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Thoughts, tips & ideas :)

Good morning, 

We have lived at the property for 3 years and it’s time to tackle the back garden! Although challenging, I’m looking forward to it! We don’t current have a garage and the old shed was set up the back of the garden on the concrete slab. We have dug out the back soil retaining wall and made this into a brick retaining wall to give us more room. We’ve temporarily moved the shed into a space next to the house but don’t plan to keep it here for ever. We would like to build a brick shed up the back length of the garden incorporating storage as we don’t have a garage and a summer room. Our garden is North facing although we do get the sun in the summer coming from the west side most of the day, it starts up the back of the garden and follows down to the current patio area by the house. Our thoughts were to use east side of the garden for seating along the fence line as we like sitting in the sun. We are after some privacy also alongside the east side fence due to a neighbour’s house over looking. We were thinking of planting laurell hedging all along the east side fence to do this? The current patio isn’t the best and also I feel the patio wall cuts off the flow of the garden? I’ve  Any help, tips or ideas would be great! 



  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,201
    Hi @ashleyhopkinPO_qf6zp. The main problem with laurel is that it's quite hard to keep tight, so it will very quickly get big and wide, and take up a lot of space. It might be better to choose something easier if you're set on hedging  :)
    Your budget and/or DIY skills will determine what you do re the patio, but removing the little wall wouldn't be too difficult, and you could than have areas of planting to soften the edge of the patio, and have something nicer to look at from the house too. 
    A simple pergola on the side you want to sit is also a good way of having privacy, and most people will use climbers to make it more appealing to use. 
    A lot depends on how else you use the garden, what look you like, and how much time for maintenance. Grass in shady areas tend to be a bit iffy, for example   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 11,021
    Hello Ashley  :)
    You could possibly think about reducing the height of the wall down to the step height so that it's less of a barrier, although this could be considered a trip hazard.
    You could also consider making it more of a feature by adding height to it with a pergola or similar. 

    A lot depends on your budget, of course. I see you have a dog, so l'm assuming you want to keep the grass ? 
    There are people on this forum with very good design skills and l'm sure they can help.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,201
    There doesn't look as if there's much height difference there anyway @AnniD , although it's hard to tell from the photos, so the wall looks like it's largely a separation from the main garden more than anything. Is it going up to the grass or down? I can't tell!

    If there is any kind of substantial height difference, the other alternative is to make it one [or two] wider steps, using the wall materials, to avoid it being a hazard. The full length of the patio would be ideal.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Thank you for the replies so soon :). Yes we do have a dog so a grass area would be essential. What hedge would you recommend along the fence line to keep it tight? I would like it to go above the current fence height for some privacy. Also we where the back new retaining wall is I was thinking of trying to plant come creepers to hide the back fence and wall? 
  • Thank you for the replies so soon :). Yes we do have a dog so a grass area would be essential. 
    Forgive me...and this is genuine question...why?
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,201
    Bear in mind that there are height limits on hedging, and if you want it above the fence height, you may have to consult your neighbours re the maintenance.
    I'd go for beech or hornbeam which retain their foliage over winter. Easy to keep tight.
    Or - good old privet, which can also be kept neat. Lonicera nitida is the same, but requires a bit more clipping. Some will get taller than others too. The evergreen Cotoneasters are useful in that sort of situation too, as they can be kept very neat - great for wildlife too.

    There will be loads of climbers suitable for your back fence. The important thing is to prep the soil well, and use plants which suit the conditions and aspect, as well as the size of the space.  :)
    Lots of clematis will be fine, but you'll need supports of some kind - vine eyes and wire or battens/trellis.
    The climbing loniceras [honeysuckle] would probably be fine, but they're messier, and more suited to scrambling over buildings and through hedges etc. 
    Roses might also be fine, but I don't grow them. Someone else would be able to advise on that.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • That’s great thanks I’ll look to plant something for sure, which would be the fastest growing do you think? I current have to rose bushes actually align the fence line I’d like to plant a hedge so I could move them upto the back of the garden Aslong as they’d survive! They are quiet established at the moment, maybe one either end of the back fence line. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,201
    Do you mean the fastest growing hedge?
    They're probably all about the same. They'll all take a few years to get to a decent size and depth. The important bit is to prep the area well before you plant anything, and then give them the care afterwards to get a good result. 
    Avoid the temptation to buy larger specimens, as it's counter productive. Dearer, harder to establish, and they basically need cut back on planting anyway to help that process.
    It's also getting near the end of bare root season [March] but if you take a look at hedging sites, you'd be able to sneak in and get some. Much cheaper than potted plants, and you can put more in [staggered row] and get a better depth of hedge more easily.
    Take a look here for ideas
    There are other hedging sites too, but I've used that company a few times and they're very good. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 10,547
    Hello Ashley, I would be inclined to keep the patio dwarf walls as they would make great additional seating, perhaps with some cushions on, for when you have friends/family over. I would also consider a pergola over the patio for privacy (or a sail) rather than hedging which as Fairygirl says would take up a lot of your garden. You could consider instead two or three very small trees or tall thin bushes in strategic places along the fence line - less maintenance as well.
    Also, if you put the new shed/summerhouse right at the end of the garden, it immediately becomes a focal point which might not be what you want to look at every time you look out of your windows. Instead, if there's room, place it at right angles to the house and close to it, so your eye travels along it, not at it. 
    Keep the end of the garden for lovely bushes/roses/tall plants you would enjoy looking at all year round.
    Good luck.
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