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Brand new garden!

Hello gardeners! Just moved in and have this west facing 30ft long, 15ft wide garden. I’ve laid two little patios, and will lay a whimsical brick path this weekend. Then, plant time! And... I’m clueless. 

I would like a full, colourful, cottage style garden, with low maintenance perennials and evergreens, maybe some annuals and bulbs at the front. 

The PH is 5.5 and if this is at all useful... I dug a hole (til I got to something so hard I couldn’t dig anymore 😳) and poured a whole bucket of water in, and it drained completely away in 8 mins. Then, I filled it up again, and it drained in 20 minutes. I’m not sure what this means exactly 😂 but I’m hoping I’ve tested if it’s well-draining 🤷🏼‍♀️

The left hand side is shady, particularly that left back corner. 
The right hand side is very sunny. 
The back gets the morning sun. 
The middle is sunny all day. 

Any suggestions of plants, composts, books or websites, please?


  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 12,394
    Hello Lucy, welcome to the Forum

    What fun, you are lucky to have a blank canvas to work on. Your garden looks good already and I love your two small circular patios. May I ask whether you are planning to do anything to the boundary fences or don't they belong to you? Were you thinking of painting them?
    I would be very inclined for starters to erect wooden posts connected by rope swags in a circle around the middle patio which would look good with climbing roses and/or clematises for your cottage garden look. 
    I'm sure others will have suggestions as to what other plants you could try.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • Thank you, Lizzie27! That’s a lovely idea. The fences on the right are in quite a bad way so our priority is making them stable. Then we might paint, too. We’ve just ordered a pergola to go over the back corner circle, which we’re hoping to grow climbers over. But, I love your idea of roses for the middle circle, I already planted one in the middle and was hoping it would be a mini ‘ rose-garden’ 😅🌹
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,460
    I envy you all that planting space !
    It's very tempting to go mad and fill it all in one go, but if you're aiming for year round interest, one of the best things to do is to visit at least one Garden Centre (if you're able to) at different times of the year to see what's in flower etc. That way you don't have a riot of bloom all at once then nothing for ages. A good trick is to have successional planting so that as things die back or stop flowering, others take over.
    A good site for perennials is Hardy's
    There's a lot of information on the website regarding height, spread etc. which will help you get some ideas.
    I could go on and on, but it's getting a bit late. You're definitely in the right place for advice  :)
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