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Overwhelmed by large new planting area



  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 13,281
    If you don't do the hard landscaping first, you will end up with serious problems.
    There are ashtrays of emulsion,
    for the fag ends of the aristocracy.

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • Cecelia-LCecelia-L Posts: 103
    Am I still rushing? I better slow down then. Gardening At Long Meadow is arriving tomorrow and I cannot wait. Please suggest any good reads on gardening. I really do love a good book. 

    I do have a large flower bed at the back of the house that could accommodate the large shrubs. I have been so smitten with this new plot I have forgotten it. 

    I understand 30 multicoloured nameless roses sound frightening and everyone is trying to gently remind me how ugly it will be :D I promise the colours aren't that outlandish. I don't like yellow and red roses so everything I bought is either white or pink or a shade in between.  

    Don't worry I will definitely get the hard landscaping done before I start planting. The builders will be here in two weeks. I will ask them to build something to hold the top soil back. Whether it will be bricks, blocks or railway sleepers will depend entirely on the cost. I also need to consider if it will obstruct the bigger design. I don't want something too ostentatious and distractive. 

    I don't want to set the stepping stones in permanently because I still want to keep the flexibility of moving or adding more paths inside the beds. I am planning on simply placing these stone slabs down for the time being. 

    65mm bricks are now over a pound each. For a wall of 0.3m by 30m I will need around 650 bricks. I will also need blocks and caps on top of the brick wall to finish things off. material will come to around 2k, plus labour. 
    Railway sleeper are about £30 for 2.5m length. To hold the top soil back I will need 48 of them, plus labour. 
    Hopefully the builders will come up with a better alternative or I will have to gently slope down the top soil and only a one row of discreet railway sleeper. 
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 8,114
    Stepping stones laid on the surface is fine for access (weeding, pruning etc) :). You might find that they sink a bit over time and need to be lifted and put back on the surface, but that's no big deal. You can move them if you need to, as well.

    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    edited May 2022
    How long are you scheduling for the flower bed project? I hope your drain will be ok. Take care that soil and crud won't wash into it from the bed. As someone who considers buying one type of rose for 3-4 years before buying it, I'm a researcher/planner type; but that style isn't for everyone. I just hope you don't  waste your money.

    A mixed rose bed can be lovely. I recommend hoping on to the rose thread and get some expert insight into design there, although it's tricky if you don't know what the roses are.

    I can't picture anything I've seen similar to your project, next to the house, but I'm seeing if I can find something that might be a good resource.
  • Cecelia-LCecelia-L Posts: 103
    That is precisely what I need the stepping stones for! Weeding, hoeing and watering. Oh and blasting aphids off with the hose pipe. Strangely satisfying! 
  • Cecelia-LCecelia-L Posts: 103
    Well if I had it my way I'd like it done by tomorrow :p

    The land drains were installed last summer under the lawn, should be okay for at least another ten years. 

    I guess it is quite unusual to have a large flower border by the side of the house as larger flower border are usually beds leading to a focal point of some sort, surrounded by yew hedge in a "garden room". The house is L shaped and the terrace and flower bed are on the long side of L. I am tempted to heed to your initial advice and start with a section, such as the middle section for roses. Experiment with more plants as I go. 

    For this is quite a large area I will avoid the cottage garden look, as much as I love it, and opt for the repetition method. I will stick to a handful of flowers and repeat them on a mass scale. Such as rose bushes, hydrangea, peonies and dahlias/hellebores/lavender/asters/euphorbia (love this one)/sedum (for autumn interest). 

  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,043
    Just my opinion, but I think a less formal/symmetrical (more organic) path layout would look less contrived and more comfortable with the style of the house. It can still be clipped hedges etc and 'formal' in that sense. 

  • Cecelia-LCecelia-L Posts: 103

    Lovely artistic idea. Reminds me of the classic knot garden patterns. 
    Definitely something to aspire to! 

    I have been thinking about this flower border non stop then I saw this!! 😂 I am seeing garden designs in everything. 
    Rectangle border with a oval centre. Rectangle path all the way round as well as in the corner to create little triangle beds. 
    I could even follow the flower selection as per rug! 
  • Cecelia-LCecelia-L Posts: 103
     :D  :D:D
    @Fairygirl You may be right once again. I come up with a new idea every day! 

    It is highly unusual of me to deliberate so much on anything. I am considering and filtering all the advices as well as coming up with a specific design. 

    The flower border was created for the potted plants. I've nursed these little beauties for so long I am emotionally attached to them. Hate to see them suffer when I am away and wanted to create a lovely bed for them to grow. Having received so much invaluable advice, which I truly appreciate, I see why I shouldn't jump straight in. With the help of everyone I have formed a rough idea of what is suitable. I am yet to confirm the final draft on the placement of the stone slabs, but in terms of colour and plants I am pretty much there. 

    I should have been more clear about my points. The confirmed candidates for this space are roses, hydrangeas and peonies. All other ones mentioned above are potential candidates yet to be decided. They are all clay loving but I need to consider height, colour and seasonal interest. I have ruled out dahlia completely (too much hard work and clashing colours). Once that's done I will have to consider how it will look from various viewpoints, rhythm created by size and height, repetition of shape and repetition of colour. (Currently looking into the possibility and suitability of repetition of circles using allium, viburnum compactus, hydrangea in some of the areas, as well as repetition of colour using white and pink using hydrangea, viburnum, roses and peonies). 

    Another element is that I'd like the stepping stones to blend in with the flower border, rather than standing out, hence ruling out the need for "hard landscaping". The slabs will not be concreted in place but simply placed on top. So the stones will be spaced quite further apart and placed strategically.

    As PP suggested I have given up on the formal hedging idea. Ultimately this is supposed to be a flower border, not a flower bed. Also box seems to be quite anxiety inducing (the mere mention of it provokes nothing but horror!) yet I cannot locate a suitable alternative. 

    I have been reminded to be more artistic and sympathetic to the original design rather than being too "contrived" and blunt. I see another personality trait, other than being impetuous, is shining through my posts. I often place utility above beauty and lack the artistic flair that come so easily to others. I am working on it! I swear! 

    Also, not sure if anyone noticed, my first design was in the shape of Pi. I thought it was hilarious to have Pi ( π ) next to the semi circle terrace :D A little insider joke for myself. 

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