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Square garden design - blank canvas

Hello, I wondered if anyone has ideas for me for the garden design of our square garden (17 metres square) that leaves a good amount of turf in the middle for children. I would like to create some new beds and have my plant list all ready but where to dig the beds is stopping me from getting going! I attach a sketch of the garden. It is north-east facing but large enough to get the sun down the right hand side most of the day. The gravel path up the left hand side and the hedge in the top right hand corner are the only things in it currently. Any advice greatly appreciated. Thank you.


  • K67K67 Posts: 2,507
    First question how much planting do you want?
    Would you want to enlarge the patio area at any point?
    Have you looked at images of garden design at all to help?

    If you would like larger areas for planting and don't want the usual square lawn with a narrow border round the edge how about a circular lawn?

    Sun isnt necessary for some plants and even those that require more sun can often cope with less.
    If you want to list some of the plants from you are thinking of that might help with advice.
    If your list is large do a few at a time otherwise it's a bit overwhelming.

  • Thank you @K67 In answer to yours questions - I would like to plant quite a bit but need to balance this with the lawn to ensure it remains a family garden. I have looked at quite a few images but still stuck. The current patio loses the sun at around 2pm so no plans to extend it - it is great for lunch but not an evening drink! I have quite a few plants on my list - I was going to buy once I have decided the beds. I love perennials so would definitely like some beds in the sun and lots of bulbs. I also would like one or more callicarpa, viburnum, hydrangea, sarcococca, lavendar and some grasses. Someone said that I should decide the lawn shape and then the beds fit in but I am struggling to visualise what this lawn shape should be. A circular lawn could work well - do you think like the attached?. 
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,968
    I like the circle, but would make it a bit smaller and still touching the patio.  A continuous boarder the whole way around will be easier, and give you the feeling of more depth.  Narrower at the sides and deeper in the corners.  I also highly recommend spending the money on some sort of mow-over brick or cement edge.. to keep the lawn from the beds.  I have that in a few places and love it, and hate the time spent trying to keep the weeds and grass from the beds where I don't. 

    Also, as a fellow parent of active kids, choose plants that put up with footballs, nerf battles, and other sorts of occasional abuse.  Also, cheap poundland style low fence panels are great for protecting small plants, etc until they are large enough to be notices and not stepped on.  Boarders that can be played on in winter suddenly have bulbs, peonies, etc coming up.  The fences are a good reminder to active kids to keep off the area, while also not being too visually noticeable from your kitchen window.  I just remove them when the plants are large enough to avoid being stepped on by a kid in the heat of a game.  

    Consider wire patio furniture.  Our patio is in shade after noon, which is great in the height of summer for dinner here in Utah.. but lunch is in full sun and way too hot to sit out in.  So we easily carry our wire round table and chairs over to the shade of a tree on the grass.  With you, if you want an evening dinner out in the sunny area of your yard, just carry your furniture over there.  You can buy round disks that are for your indoor furniture on the carpet, but work great if you lawn is soft and will keep your legs from sinking in.  This is the set I have, I doubt they have them in the UK but it gives you some ideas.  They have wide enough feet pads for my dry lawn.  
    Utah, USA.
  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 14,362
    Why not have 2 circles.
    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • K67K67 Posts: 2,507
    Something along these lines with a seating area for evening sun, maybe more grass?

  • Hello again, thank you all so much for your comments. They have been really helpful. I have been playing around with circles this evening after reading your posts... new design below. Each square is 1 metre. Looks better? The beds do not look huge but I expect the narrowest point will be 4ft say so that is ok. Paths are not obvious though so that needs some thought and the front garden too. Any more comments gladly received. Thank you

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,645
    As I've suggested on your other thread, reduce the lawn circle by at least a metre, preferably 2 in diametre.  It will widen the potential seating area top right and give you more room for plants.

    1m wide borders are really very narrow when you consider the potential width of most shrubs and roses and even some perennials. 
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • @Obelixx oh yes thank you, I have just done that and the proportions looks much better.
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