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Terraced front garden advice

Hello! I was wondering if I could get some advice. I moved into this terraced house a few months back and want to sort out the front garden. I would like to remove a section of the paving near the wall and build a retaining wall / raised bed to plant a hedge for a bit of privacy. However, as you can see from the pictures there is a drainage pipe leading from the house, along and out of the wall. Do you think it would be possible to plant around the pipe? Any ideas would be great as I am a complete beginner on this! Thanks a lot. 



  • didywdidyw Posts: 2,950
    If that was me, rather than going to the trouble and expense of lifting the slabs, digging out the substrate, improving the soil and then planting a hedge (all the while avoiding the drainage pipe) I would instead invest in some v.large pots and plant them with fast growing bamboo.  I'd include another large pot with something leafy to go in front of where the pip comes down and across. Then you could have smaller pots with something more colourful to plant up as the seasons change in front of those and this side of the bench.  The choice of plants for those would depend on where the light comes in.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,269
    I thought this was going to be a terraced garden , as opposed to a terraced house!  ;)

    Is it just a downpipe for rainwater? It looks a bit odd where it leaves the property.
    I'm not sure it would be a good idea to build over it and plant, but you could probably remove paving and plant directly into the ground, as long as you were still able to access the pipe if needed. It might be worth getting someone to check it out though - and ascertain where it's going. Presumably into a drain below the pavement.
    An alternative is to have a simple screen [trellis or similar] and a climber, which would cause fewer potential problems. You could do something similar with the other section too, which is far more noticeable - or is that the bit you meant anyway?
     The ground will be poor and will need beefing up first, regardless of what you plant though  :)

    Another solution is large containers, but plants need more care when they're not in the ground, and they would also need to be a decent height/depth to be worthwhile.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,794
    I too would suggest containers, as there may be foundations for that wall under the slabs, and lots of concrete.

    However I would suggest troughs rather than pots, and as big as you can afford. You'll be able to plant something more substantial in them, and they will hold more moisture than pots. Bamboo take a huge amount of water, and ours struggled in pots.

    If you don't need the plants to be evergreen, I would consider something like Cornus/Dogwood. It's less thirsty than Bamboo, but would probably give you enough height if planted in a trough that was perhaps 2-3 feet tall.

    We have a variegated Privet (Ligustrum argenteum) in a trough (below). The trough is about 1 foot wide and 3 feet long, but the height at the top of the Privet is almost 4 1/2 feet. We could have let it grow much higher, so Privet might also work for you. I would go for troughs that are closer to 2 feet wide, the one below is a bit too narrow for the height of the Privet.  

  • I would lower that diagonal pipe before i did anything.
    No need for it to be at that angle, if it is just a simple down pipe.
    You could fit a simple trap at ground level if you were worried about blockages.
    Sunny Dundee
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,269
    Yes - definitely not pots. I'd do purpose built containers for that sort of site  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Love the stone walls. I agree with Balgay.Hall, the diagonal pipe needs sorting. I'm guessing it's a downpipe from the roof, therefore I think I'd put a large decorative water butt below the pipe to catch the water,

    which will make it easier/cheaper for you to water pot plants.

    Think I'd have a go at hard brushing the stones, one at a time, to bring out the natural stone. Try doing three or five stones at different areas, doing more when time or preferences allow. 

    Try specialist pavers cleaner, or bleach, to bring the pavers back to life. Then I'd fill the area with colourful pot plants.
    Trying to be the person my dog thinks I am! 

    Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border.
  • I'd also suggest lower the pipe first and then plant in boxes/troughs around and in front of it. Climbers and even a small tree can provide a screen but climbers will be easier to maintain. You could have ivy or even Virginia Creeper in a pot and this is a vigorous one. We have a hybrid version of an Apothecary rose in container which is not even that big, it's 16" high by 16" wide. She's been in it for 3 years, doing great, pruned lightly, is now over 5.7" tall. Needs normal watering,once a week and feeding in the fall, spring and once a month during the flowering season but that's all.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,269
    A Virginia creeper would never thrive in a small container. They want to cover entire buildings.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • RobbersDaughterRobbersDaughter Posts: 16
    edited January 2022
    No, but grows well in a through and if pruned regularly, does the job without damage to the walls. I've planted before on an eastern balcony, on a tall climbing structure in a big box, it did well. It looked very pretty too with the leaves turning.

    Of those listed here, I've had Virginia Creeper, Ivy (still have it) and Honeysuckle successfully growing in pots/troughs:
    Not successfully Clematis, all died. I'm planning on trying Wisteria this year.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,269
    The OP is a beginner though. That isn't something suitable for a beginner to attempt.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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