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New build & new to gardening - I've had a go, but any help and advice welcome!



  • @Ruthmshaw That's good to know about the pleached trees, we had a nursery plant them for us (as we didn't want to risk ruining it, and also too heavy for me!) I'm just going to wait and see that they are alive and do something in summer, then I'll think about taking down the frames, can't wait for them to start filling out! 

    For the slabs, we also extended when we first moved in 5 years ago, and they still both me that they don't look the same, then we extended again a few months ago and they are really bothering me - I've tried hiding with a rug, but I think I might just have to take the upkeep. Was planning on masonry paint and then still having a big rug for where the table is, so they won't get walked on too much - and thought it might match the back patio a little more... 

    @raisingirl Thank you, it's been so hard, I want to enjoy the garden, but I know I just can't relax the second I hear a bee (or worse, wasp) buzz. I'll definitely look into some night scenting bits, I don't mind moths. I've tried forcing myself to get near with my trug - hard to pick a strawberry if you can't get near a bee! 

    @Jonquilla - that was on my original list, until my mother-in-law told me she has one and the bees love it! 

    @Cambridgerose12 wow - thank you so much! I've found a used version of that book online, so might invest in that to get some ideas, I like the idea of having the path go via the trug and around to the back patio, so I've been playing with that idea a bit. I've added loads of those plants to my list! I see the star jasmine come up a lot, so I think I'll go for that on the shadier side. I also like the Astrantia, but I read it self-seeds? Does that mean it would end up all over the garden, or just that it would spread in the border? The Bergenia is really pretty, I like that a lot, I also really like the agapanthus and need to decide if I go for it and see if I can cope with the bees... I was nervous of grasses because I didn't want anything that was going to take over or be hard to control but do like the fact they can be evergreen and like the noise they make? Definitely want some winter interest - currently working from home and looking out the patio doors trying to imagine everything, the Sarcococca confusa and Viburnum x bodnantense 'Deben' look like good winter options, not so sure whether I like the thought of something prickly like holly... I'm going to redo my little border plan today with those and try to work out heights and everything. Thanks again for all the help and ideas!
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 10,822
    @Attempting_to_garden, have you thought of having phobia treatment for your fear of wasps/bees, something like hypnotism or counselling perhaps?  Such a fear can blight your life and put you off enjoying your garden to the full so it's worth trying some treatment. My daughter was terrified of spiders so did a one day course at Bristol Zoo, cured her for good - and funnily enough, because she was not so scared, neither was I. I still don't like spiders but can deal with them now.

    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Posts: 7,953
    Most grasses are very well behaved, unlike wild ones you might battle with (such as couch grass).  A few will spread but the Internet should tell you which to avoid - or you can ask for our experience, of course.  Don't be tempted by bamboos.  Some - a few - are well behaved but many spread horribly.

    I've grown Astrantia but never had a problem with it seeding around...
    "The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life."  Rabindranath Tagore
  • Point taken about the prickles... an alternative might be Pittosporum 'Garnetii' then. Yes, the astrantias aren't a problem, they're not weedy plants. 
  • Thanks everyone - I've made a start on the borders now - at the moment just getting shape just started to think about ordering some plants... I also painted the patio - I know it'll probably be a short term solution, but I just couldn't face looking at 3 different shades of concrete builders block any more and I'd rather have to paint it every year! 

    I've also managed to grow some sweet peas and ranunculus - so hoping they stay alive long enough to be planted out. 

    Here's a couple of progress pics in case anyone is interested! I'll be covering more of the patio near the house with tubs and need to replant the little pots up the ladder, but going to wait for slightly nicer weather... 


    Borders taking shape... 

    Happier with the shape from the patio now: 

    @Lizzie27 - yep, I've considered having some form of treatment for the bee and wasp phobia - I managed to stay in the garden for a while with a bee whilst doing bits and pieces out there - until it made a beeline (!) for me, then I ran inside! Hoping by gardening a bit it might just force me outside and to get on with it... 

    @Liriodendron & @Cambridgerose12 - Thanks, I do like the astrantias, so pleased they won't become a problem. 

    Thanks for everyone's help so far, can't wait to start planting! 
  • so.phieso.phie Posts: 20
    I'm a newbie too, but I just wanted to say your garden looks lovely. 

    I have a similar fear of buzzy insects, which I am working on. The more I'm in the garden with them, the better I get. I have also found having quite early or later blooming plants like hellebore or sedum help, as I'm not outside as much in peak bee time in those months due to work, but I still enjoy them in the evenings or from my kitchen window. Not sure if these would work with your plans though. Good luck!
  • didywdidyw Posts: 2,747
    I love seeing how your garden is taking shape!  It's looking lovely already.  But I'm sorry you have a phobia about bees!  I love seeing their furry little bottoms sticking out of flowers (hence my profile pic!) and the buzzing sound as they get busy in the borders and in the blossom on the trees.
  • WillowBarkWillowBark Posts: 236
    The updates look fantastic @Attempting_to_garden, a really good job!
  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 6,451
    Lovely update - thank you  :) It's looking really good and - more importantly - sounds like you're getting a lot of pleasure from it  :)
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
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