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Hello - Total Novice - Please Help

Hi everybody - looks like a great site and a helpful community. This is my first post.

I will be moving house middle August and for the first time (sort of) I have a garden !!

But, I seriously know very little and will probably ask some really dumb questions.

I will try to 'search' out the info I am after before creating a previously covered topic.

The graden generally is a bit soul - less at present but its neat and tidy. Front garden has two patches of lawn with a a raised border area with nothing currently in it.

The back garden is basically a rectangle of lawn  approx 30 mts x 10 with a patio area at the back door, a lovely drystane dyke going down it's length on one side and a good sized shed. I really just want to humanise it gradually over time.

First thing I would like to do is plan (not plant just yet) a climbing rose (or similar) across the east facing gable end of the cottage.

Question 1 : what kind of rose / plant (names) ? would be suitable and when to purchase / plant ?

I assume I will need some kind of trellis fixed to the gable wall ?

Question 2 : similar to the above. I plan to erect a trellis wall to screen off an outside dining area (front garden south facing). The trellis will be approx 1.5mts off the ground and 3.5 / 4mts long.

In front of this trellis fence I intend to have a selection of planters to aid the screening effect and to add interest and colour. I was wondering what 'climbers' would be a good bet for this purpose ie. the 'main' screening plant. Something fast growing, colourful but not too dense foliage. Clematis ??

This climber will need to live in a planter in all probability.

Thanks in advance - any help / advice greatly received.





  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,949

    Welcome to the Forum. Most of us started here as complete newbies asking very very silly questions so don't feel embarrassed image

  • bekkie hughesbekkie hughes Posts: 5,294
    Hi, welcome, what an exciting time!

    Is there any chance you could post some pics, and let us know a bit more about your garden, is it sunny? What part of the country?

    Have a look at all of the gardening sites (crocus is very useful) this will help you find out what style of garden you like. Also, what will the garden be used for? Do you have children or pets?

    Best wishes image
  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    Welcome to the madhouse, Andy.

    If you have lots of empty borders and no definite plans for them yet, you could create some almost instant colour by buying some bedding plants.  You buy them in modules of 6 - 18 from the garden centre and plant them a foot or so apart in well-watered holes in the borders.  They'll flower till the first frosts (if we have any next winter) and then you can remove them to the compost heap and replace them with someting more permanent.

    You might rake in a little blood/fish/bone, a general fertiliser, beforehand to promote a good display.

    You can even collect the seeds and raise your own plants next spring, if you have somewhere frost-free to do it.

  • Hi all. Thanks for the welcome + replies.

    Steve - we have no borders as yet. Imagine the back garden to be nothing more than a rectangle 30mt x10 with a meter high drystane dyke going down one of the long sides and a high privet hedge going down the other - parallel to each other.

    There is a narrow border of small chuckies (small stones) about 15cms wide between the edge of the lawn and the dyke itself. The chuckie border and dyke turn at a 90 degree angle down the bottom of garden and continues in a straight line running its it's full 10mt width - it really is just a plain rectangle at present.

    When I start considering borders it will be down the dyke side and end wall of the garden as the hedge side is a permanent fixture and largely in the shade. The dyke side where I intend to create beds is west facing from the right hand side down the dyke and north facing from the back door and fairly open. I suspect borders will be in next years plan - LOL !

    Bekkie - dont know how to post pics yet but will work on it. If you read the above you will now have an idea of the back garden at least.

    The front garden is south facing and a bit more interesting than the back garden in the sense that is has a paved area immediately outside the front door, two patches of shaped lawn approx  5mts sq each in front of the paved area and a decent sized raised bed currently containing pebbles (albeit nice pebbles). There is a paved path separates the two patches of lawn up to the garden gate. Approx size of front garden is 20mts wide x 15mts in front.

    Both front and back gardens are airy and bright but, as mentioned earlier, a bit clinical just now. The previous owners have really made the front garden 'low maintenance'  but it has nice proportions. The back garden rectangle will be more challenging I think. The house isnt a 'newbuild' - its a semi detached cottage 120 years old but "tastefully upgraded".

    1 x 4 year old and no pets.

    Summary : back garden will eventually have borders. Front garden will be made interesting with 'planters'.

    Like I say, the priorities after moving in (mid August) and before winter sets in will be to select and plant a nice 'climber' over the east facing gable end wall and to erect a 'privacy' trellis screen in the south facing garden. The main question at present are are what to plant over each and am I too late to 'plant'  ? The trellis plant will have to exist in a planter - the gable plant will be in soil (please dont ask me what kind of soil !! - I am in the agricultural east coast of Scotland, Strathmore Valley - bound to be good soil !!  LOL !! ) 

    Thinking a rose (tame or wild) for the gable and a clematis for the privacy screen. I suspect anything more adventurous than that ie. creating borders will have to wait til springtime when (hopefully) I become a bit more knowledgable. 

    Please go 'easy' on me. Thanks again.


  • PS - Bekkie. As to 'style' of garden, my early 'vision' for the front has a 'minimalist' almost zen-like feel to it (do you know the work of sculptor Andy Goldsworthy ?) - with the back garden having a cosier, more classical feel to it - quite contrasting really.

  • bekkie hughesbekkie hughes Posts: 5,294
    Sounds good Andy, as you can tell- we all get a bit over excited at the prospect of a new garden image
  • bekkie hughesbekkie hughes Posts: 5,294
    Ive just looked at some work by Andy Goldsworthy, i think i saw him or someone who does somethink very similar featured on countryfile, wonderful image

    You have mentioned a climber, have you got a flower colour in mind? image
  • No real concerns regarding colour Bekkie although the cottage is white and could look good with a contrasting colour like red or equally so, could look nice with a subtle blending 'statement' such as yellow / off white.

    I think we are pretty set on a rose of some description for the gable and something 'sprawling' but not too dense in foliage with a decent flowering season for the privacy trellis at the front - but remember, this will have to thrive from the confines of a planter.


  • bekkie hughesbekkie hughes Posts: 5,294
    Thats a fairly big ask image, however im sure you will be inundated with advice shortly as it gets very busy on here in the evenings, will get my thinking cap on for a rose that will do all of the above image
  • Thanks Bekkie.

    For clarity (the 'big ask" bit worried me) - a nice hardy climbing rose, any colour, for the east facing gable - planted in the ground.

    A 'softer' flowering screen for a south facing trellis - to live in a pot.

    I had better get back to work ........

    BTW  - not quite found the forum 'search function' yet so feel free to post 'links' to any relevant threads you know of. As a member of a fishing forum I know how frustrating it can be to have 50 threads asking similar / the same things.

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