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Suggestions for our small garden...

Wondering if any of you fancied throwing some ideas out for what i could add to our little space, it's North facing so a little limited on sun due to house shadow.

I'm just not sure what to add, but we do know we would like some more :)

I'm still looking into getting a small pond on the rear-left raised bed as mentioned in another thread, it does seem possible now, just not finalised yet.


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,358
    Where are you thinking of adding the planting @DaveKearley ?
    Is it all hard standing along the fence fronts, or can you remove what's there to plant into the ground? That would make the choices wider, as it's always easier to plant directly into the ground  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • The ground under the rear gravel is like concrete and solid root-bound, that was why we gravelled it over, when they built the retaining wall they had to get a mini-digger in as it was so solid.

    The left gravel bed is not so bad i think - there were two conifers there until a couple of years back, these covered the whole strip so it was gravelled as nothing would grow under total cover. I am looking a small pond for the far end of this strip and maybe cultivate the left end for some planting in-soil.

    The rest is all block-paved.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,358
    It's always easier if you can plant into the ground. You could try some climbers along the fence though, as long as you could improve the soil in that bit well enough. 
    The area along the right hand side would be great if you could get some good soil in there to plant into. Much easier than the containers. 
    The alternative is to build up from the bed there, so that you have something similar to your freestanding bed. Even a couple of sleepers in height would give you more scope. It would be quite pricy to fill it all, although a couple of bulk bags of soil would do it, but you could possibly just do the end nearest the summerhouse, if you're seeing that from the house on a regular basis. Some height there, and a mix of perennials, shrubs and bulbs would give you more interest.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • If your garden is fairly sheltered, you could consider adding a tree fern in a large decorative container.  They prefer shade and protection from wind.  Two would really make a statement in that space!
    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.

  • You've a lovely space. I love seeing a mix of evergreens with flowers - how about some lollipop standards for height - both evergreens and deciduous for a little variety? I saw a photo where someone had a few in a row and in between were little flowering shrubs and bedding plants which was so effective. Looks like you have lots of container shrubs already so perhaps seasonal pots of Spring and Summer bulbs. Also a compact clematis along the fence? A pond would be perfect to add more interest. Let us know what you decide and plan  :)
    Late to gardening .... @cheznousgarden
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 23,166
    I think I would paint the fence and add some more raised beds.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • I definitely agree with @Fairygirl about increasing the height of the existing raised beds. They are a pain in the butt to fill, I have some myself, but definitely worth it and you'd be able to put more plants in. I'd recommend a Google image/Pinterest search for courtyard gardens for some ideas about the type of style you'd like and go from there.
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,565
    Japanese maples would be great, if you can improve the soil in the raised beds a bit.
  • Thanks all, some good ideas and food for thought.

    I agree it needs some height.

    A pond is now 'authorised' by the guv'nor so i'll be planning that tomorrow and ordering up some timber :)  Will be 2.4m x 1m and 75cm high and current position has it mid-way on that left bed at the rear in the picture. Space for plants either end then.

    I'll look into courtyard gardens, if anyone cares to throw in some plant names it'll feed my thoughts.

    The fence on the right is painted but the left one is only 6m old and i like to weather them a bit before painting as the treatment can make the paint blotchy.
  • Arthur1Arthur1 Posts: 538
    We all have our favourites...
    Someone has already mentioned Acers, they would go so well with drifts of plain green Hakonechloa.
    Molinia, purple moor grass, is also tough and tolerant of some shade.
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