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A short, wide garden!

I am pondering how best to divide my new garden, if it was long and narrow I’d know exactly what to do, but I’m not sure what to do with a garden that’s wider than it is long. It is roughly 9m long by 12m wide, north facing but we are a bungalow and there is nothing blocking either side so I’m not expecting it to be too shady other than right by the house.

Thinking of dividing it into thirds but wanted to make sure that wouldn’t be a total mistake first!





Current plan is right side greenhouse and veg beds, middle lawn surrounded by plants, pond, and multi-stem cherry tree, patio on the right side (surrounded by planting beds). Everything that’s there currently is going.
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  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,177
    I’m not the person to ask about garden deign as none of my gardens has ever looked remotely designed, but I would say that if you are planning on removing those mature bushes do it before the spring. They are ideal bird nesting sites and you don’t want to end up evicting a robin or a blackbird when it has just begun to start a family.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • zugeniezugenie Posts: 596
    pansyface said:
    I’m not the person to ask about garden deign as none of my gardens has ever looked remotely designed, but I would say that if you are planning on removing those mature bushes do it before the spring. They are ideal bird nesting sites and you don’t want to end up evicting a robin or a blackbird when it has just begun to start a family.
    Ah please don’t worry about that, the conifer is going in feb and the rest will get cut down before spring, I care more about my garden birds than anything in the garden 😆
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,932
    You can still divide in the same you would if the garden had the other orientation. It just means a different look when viewed from the house, so bear that in mind if you want a nice view - at this time of year particularly, so that you can plant suitable shrubs, trees and climbers  etc.
    You can also do it on a 45% angle rather than the more conventional way, which is often better   :)
    Play about with various ideas on paper - to scale, and just take into account the areas where it's sunniest/shadiest, and position your various areas accordingly.

    My back garden is also wider than it is long, although it's south/south east facing. It's just a question of deciding on the look you like. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • zugeniezugenie Posts: 596
    Fairygirl said:
    You can still divide in the same you would if the garden had the other orientation. It just means a different look when viewed from the house, so bear that in mind if you want a nice view - at this time of year particularly, so that you can plant suitable shrubs, trees and climbers  etc.
    You can also do it on a 45% angle rather than the more conventional way, which is often better   :)
    Play about with various ideas on paper - to scale, and just take into account the areas where it's sunniest/shadiest, and position your various areas accordingly.

    My back garden is also wider than it is long, although it's south/south east facing. It's just a question of deciding on the look you like. 
    Thank you fairygirl, I will have a doodle! I’m thinking an oval shaped lawn and want to have lots of planting between the areas so I think that will help with the view!!
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,545
    If there are shrubs you really dislike or are diseased then by all means remove them but otherwise I'd advise some renovation pruning to remove dead or broken stems and take out the oldest stems to encourage new vigour.  Give them a feed too and watch them bounce back.

    As for design, you need to make a list of features you want  - shed, greenhouse, seating and dining area, pond, pergola and so on - and then have a look at sites such as this - https://www.successfulgardendesign.com/wide-garden-design-case-study/  and https://www.successfulgardendesign.com/wide-garden-design-case-study/ or https://rhodamaw.com/garden/wide-shallow-garden-by-rhoda-maw/ - so you can start sketching ideas for shapes and then researching suitable plants.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • TopbirdTopbird Mid SuffolkPosts: 7,572
    I think the idea of thirds is a sound one, but wonder if doing it in triangles would work better with the shape. That might have been what Fairygirl was suggesting too.

    You could have a triangular shaped central grass area with the widest bottom closest to the house and an apex at the fence. Perhaps a small, south-facing arbour at the apex for a winter / spring coffee break? Doesn't have to be rigid straight-lined triangles with hard corners. A sort of semi-circle of grass might do a similar job.


    My previous garden was the same sort of shape and I found that hiding the corners and doing things to lead the eye around the garden seemed to help. It is quite a tricky shape to deal with isn't it?

    I'd also look again the existing shrubs to make sure you can't make use of them. If you really don't like them - fine - get rid, but a well shaped mature shrub is worth it's weight for screening and structure.
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 10,992
    I can sympathise with your problem, l have a garden the same shape that looks out onto the side of the neighbour's garage.
    Again, l wouldn't necessarily remove all the shrubs, although l can appreciate you might find it easier to begin with a blank canvas.
    It looks as though some have been planted to give you some privacy from the neighbours, so it might be best to work out where you are going to have any seating areas before removing them as they would  provide ready made privacy and all you need to do is reduce the height or cut back a little. 

    As previously mentioned, now is the ideal time to play around with plans and ideas, to work out exactly what you want to do with the space and think about the placing of things such as bins, washing lines etc.
    A quick Google of "Garden design wider than longer" brings up plenty of inspiration (possibly too much !) such as those mentioned by @Obelixx.

    Have fun with the planning, and remember it doesn't have to be all done in one go  :)
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Wirral (free draining sandy soil)Posts: 1,733
    I like the look of the design in @Obelixx's first two links above.  It has a good ratio of planting/beds and patio/hard landscaping.  The final design really depends on your own likes and needs, for example are you a keen gardener and do you want to enjoy experimenting with planting combinations or do you have other hobbies to occupy your time?  Are there any pets or children or grand children to consider?

    Personally I don't like to see fences or other houses so I would consider a thick evergreen planting scheme right across the back of your plot to soften the view from your house.  This need not be a single species hedge but a mixed border of shrubs and small trees can be attractive to the eye as well as to wildlife.

    As you are keen on wildlife, choose plants that provide food, shelter and nesting material for them.  There's plenty of information about these on the internet.

    Once you have decided on the position of your hard landscaping, which tends to be the most expensive part of a garden design, you can take time to plan and choose your plants, remembering to prepare your soil according to the likes or dislikes of your chosen plants.  Your garden is your own personal space and it should reflect your own personality.

    Enjoy your new garden!
  • zugeniezugenie Posts: 596
    All of the shrubs are some type of gold & green variegated shrub, there’s no way they’re staying I don’t think the fact they’re established is enough of a reason to keep them! I have plans for the screening, the ones along the back fence aren’t screening anything anyway.
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