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Need ideas please!

Last year we moved into a house with a bigger garden and had to do a lot of clearing of weeds etc to reclaim it! We have planted everything here except the apple tree, but it doesn’t feel right. I need some better ideas of what goes well with photinia (which is essential for screening) and roses as I love those. We also have cotinus, choisya, some wisteria and lots of osteospermum. Any other ideas welcome!


  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 14,364
    You need to show some pictures before anyone is going to be able to offer suggestions, plus tell us which way the garden faces, what your soil is like, preferably including pH.
    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,980
    In addition to that - what plants do you like, roughly where are you [climate and general conditions play a big part in the success of plants] how much time do you have for maintenance, and how much effort do you want to put in? 
    All these things mean better advice and suggestions. What one person likes, and can grow, another will hate and/or be unable to grow  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,944
    Hello @cat321 :),
    As others have said, if you can supply a couple of photos and a bit more information, it will help.
    As regards the Photinia, l'm wiondering if something light/ white coloured is the way to go, but it depends if you want smaller shrubs in front of it, or perhaps you're thinking of perennials?
    By the sounds of it, it's quite a sunny garden.
    Do you have any children/grandchildren or pets to take into consideration? 
  • cat321cat321 Posts: 34
    edited August 2022
    I tried to upload photos from my phone but it said they were too big so had to resize. Managed to sort it now though! Garden is South-East facing, and gets a lot of sun in summer - as you can see more in the left bed than the right. Soil is clay, and it's on a slope as you can see, with a step at the bottom to make the slope more gradual. We have 2 young children, so nothing poisonous in the garden, but no pets other than a friendly next door cat! We need it to be low maintenance so we can keep ontop of it. 

    Colour pallet so far is pastel pink, orange and purple but not much is blooming now. We love the colours and variety of textures and forms that you get in a cottage garden, but we don't have the time to maintain it.

    Time wise we have around 2h on a weekend but have a bit more time now as on maternity leave, so want to get it right.

    Like the idea of perennials, so I don't have to do everything all over each year. We are open to trying new plants though, as our previous garden was a new build and quite small - so we have a lot to explore.

    Let me know if anyone would like more pics / closer up, or any other info. I would say we could definitely use some different shades of green or brightening up with more flowers, and more plants that move in the wind (roses and osteospermum for example, don't!).

  • cat321cat321 Posts: 34
    I'll add that I think we may have the colour pallet wrong - it seems perhaps too subtle for the size of the garden and we're wondering if we need more contrast.
  • cat321cat321 Posts: 34
    Oh, and we are in Hertfordshire!
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,944
    Think there's enough information to be going on with for now  :)
    I'm assuming that you want to keep it pretty much as it is now if you have young children to consider, that is no major redesign, or making beds bigger ?

    My personal instinct would be to add interest by maybe adding curves, rather than having straight edged beds down either side, but that is very much my style. 

    I think you have quite a lot of green, this can sometimes be a bit of a "flat" time of year when late Summer heads into Autumn. Things such as roses are going over, and Autumn plants such as Heleniums and Helianthus are just getting started.
    What l would say is don't be in too much of a hurry to get everything done at once. Perennials are comparatively easy care, but the trick is to plan it so that you have colour throughout most of the year, starting with Spring flowering bulbs that die back as the first of the perennials take over.

    I may be telling you stuff you already know as you had a garden before, so apologies, but although this is an existing garden, it's now yours, so in some ways you should treat it just like the new build.

    As for something with movement, especially at this time of year, maybe consider something such as Stipa Gigantica, or this slightly smaller version.

    Apologies again for all the waffle. 
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