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North-ish facing front garden

I struggle with coming up with ideas, so any advice would be great!
I have a front garden approx 11x5m, on a slight slope (down towards the house):  it is north-west facing, but there is a big tree, under a TPO, in the far west corner, which obviously blocks some sun.  Currently it is just 'grass' - but the soil is poor/ lumpy, and growth is thin.
I'm after a low maintenance option (epecially with minimising mowing requirements), but keen to be as environmentally/ wildlife friendly as possible.  I'd also like something 'to look at', as it is in front of my sitting room. 
I have removed the top layer of turf, and debris, and the soil seems ok, if compacted, underneath, at least.  I'd like a pond - but I'm thinking the leaves from the tree (sycamore) will be an issue.
Any suggestions from the more experienced gardeners on here please?!

Posts

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,135
    Photos would help  :)
    I've had two front gardens with that aspect [including this one] and it isn't necessarily a problem, but other factors influence it - other buildings, other planting nearby, your climate etc. 
    I also had a pond in the other garden. Trees aren't necessarily a problem depending on the size. We had it near the house, and the leaves missed it most of the time, because of the wind direction. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Hi, mine front garden is in a similar aspect but north east facing. Are you looking for plants to place around the lawn area or to plant where the current lawn is (ie take up a large chunk of the front garden). 
    We have a little wildlife pond in the middle and have surrounded it with grasses, heuchera and a two acers. On the boundary is a viburnum lantana, some pyracantha and berberis for the birds and then hardy geraniums, hellebores, and a few other flowering shrubs/perrenial to add interest. We also have a climbing hydrangea covering the front of the house.  
  • The front garden is  bland at the moment: so I'm looking for interest, as well as low maintenance (?nothing to mow!).
    Thank you for those hints!
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