Redesigning our back garden
My OH and I want to inject new life into our back garden. We inherited a well-established garden when we moved here 5+ years ago. We were new to gardening back then and since have been building our knowledge and skill. Now we’ve got big ideas to redesign parts of our back garden to make it more coherent and remove some elements we don’t care for.
About our garden
- We live in Yorkshire – its wet. The soil is heavy clay and slightly acidic. The last few years we’ve applied a thick layer of manure in spring to help improve it.
- We spend on average about one day a week maintaining the garden through the year. Longer during key gardening periods and we’re happy to invest more time getting our new design in place.
- We don’t have a set garden style. We like bold, bright colours, all mixed in together – the more the merrier. We tend to favour perennials and bulbs. We are introducing more shrubs to give structure and interest through the year. We haven’t bothered with annuals so far.
- The left-hand border is south facing and gets sun until around 3pm when the sun moves behind the house.
- The right-hand side (currently grass) is always in shade due to the fence.
- The back right gets some sun towards the end of the day.
What we’d like
- We want the fence to be less of a feature and to make the tree feel like a part of the garden rather than just stuck at the end of the grass. The garden is a bit bland outside mid-spring to summer.
- We will keep the border on the left. We plan to leave the buddleia, rose and skimmia where they are, but could move/divide the other plants.
- Our idea is to extend the flower bed from the left-hand side, along the back fence.
- Along the back fence we’d like some planting which brings structure, height and year-round interest. Some ideas were conical evergreen shrubs, dogwood shrub (? Those with fiery red branches in winter), acer.
- In the back right corner we are considering a bench. Instead of the bench (or in addition to) we thought something like Viburnum bodnantense which flowers through winter would be pretty
- We’d like to put some kind of border down the right-hand side but we’re not sure what would work in the shade.
- Some features we want to incorporate are bird bath, bird feeding station and hedgehog house. We would also like a small area for making leaf mould and possibly a compost bin but we’re not sure where they’d best go.
If you’ve stuck with me this far – thank you! I'll attach some photos and visuals of our plan in the next post. We would love to draw on the expertise here
- How does our plan sound? What might you do differently? What are the flaws (I’m sure there are many!) in our ideas?
- What plants could we consider?
- Any advice on how we approach turning the grassy areas into new beds