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Garden design/setup ideas

Hi guys,

I recently moved to London and managed to find myself a ground floor flat with a nice garden in the back. I'm a total newbie when it comes to gardening, and in fact a garden is not something I was especially looking for when moving, but now that I have one I was thinking it'd be nice to start taking care of it and hopefully I'll enjoy gardening and manage to build a good looking one in the process.

So, basically, I'd like to know if you can give me some ideas on what kinds of things to plant on it and beginner resources to start reading from. I don't know how good is the London weather for this kind of things, but having some bushes and colorful flowers (on Spring/Summer) would be ideal. I'm not thinking on growing anything to eat apart from maybe some fruit plants.

Attached to the post are some pictures I took of the garden the other day. It is facing west. The part more closer to the back has sun (when it's sunny in London) pretty earlier as there are no nearby buildings. The part closer to the window you can see in the pictures usually only gets sun durong the afternoon when the sun is setting.

My idea would be to get rid of what's on it at the moment as it's not pretty and start planting more interesting stuff on it.

Thanks a lot for your time!


  • SalinoSalino Posts: 1,609

    ...ooh..I'd love to go to town on that one.... a fine cosy garden in prospect.... get rid of the weeds..some might advocate using chemicals here..but I just dig it all out... then see what you've got left and visit the garden centre.... I do love walls...grow nice things on that with some support...

    ...huge monster growing up in the middle of that no idea what it is...

  • I'd keep the gravel  and plant up lots of pots. You have them in groups. Plant up some clematis for growing up the walls, buy a nice table and chairs. A bench or other seating arrangement  Maybe some large lanterns for candles? Have a look on the web for ideas for town gardens. Perhaps a statue in a corner with lighting angled at it.

  • DekDek Posts: 3

    Personally i would go for a exotic looking retreat. plant some nice climbers, clematis, passion flower and star jasmin.

    A seating area in the center, then around the sides i would plant a hardy palm or 2, Trachycarpus Fortunei would be ideal. Then a few big leaf plants like banana's (musa Basjoo), Fatsia, Tetrapanax, and a few bamboo (go for a clumping type). Tree ferns would look amazing too.

    Im in the midland and grow all of these so you will have no problems in london, and its something a little different and pretty low maintainance.



  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    As you live in London, you should be aware that your garden will be about 2 degrees above the rest of the country.

    Your choice of plants is really a gardeners dream.

    You will be able to grow exotics and the whole range of the local garden centre!


  • Thanks for the replies guys! Will have a thought about it and let you know how it goes.

  • My advice would be to keep on top of the weeds, but otherwise leave it and see what happens over the next year - sometimes you can get a pleasant surprise. Add some containers but don't put them on anywhere where something could come up.........I've had a few plants arrive after clearing/maintaining an overgrown garden.The light will change throughout the year so this may affect your plans too. Enjoy your new space...

  • that's good advice from lakelandlass. As we are entering into winter and not much is going to grow still spring, for now its probably best to pull up the weeds and put them in that handy compost bin. To stop them coming back while your back is turned, and to keep things tidy, I suggest you lay newspapers over the borders and cover with bark chippings - the paper will block the light and stop weeds germinating but will rot down over winter, then in the spring you will see bulbs and other perennials coming up, and can decide what you want to keep. Otherwise, concentrate on looking at gardening books, magazines and websites for inspiration!

    Also, don't know whether it's near to you or not but Columbia Road flower market on a Sunday is a great place for ideas and bargains ...although the choices will be quite limited now as it's the end of the season. Good for a Sunday morning out of the house!

    The important thing is to plant what you like and what will grow happily in your garden - and don't be too concerned if things don't work out first time, that's the great thing about gardening, you can always try something else.


  • Hi,

    The team at BBC Gardeners' World would be keen to hear more about your experiences. Email them at [email protected]

  • higgy50higgy50 Posts: 184

    There is a thread on here that has links to different members blogs, it might be worth having a read and look at a few of these and seeing what ideas they give you. You can always post questions to the writer or specific questions on here.

    (Edit) - just found it down on page 8 so here's the link if of interest...

    The best advice so far is wait to see what comes up...





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