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Help with Design!

jessbeejessbee Posts: 9
edited September 2021 in Garden design
Hello,

Myself and my husband moved into our house last year. We didn't have a lot of time and the back garden was unusable with an old rotten garage to the right. As a starting point, we dug the old garden up, knocked the garage down. We laid turf and planted a few things to make it a little nicer over summer with the view that we would revisit it when we had more time! Now we have that time, we are really stumped on what to do.

We have a little boy so wanted a large grass area for him to play on. However, we are a bit stumped on how/what to plant to make it look nice and want more privacy from the houses behind. We also want to make the borders bigger but don't want something too high maintenance.

We currently have a Skeeter's Broom Acer in the corner that is doing well and a Flamingo tree in the opposite corner. We are open to moving both and are going to take out and move all the little plants at the very bottom of the garden as well.

We were thinking about getting some height along the back fence for some privacy and would like some smaller trees such as a Rowan tree and this is about as far as we'd gotten!

Any tips and advice is most welcome for us as gardening beginner's.

Edit:
We are in the North West of England and the soil is mostly clay. We also have a north facing garden, which is in full sun during the height of summer but will mostly be in shade except the very bottom from next month to about Feb.

Thanks,
Jess
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Posts

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,201
    It's very difficult to offer ideas without seeing the plot @jessbee, so if you can upload some photos that will help -the icon that looks like hills is the one to use. Keep the pix small or they don't load well. 
    Also - the size of the space and your climate and location are factors. What grows well in dry soil in the south east of England often wouldn't work in cold, wet heavy clay here  :)
    Often - planting along a boundary isn't the best solution either  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • jessbeejessbee Posts: 9
    edited September 2021
    Sorry, the pictures should be in now. They didn't upload right in the first post.

    We are in the North West of England and the soil is mostly clay. We also have a north facing garden, which is in full sun during the height of summer but will mostly be in shade except the very bottom from next month to about Feb.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,201
    Ah - no they weren't there when I replied @jessbee :)
    You should be fine with Sorbus [Mountain Ash] and there are lots of varieties apart from the native. They cope with anything as long as they have enough moisture, so they would be a good choice   :)
    What you can do to avoid the 'line of trees' look is to bring them forward a bit. That means they don't have to be so big either. Unless you have the budget and the knowledge for mature trees of decent height to give an immediate screen, it'll take many years to get a screen. 
    I'm slightly confused by the garden being north facing but in full sun in winter though. 
    You can certainly make the borders bigger, and that will depend on the look you like. You could create a curve in that left corner, for example, and have mainly shrubs of varying types, with some perennials and spring bulbs. That's a classic combination for a relatively low maintenance border. 
    What else you need from the garden also matters - washing line [vital!] room for dining and sitting, a little spot for your wee boy to potter and play in etc. 
    It's always worthwhile making a small list of all the things you like - and don't like.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,201
    This sort of thing


    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Jac19Jac19 Worthing, South Coast of EnglandPosts: 496
    edited September 2021
    Baddelijas are fast growing and should reach a good height of about 3m fast.  It will be full of butterflies late spring, all summer, and autumn which will delight your son.  You can put one down in a sunny place.  It flowers in the summer and autumn.  So, summer sun is good for it.

    A lot of the best flowering plants flower in late spring, summer, and early autumn.  So, summer sun will do just fine.

    A very good collection here to give you an idea, but there are cheaper sites and places like your local garden centre you can buy from.

    https://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/buddleja/plcid.1/plcid.1394/
  • Jac19Jac19 Worthing, South Coast of EnglandPosts: 496
    edited September 2021
    And a CHERRY BLOSSOM tree, which grows up to 4m or 13 feet.  I have one in my garden.  Puts out first blooms first thing in spring and lifts your spirits.  That is how I know that spring is here.  Bees will flock to it in spring when it is in bloom.  Then cherries appear in late summer and autumn.  Birds flock to it and sing joyful songs.  It will delight your son.

    https://www.primrose.co.uk/-p-103239.html

    Again, a sample here.  Look around for the cheapest place to buy.

    You will have to prep the ground for both.  Dig up a good size hole in the ground into the clay and replace at least half the soil with John Innes No. 3, some horticultural sand, and a peat based multi purpose compost and mix it all really well.  The sand and JI will improve water drainage and the compost will add nutrition for the young plant to get established.

    Mix in some Blood, Fish and Bone granular natural slow-release fertilizer to the top of the soil.

    Plant each plant in the middle and mulch well with farmyard manure (which you can buy) at the base of the plants.
  • Jac19Jac19 Worthing, South Coast of EnglandPosts: 496
    When you buy, you can spend more to buy a taller and more mature plant that has been grown for a while at the garden centre or nursery.
  • Jac19Jac19 Worthing, South Coast of EnglandPosts: 496
    edited September 2021
    Also LILACs which flower in the summer and attracts hosts of butterflies and some bees.  There are ones that grow to a height of 7 meters.  Make sure you pick the taller Lilacs as some are dwarf varieties.  A sample here.

    https://search.thompson-morgan.com/search?w=lilac&asug
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 7,723
    edited September 2021
    I agree that wider borders would give more scope for planting, helping to hide the fences which has the effect of making the garden seem bigger (because you can't see exactly where the boundary is at the back of a nice deep full border).
    Lilac and cherry blossom trees are both lovely for a few weeks when in flower (I have both) but they don't offer much for the rest of the year, which is important in a design for a small space. Possibly look at a frmework planting of trees and shrubs that also have fruit or colouful winter stems or good autumn colour in the foliage (eg amelianchier and crab apple, cornus for colourful stems), or with variegated foliage (I like the variegated weigela) or purple foliage (eg some varieties of cotinus, physocarpus, purple-leaved prunus). You can fill in between and in front with perennial flowers or bedding plants as well as bulbs for spring colour.


  • Jac19Jac19 Worthing, South Coast of EnglandPosts: 496
    edited September 2021
    What to grow in between: SUNFLOWERS.  

    These are annuals. Meaning, you sow them as seeds outdoors in autumn or early spring, and they sprout and grow fast, and flower in summer and autumn and die in the winter.  Next year, you start brand new plants again by swing new seeds.  

    There are those that reach 4 to 5 meters in height in months.  Some branch and flower large beauties that attract bumble bees.  A range of colours here.

    https://www.stocksandgreen.com/search?q=Helianthus

    Two of my beauties this year.  There is one tall one that has branched and flowered in the right.  And a variety that is shorter with 3 flower heads and more buds in the left.


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