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Planting Decisions


I,m in the process of transforming the plot above (if you can see a picture that is because I can't !!) I have done the plan and decided what plants I would like I,m just struggling with deciding planting positions. I have taken into consideration heights etc etc and put together a bit of a plan do I just use this as a guide and use gut instinct when I have the actual plants in front of me?

Just need a bit of help and hand holding please !

Thanks in advance

Sara x



  • Forester2Forester2 Posts: 1,477

    What plants have you got already Sara?

  • Absolutly none, a total blank canvas. The garden used to look like this


     So all the trees have gone and there is nothing in the garden at all


  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 22,606

    Unless you are familiar with what you are planting, I think it is best to make a plan because when you buy the plants you may think "Oh this shrub looks big and healthy so I'll put it behind that little one". Then you may find that the big one will be smaller than the little one when they mature!

    See if you can find pictures on Google of what you choose, or buy a good gardening book with pictures and advice.

    If you can run to some trellis, or you could use metal eyes and wire, that fence looks as though it would look good with a few climbers, like clematis.

    Make sure the ground is well prepared before planting, add rotted manure or compost if possible. Don't make narrow little beds around the edges, generous curves would be better, then you could have shrubs with perennials and bulbs in front.

    Will you have a path? Best not skinny and straight and best if it actually goes somewhere, like to a seating area.

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • Thanks Busy-Lizzie !

    I have made a list of plants I like and what the size will be and then have drawn a plan taking the size into consideration, so sounds like I have that right ! Just needed some conformation I was on the right lines. I have planned some climbing plants but hadn't considered using wire or trellis so thanks for that great idea. We re having a seating area and I had planned a nice path to that which will also help with the washing line, just need to choose a material for those. I have put a pic of my plan below for any comments !

    Great advise re preparing the ground, that was going to be my next question as we have grass, weeds, ivy and brambles lurking where the beds are to be so they will take some hard work I think. Looking forward to it though !




  • Sara image  we have two of these fixed to our house wall - at the end of the garden we have a trellis 'arbour' and the posts have one of these on them for the line to hook onto.  (we fixed a little clippit-type thingy on the end of the line).  That way we have loads of washing line space but on days when the washing line isn't needed it's retracted and doesn't get in the way, decapitate OH when lawn mowing, scrape my specs off the top of my head and in general doesn't look unsightly.  We think it's a brilliant idea image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • I think you have made a great plan and I'm sure you're garden is going to look great. It's hard to imagine how it will all look, but that is part of the fun.

    When your plants arrive, you can position them around the garden while still in their pots and see how it looks, and when you think you have the look that you are after, plant away.

    Just make sure you know the finale potential height of each plant, so you can decide where in the boarder it should sit (front or towards the back); remember some plants are fast/slow growing, so your design will take a few years to look how you intended; and even if you have planted everything and 6 to 12 months later you think.."that's not working out there.." you can dig up plants and move them (maybe the next year they may not flower as well for exampe, but they will recover).

    Good luck, but I love you plan and I think you are off to a great start.

  • Fab idea, I had been thinking I would like a different solution to my washing line, which I am strangely rather attached too !!! and this seems a brilliant idea.

    Thank you very much

    Sara x

  • Good luck Sara, looks a great plan, and what fun to have a blank canvas!

    The washing line looks a great idea, might pinch that one. We have a twirly type one, great as it takes up little room but a pain to keep removing and putting away.

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 22,606

    Verdun has just written the next bit I was going to say! It was getting late last night and I didn't want to write too much at once.

    Knowing your soil is important, some plants, such as azaleas, like acid soil, others prefer alkaline. Some hate clay (clay can be improved with compost) and some hate light and sandy. You are lucky if you have loam. Same applies for sun or shade. Sun and shade can be interesting to plan, woodland type plants for shade, colourful flowers in sun. Gives your garden character. You can create shade by planting trees or use one side of the fence, but trees give dappled shade. The fence will give solid shade but may be sunny in morning or afternoon.

    Make sure you remove the bramble roots. They can be a real nuisance when they grow up in the middle of a shrub. But sometimes I think that is because a bird has sat in the shrub and dropped or pooed the seeds. Also ivy can be a nuisance when it grows up your fence where you didn't want it. But ivy in the right place is lovely for the birds.

    You may already know all that, but it can be more complicated than one thinks planning a new garden! But it's fun.image

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
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