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New Build - North West Facing Garden

tommo9320tommo9320 HeywoodPosts: 22
edited January 2021 in Garden design
Hi! 

We finally moved out of our rental home into a 6 year old new build house with a decent sized North West facing garden. 

The estate is built on heavy clay and the top soil is in a poor condition, as is the norm with these new developments. 

In terms of design, would you bother with a lawn due to the garden position? Would raised beds/rockery be better than digging up the majority of the garden to create better soil conditions and drainage? 

We want to attract wildlife into our garden and will soon be having a pondless waterfall stream with a small seperate wildlife pond. With the low direct sunlight levels in the garden I have decided to go for a woodland look around this 5m stream with hostas, ferns, elephants ear, cronus, ivy, woodland anemones, mahonia, wildflower, foxgloves etc. 

I'd love a hedge of some sort and climbing plants to cover bare fencing. Do these need to be tolerant to waterlogging? 

We are quite overlooked so would some trees help give us a bit more privacy or would I be casting even more shade on to the garden!? 

Any ideas from anyone with a garden with a silimar aspect for planting or planning? 

In fact, any help at all is much appreciated! 

PS. Apologies for the look of my plans drawn with my 3 year olds felt tips 😂

Thanks, 

Mike. 



Posts

  • I would recommend simplifying the design slightly and turning them two lawn areas into one, that is a lot to cram into that size garden in my opinion. Your plan looks lovely though and I like you are keen to get stuck in this year! :smiley:Good luck whatever you decide to do, i'm more a veg grower than plant grower so can't really help out with the plants/flowers....though a couple of espalier apple trees along the fence (to the right side of your plan) where your seating areas are would do well, look nice and offer some degree of privacy. Just make sure you consider what rootstock the apple trees are on when buying them to ensure they don't grow too big, M26/M106 would be fine but sure others can confirm!
  • Songbird-1Songbird-1 Posts: 4,002
    edited January 2021
    We have quite heavy clay soil but after enriching it with ( enriched ) topsoil and compost, we invested in 2 Hoheria trees. They have done really well after less than two years. They are in part shade and part sun, face north to north west, are a very lightweight, airy pyramid shaped tree, semi deciduous ( but ours has hardly lost any leaves) not heavy to look at and would recommend them to anyone with the right conditions. They also provide some privacy.

    For ground cover, lamium is lovely and attracts the bees as does Woodruff.  Gaultheria is a nice compact small plant which produces berries for the birds. .Diascia is a small spreading plant which fades away over winter and comes back in the spring. All perennials. Frodo is Lucifer is a nice fiery red, quite tall perennial which adds a beautiful splash of red colour against any fence.

    I think the size and preference for the lawn is your own choice. Some people like them, others do not. I personally love a lawn, I think they tie a garden together and give it some cohesion. I like nice neat edges too. 

    Good luck. Always fun to be had in planning and then it coming to fruition. Be prepared to make mistakes, that how we learn where to plant plants and care for them
  • Can't help noticing a couple of your neighbours have gone for a tropical look in their gardens, both look very lush and given them some privacy. Perhaps you could chat to them? 
  • tommo9320tommo9320 HeywoodPosts: 22
    koyukano said:
    I would recommend simplifying the design slightly and turning them two lawn areas into one, that is a lot to cram into that size garden in my opinion. Your plan looks lovely though and I like you are keen to get stuck in this year! :smiley:Good luck whatever you decide to do, i'm more a veg grower than plant grower so can't really help out with the plants/flowers....though a couple of espalier apple trees along the fence (to the right side of your plan) where your seating areas are would do well, look nice and offer some degree of privacy. Just make sure you consider what rootstock the apple trees are on when buying them to ensure they don't grow too big, M26/M106 would be fine but sure others can confirm!
    Thanks for your advice 🙂

    I never thought of the apple trees just assumed they'd need a lot more light than my North West garden can offer. In summer the whole garden near enough gets sun but this time of year is another story. 🙃

    We have quite heavy clay soil but after enriching it with ( enriched ) topsoil and compost, we invested in 2 Hoheria trees. They have done really well after less than two years. They are in part shade and part sun, face north to north west, are a very lightweight, airy pyramid shaped tree, semi deciduous ( but ours has hardly lost any leaves) not heavy to look at and would recommend them to anyone with the right conditions. They also provide some privacy.

    For ground cover, lamium is lovely and attracts the bees as does Woodruff.  Gaultheria is a nice compact small plant which produces berries for the birds. .Diascia is a small spreading plant which fades away over winter and comes back in the spring. All perennials. Frodo is Lucifer is a nice fiery red, quite tall perennial which adds a beautiful splash of red colour against any fence.

    I think the size and preference for the lawn is your own choice. Some people like them, others do not. I personally love a lawn, I think they tie a garden together and give it some cohesion. I like nice neat edges too. 

    Good luck. Always fun to be had in planning and then it coming to fruition. Be prepared to make mistakes, that how we learn where to plant plants and care for them
    Wow so much great advice thanks!

    I want choesion and everything to tie together without looking unnatural, I agree a lawn does offer that.

    Having a young child and a dog the easiest thing to do would be artificial turf like a lot of my neighbours have done. However, that not only takes away the natural cohesive look im going for but being a wildlife lover is not something I am even considering as lawns are great for starlings, blackbirds, thrushes and the like. I dont want to detract these visitors, in fact total opposite. 

    Hopefully I can add more cover to boundaries with hedging and climbers. Im thinking holly despite it being slow growing. I have patience. 

    I have gone for the round lawn shapes to invite you round the garden via a path and break up the rigid boxes in shape of the garden. This will allow planting pockets for beds so this is the look I am going for. 

    Thanks again for all your advice. I have made a list of your recommended plants 😊. 




  • tommo9320tommo9320 HeywoodPosts: 22
    Can't help noticing a couple of your neighbours have gone for a tropical look in their gardens, both look very lush and given them some privacy. Perhaps you could chat to them? 
    Hi! 😊

    Yes these were the 'show homes' hence the more established look of those gardens. I noticed the laurel has done very well there too.

    I will be sure to speak to neighbours, when I am able to 😊. 
  • tommo9320tommo9320 HeywoodPosts: 22


    Hello again! 

    Despite battling the elements and Storm Christoph turning our back garden into a mud bath, we have a pondless waterfall and a nature pond in place 🙂

    We have some more planting and I am thinking of a multi-stemmed birch 'snow queen' to add some height between the stream and the pond.

    Obviously it is early days but so glad to have made the progress we have so early on and hope to start on a flagged base for the impending arrival of our 10x8 timber shed that is going to the right hand side fence.

    I am looking at painting our fence a grey colour perhaps to bring the eye into the features of the garden. 

    Will be sure to keep you updated, for as long as you're interested anyway 🙂. 

    Mike

  • PerkiPerki Rossendale - LancashirePosts: 2,181
    You've done a very nice job of the stream  :) shame you didn't add the pond at the bottom of the stream though . 

    Nice tree birch but they do out grow their space rather quickly , I look for something smaller. If you add some requirement you'd like maybe I or other members can help with a smaller tree / shrub. A tall tree may upset your neighbours as well looks like you've got a lot of houses around . If you are intent on a birch maybe betula Moonbeam it one of the smallest betula species with white bark .  I wouldn't plant it in-between the pond and stream either , not only will it dominate the area it may root under the pond / stream and damage the liner 
  • tommo9320tommo9320 HeywoodPosts: 22
    Perki said:
    You've done a very nice job of the stream  :) shame you didn't add the pond at the bottom of the stream though . 

    Nice tree birch but they do out grow their space rather quickly , I look for something smaller. If you add some requirement you'd like maybe I or other members can help with a smaller tree / shrub. A tall tree may upset your neighbours as well looks like you've got a lot of houses around . If you are intent on a birch maybe betula Moonbeam it one of the smallest betula species with white bark .  I wouldn't plant it in-between the pond and stream either , not only will it dominate the area it may root under the pond / stream and damage the liner 
    Hi Perki, thanks for your comments. 

    There is a seperate wildlife pond to the left (maybe just out of picture) of the stream as I read flowing water was not ideal for inhabitants of a wildlife pond?

    Yes, if you can suggest a position for a smaller birch. I do want to incorporate the trees for height, privacy but also wildlife friendly and not too tall. Maybe Rowan/Sorbus? 

    Any suggestions at all are more than welcome for planting schemes as I would also like to incorporate a native wildlife hedge along the fence line too. 

    Thanks for your reply. 

    Mike


  • Songbird-1Songbird-1 Posts: 4,002
    @tommo9320, excellent, love what you have done so far! When the frogs find that pond they will provide you with lots of fun and enjoyment. Plus all the insect which will be attracted to the pond in time.

    May I make another suggestion for shrub which is Griselinia littoralis? It is a nice evergreen shrub which can grow as tall as you want it or prune it to any desired height with no problems at all. It's quite a fast growing shrub. We have two in our garden, one of which is in a corner of the garden near a wall and against our fence. The birds love them for cover and playing in. They have yellow-green flowers in spring ( although one we had in old garden had white flowers!).I have practised a bit of topiary on one at our old house and the birds used it for nesting in.
  • hey, wow. Great job.!! I'd love to have something similar in my garden one day.

    I take it you've built ponds before?

    Looking forward to your updates, I am also in a new build and working on my garden





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