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My first design - advice? criticism? recommended plants?

Hello all,

I have just moved into a new house, which has a garden! Yay! I am no longer confined to plants in pots! 

I have (very quickly) painted up a little design for the garden which the landlord has asked what sort of thing would I be after since they were going to do up the garden anyway. I have just tried to get my vague ideas out of my head, 


 I hope you can see them ok - they looked better before I put them there.... 

The one on the left shows how it is now roughly, and the one on the right is my idea. the top right corner is the place that gets the sun until latest in the day.(so I guess since it rises in the top right corner roughly, that is roughly east)

I dont have much money to throw at this project but hey - thats part of the fun. 

any recommendations or comments would be greatly appreciated. 

This is the first garden I have ever had, and first house I have lived in that has one. So I must confess, I hardly know what i'm doing. I'm pretty sure the soil is not great - mostly clay, but I'll sort that when the time comes I suppose. 




  • I forgot to add these photos of what the garden actually looks like - rather than my somewhat slapdash doodles... 





  • bekkie hughesbekkie hughes Posts: 5,294
    Hi Thomas, what an exciting time, i hope you are really happy there image

    The sun comes up in the east and sets in the west, so the bit that gets sun in the evening will be west facing (i apologise if that is what you said, i can be a bit thick at times!).

    Dont worry about the soil type etc yet, what do you want to use the garden for? If you want to sit out, then its a good idea to put a seat where the garden gets evening sun.

    Your plan looks great, but its hard to say if its right for you until you know what you want to use it for, do you have kids? Pets?

    Do you want to grow flowers or veggies, do you work,will you want a low maintainance garden?

    I really like the look of the second picture
  • bekkie hughesbekkie hughes Posts: 5,294
    Sorry i pressed submit, didnt mean to, told you i was dim!

    Could you explain what each bit is in your picture pleaae image
  • image

     Thats another sketch - explains a little better. You pretty much hit the nail on the head. Its just me and my girlfriend, we both work and will mainly be using it after work. So I put the seats and table in the top right (yes west facing I think - I'm not very good at putting directions into words) I do also like to sit out there in the morning before work if I get the chance, but I dont mind sitting on the step. I'm mainly interested in growing flowers - I particularly like things that self seed and go a bit mad. so at the moment i'm going for foxgloves, nasturtiums, poppies, some sunflowers that self seeded in a pot I had, I have some harebells that look quite nice with the foxgloves, and some lilies in pots. Oh there are quite a lot of aquilegia self seeding all over the garden already so i guess i'll include them too. There are a few nettles knocking about in the corners which I dont mind too much - since I heard they are good for butterflies and bees and such. I'd quite like some buddleia (dont know how to spell that one) at some point too, but thats another bridge to cross. 

    The big green blob in the top left are some bushes that I think are the boundary to next door's garden, the brown patch next to that I would quite like to try growing something like carrots - just a little bit of veg to give it a go really. I'd like to put some climbers around the fences on trellis or something, maybe a fan trained tree at some point if i'm feeling brave haha. the rest are just pretty much flower boarders. 

    the grey bit at the bottom of both is like a raised concrete patio thing i guess. maybe its there in the second photo. 

    I am loving the house so far thanks! it still hasn't really sunk in! 

    Maintenance wise, i dont mind if it takes a fair bit of looking after, The more excuses I have to spend time out there the better really haha! 


  • bekkie hughesbekkie hughes Posts: 5,294
    That sounds fab! You have given it lots of thought! There will be lots of members swapping seeds and plants soon, if you have a wish list of seeds etc, ive started a wish list post, dont worry if you havent got anything you can swap, in all honesty most of us will have too much seed that would go on the compost heap otherwise!

    I would start with your seating area, and maybe a bench by the back door, doesnt have to be anything posh, you can make one from pallets.

    I will most definately have foxglove seeds and lots of other things that self seed and go a bit mad! Please feel free to post a list.

    Best wishes image
  • How exciting - I love sitting down an playing with different ideas and plans. I have one suggestion and one piece of advice.

    The suggestion: How about having a triangular patio rather than a square or rectangular one at the end of the garden.

    The advice: I'm not sure the path around the edge of the garden will work. It means that you will be taking the longest route possible from the back door to get to the patio. You will quickly tire of doing so and will instead walk straight across the grass. I would suggest a path that starts at the back door and curves gently onto the patio.


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,896

    I was thinking the same as Scott - I'm afraid your postie and other delivery people will just walk straight across the grass image  You could prevent that by having a bed or a trellis with climbers opposite the gate.

    But otherwise it's looking good, lots of lovely ideas to start with ....

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

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