redesigning my tiny bland front garden

Hi everyone, further to a previous post, I have "planned" the new layout of my new properties front garden. If anyone would care to take a look and offer any advice I'd be grateful. Otherwise I think I'll just go ahead and hope amateur enthusiasm win through 


I'm going to replace the beaten conifers along the driveway in the foreground, with box or winterflowering box along the driveway. Along the main front fencing I'm intending to plant forsythia intermedia lovely yellow shrub, berberis orange rocket, osmanthus delavayi, burning bush maybe, and along the fencing the neighbouring garden planting winter honeysuckle.I'm leaving in the choisya, as recommended by previous post replies. I'd like to lift the gravel on the borders and plant bulbs for spring, like daffodils, crocus, iris and tulips. Will they flower in their first year?

Thanks everyone for looking.



  • All your bulbs should flower in their first year. Can't see the gravel but you can push it out of the way when planting and then push it back in lace again. Any that gets dug in will help with drainage which bulbs need and having a gravel layer on top will help keep down the weeds.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,776

    That sounds lovely Verdun image 

    You're right, box balls are springing up everywhere, almost as if they're infectious - they can look lovely, if used with imagination, but so often they're the 'safe option'.  image

    Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes. 
  • I know Verdun, thats why I considered sweet box. Its just for the section along the driveway, to give a wee bit of privacy. So it would need to be evergreen. I planted a few bits of Lavender there but now I think I'll have to relocate them. I agree the box is dull, but it would be just like a wee partition. So maybe a border, knee high I'm aiming for, of sweet box mixed with some of the others you listed. Would need to be evergreen, so as not to look bare in midwinter, so maybe not grasses that would wither I am aiming for a psartition on the side really. Thank you Verdun for the comprehensive suggestions, I'll get googling now as Im a complete amateur, but have an idea of what Id like.

  • sculpting box balls not an options guys, I dont like over decoartive, just nice colour and hopefully nice for wildlife. But the path side needs a wee border, just for privacy, or at least the illusion of it.

  • my local garden centre said sweet box is like a weed so thery dont do it, suggested box is fine. I think the flowering box sounds nice.

  • lol....I'll try.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,037

    sweet box? Is that sarcocca? Nothing weedy about that and beautifully scented in winter. I'd have a selection of plants, something for all times of the year. Too many of one sort and you're back to boring in the off season, which for most plants is at least 3/4 of the year

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,037

    and, Verdun, you're supposed to be using the compost heap, not the borders.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,692

    Verd...coat image

    Jesse- your GC sounds very condescending! Hebes are great if you want the look of box balls but don't want the trimming as there are plenty of small rounded ones available. Flowers on them too which attract bees.

    I have 'wee' borders too! image

  • Sorry...I dont know what GC is. Hope I havent been condescending. Not intended.  Yes I believe sweet box is sarcocca. I think!  Anyway, Im not a fan of trimming shrubs into shapes, just a personal preference. So I think sarcocca might be the main border with something as as variant laid in between.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,692

    Shorthand for Garden Centre image

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,037

    GC just the Garden Centre Jesse. Not youimage There's a lot of abbreviations here, most of us can't really type so we do as little as pos

  • ah... garden centre!!  Got it, penny dropped. I suspect they just dont sell sarcocca and were trying to push box. I could buy online I suppose. Would I go for plugs?? I think or established xft shrubs if I order?

  • me...dumb!  lol

  • them hebes look nice Fairygirl. So many varieties.  Hope they wouldnt get swamped out by the sweet box.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,692

    I'm considering some sarcococca (yes- christmas box) for one of my new borders too Jesse and I would buy reasonably established shrubs- 2 or 3 litre pots. My local nursery sells it and I think I saw some in B&Q the other day. You're probably right about the GC- it's very naughty of them if they do that!

  • brilliant, I think the sweet box sounds good, nice for the bees too, if they brave the Irish weather then. Im gonna look through Verduns list now, as above. They are all so unknown on that list. But I'm learning and google is helping. OK, box plugs out so.I must check BandQ. My local gc is in the country here so maybe I'll try further afield. I swear every garden in the area for miles is just Pieris Choysa Rhode and Hydrangea, all like carbon copies. Think Im gonna stand out with the red foliage and winter flowers. Good!   Best get prunning then two honeysuckles so. Might plant some bulbs too. Nice calm day and all. THanks everyone.

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