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What would you do

Hi all I'm in the process of a complete re-design of my back garden.  What we have currently is a complete mares tail infested mess, which is being ripped out.  The only two plants I'm likely to keep is a peony we found a couple years back and a poppy (not that there's anything else in the garden lol).  Anyway the point.  I'm looking for planting ideas for the side garden (as I refer to it) alongside the garage.  I've attached a image of back garden design (with a few dimensions - if you can read them).  The bit I'm on about is at the narrow end of the garden to the side of the building.  This leads out to the courtyard where we park so we will use the path a lot.  I'd estimate the borders on either side of the path (planned as gravel with brick edging and paver stepping stones) to be about 80cm deep.


That bit of the garden is south facing (from the back gate), but will get a fair amount of shade from the fence (5'6" or there abouts) and garage (so I'd class it as part shade).  The soil in most of the garden is fairly light, edging towards loam.  But as this bit is currently under a layer of concrete its anyone's guess what I'll find.  I'm anticipating needing to dig lots of manure/compost in before planting.  pH currently unknown (soil testing is planned). 

So what would you do?  I've been thinking about a white theme in the planting, with lots of green foliage plants.  Even better if I can get year round interest and scented plants.  Not too sure if it will work mind.  Also not sure what colour to paint the garage.  Its currently a bit of a greeny grey colour which is a bit dull and depressing.  As the one garage wall is south facing it get a lot of sun so can't be too bright.

 Any suggestions are greatly appreciated (or comments/suggestions on the overall design).  Its my first attempt at garden design and I'm fairly new to gardening, so lots to learn.  Can't wait to get started image


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,740

    Firstly, good luck and I think it's a lovely design. Can I make a suggestion about the lawn area? You have two areas of lawn with planted areas coming in from both sides ending in a very defined " point" I'd suggest that these points will be difficult to plant successfully without whatever is planted there spilling onto the lawn. I'd keep the perfect circle area to the left but , it's hard to describe, widen the middle beds out so they're more blunt at the ends. (  imagine you've got that fine point and you just snip across it,if that makes sense )by stretching the bed into the lawned area on the right. I guess you're planning the middle access between the lawns to give a slight screening quality to the design, which is lovely but beware the grass might become very worn there.

    Post photos of the progress please.

  • SamJPSamJP Posts: 17
    Hi hostafan, thanks, think I'm going to need all the luck I can get. I had originally thought of putting those curved beds (round the circle) as raised beds. But I'm now thinking of sticking with normal borders - so much easier to alter image. But very good point (no pun intended) I will definately flatten the points out some.

    The middle access was intended to make the design a little more interesting and yes slightly screened (rather than the old centrifuge look I'd got before lol). I'll have to keep my eye on the lawn. I could always add stepping stones if need be.

    I'll post photos once I get going. Hopefully be started April time. I can't wait. Already planning what seeds to plant.
  • If you paint the background (garage) a dark colour it will push the plants forward. If you want the background to blend in with the plants - like a mid/dark green colour, then that would be an option. I have seen the use of black fencing used to great effect especially with a white scheme. Colour schemes are very personal though and at least now there is a great deal more choice.

  • LeadFarmerLeadFarmer Posts: 1,464

    Sam, can I ask which software you used to create that plan?

  • SamJPSamJP Posts: 17

    Thanks Muvs Dashwood, I quite like the idea of a darker colour.  Might see what we can find.  The garage isn't far off the mid green colour at the moment, its just a bit washed out and dirty.  Feels a bit insipid, but I might like it more when the gardens in better shape.  I'd been considering painting the garage a creamy colour and really bouncing the light round, but thought it could be a bit too bright.

    LeadFarmer I've used Google Sketchup.  Its a bit fiddly to begin with and not the most intuitive programme to use but given a bit of patience you can do pretty much anything.  I've just come across the garden design tool on Plantify which looks like it could be quite good.

  • lisa69lisa69 Posts: 119

    LOL I thought I was being good last weekend when I got the tape measure, the graph paper and the OH to finally measure and properly plan our garden (instead of my usual gun hoe approach image

    But now I'm of to Plantify and Google Sketchup image big thank you.

  • LeadFarmerLeadFarmer Posts: 1,464

    Thanks Sam. 

  • SamJPSamJP Posts: 17
    No problem. Hope the planning goes well Lisa. I've spent nearly 12 months on that design lol, still thinking about it as well. Might change some of the flower beds or add a rockery.

    Well it's official work starts 17th march. I gave up waiting for my OH and hired a company. They're going to clear it, put in a new fence and the paving. I'm thinking tumbled Indian sandstone paving with gravel (and stepping stone) paths. Just need to pick colours and order it.
  • LeadFarmerLeadFarmer Posts: 1,464

    Sounds exciting. Be sure to take photos before, during and afterwards. In years to come you will be grateful of them. Oh, and post them here as well please as I'd love to see them. 

  • SamJPSamJP Posts: 17

    Thanks LeadFarmer, I'm certainly excited.  Its only taken 2 years to get to this point lol. 

    I took a few photos of the mess that is the current back garden a couple months ago.  I would post them now but I seem to be having some minor technical difficulties (in that I can't remember where I saved them lol).  I'll come back when I find them.

    Well it would seem that I tempted fate with my last post.  The design from the first post was draw up nearly 8 months ago.  My OH saw it at the time and we have sort of discussed it since (lets just say he's not been overly vocal on the subject, I generally just get grumbles and "its your choice" lol).  Now I've got a start date wonder boy over here comes up with an alteration to the patio (the path has always been intended as brick edged, gravel with stepping stones, I was just too lazy to draw it into the original design):


    To make matters more expensive (lol), he's also suggest raising the patio so you have to step up to it (only a small step mind).  I think the new design works, I'm just not certain about the step up.  I think it will look good but practicality wise I'm not convinced.  Just waiting for the updated quote based on this design (price may make my mind up for me lol).

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