdrop and wild garlic bulbs around the beds for some interest early 2021.

Ideas on the rest of the garden:
- flower beds either side of the path towards to pergola area -  worried these will look sparse over winter months..

- fence coverage - we already have 2 x jasmine plants training across the back fence 

- banked bed on the back fence between the pergola and the sleeper bed - meaning i could plant on a slope possibly getting a bit more height?

- more flowering plants - purple sensation alliums, dahlias?

- a small tree? I like the idea of having a tree in the garden but unsure where I would plant one -  I already have a small acer in the deepest end of the sleeper bed, i was hoping this would eventually fill the back corner but so far has only grown outwards and not upwards! Hoping it has established itself and will add some height next season...



  • Hello and welcome to gardening.It can be so rewarding.
    Clematis armandii would look great climbing up and over your pergola.
    It is everygreen and flowers late winter early spring. It can be pruned back if required but then flowers would be reduced the following year.
    Hellebores are also everygreen and there are many beautiful ones to choose from and they will flower again late winter through to the summer.
  • @bertrand-mabel
    Thanks! - the hellebores is an excellent idea 
  • @KeenOnGreen
    Thanks! i have been looking at cercis chinensis ‘avondale’ for a tree in the lawn in a similar spot to where you have suggested

    would you have any suggestion for the shrubs? i have a couple of jasmines on the back fence so it would be nice to mix it up
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,531
    Rob, in your second and third photos, it looks rather as though the raised border is directly against the wooden fence.  If so, you can expect the bottom of the fence to rot quite quickly, where the soil is in contact.  You can use any sort of heavy-duty plastic, metal sheeting, or scrap timber to push down in between to keep the soil off the fence.
  • @josusa47 trick of the eye! its against the concrete slabs that are in the first image - the wood visible on the second image sits on top of the slabs 'capping' off the slabs to neaten it up visually and don't go down into the bed 
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,531
    Glad to hear it.  I'll get my eyes tested.
  • @josusa47 dug out a photo from when it was built - the wooden cap also helps disguise the dramatic slope 

  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,744
    @rob.holliday   There are so many shrubs to choose from.  Some of our favourites in the garden are Abelia Kaleidoscope, Choisya Aztec Pearl, Physocarpus Diablo, and any of the Pittosporums.  An alternative to shrubs would be Phormiums (Platt's Black, Cream Delight and Evening Glow are nice varieties), Astelia Chathamica, or maybe some grasses to add height and structure (If I had to choose just one grass, it would be Calamagrostis Karl Foerster, ideally in clumps of 3 or more).

  • delskidelski Posts: 274
    @rob.holliday When you laid those slabs in grass, did you use anything underneath them or just cut a hole in the turf and put them direct on soil?
Sign In or Register to comment.