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New build garden - ideas for privacy and planting

I currently have a blank canvas of a north facing garden which gets quite a bit of sun except on patio in front of house. I am thinking of putting a paving area and pergola to the far right (behind the wall of the garage) as gets the sun in the evening but I get more privacy (not overlooked) to the left which is east facing but is shaded in the evening.

Was thinking of raised border at the top to hide the fact the garden slopes slightly upwards but any help or inspiration appreciated.


  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,831
    What a beautiful blank canvas.  

    1) I would ignore the slope, it adds some movement and drama to what could otherwise be a square box. If the slope really bothers you, use different plant heights to disguise it.  Forum members will give you good advice about what plants you could use to do this.  Personally, I would embrace it, and put a focal point in that corner, as your eye as naturally led up to it.  Could be a small tree, fountain, sculpture, arbour, etc.

    2) Making raised beds will give you unnecessary cost and hassle (they usually also require more watering).  Just remove the turf, and add some sort of edging to define the bed and create a crisp edge with the lawn (or you could just leave the lawn edge raw, so to speak).  Don't be too stingy with your bed, make it reasonably wide, as it will be in the rain shadow of the fence, and you don't want to plant to near to the fence (too dry).  

    3) If you put your pergola where it gets more sun (but less privacy), you can create a bit more privacy by planting on the side of the pergola which is overlooked.  This only needs to be a metre or so high, to give a sense of privacy, but without blocking out sunlight.  You could also grow climbers over the top of the pergola, and have them draping over the side of it, to create a bit of privacy from above, but again, not sacrificing sunlight.  Alternatively, you could have tension wires running down the pergola, with climbers climbing up them. The aim would not to be block out everything completely, but just enough greenery to make you feel secluded.

    We find that having several seating areas in a garden gives us the most use of it, and you'll naturally find you use different parts of the garden, depending on how much sun or shade you need.  Why not have a small arbour or seating area on the east wall, as well as a pergola by the garage?

    I think I should I stop writing now. Can you tell I am excited about your blank canvas?  :)
  • Thank you for your comments. Really helpful and you have given me things to think about and google.
  • Am thinking of doing the sloped garden at the top as suggested by KeenOnGreen which will be quite wide. Can anyone recommend shrubs and perennials to put in at varying heights? Prefer these kind of plants as grow year and year and less costly than buying seasonal although happy to put a few seasonal in. Am looking for colour and variety. Happy to do some pruning and weeding if needed but nothing too high maintenance. 

    The fence is 6feet high so got a lot of scope with height etc. Would be nice to have some that give privacy from overlooking neighbours.

    There was some top soil put down prior to the lawn being laid but not dug down to see what is underneath.
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