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realy big empty garden

Help I have a huge garden 3 hectares about 7 acres , we are trying to creat a garden on about a hectare and I need advice about what to put in that will give me structure to create a garden round. I have started a willow hedge and a  laurel hedge. We have two large beds into which I am putting all the shrubs I grow from cuttings as I see what likes my acid soil on a windswept site.  We are quite high 300 metres but we live in Brittany so are a bit further south than the UK  ..

Are there any books you could recomend , everthing I have concentrates on tiny gardens and how to make them seem bigger.  




  • JunkbuyerJunkbuyer Posts: 48

    Hi we use to have 3 acres and I found it quite daunting and expensive until I discovered plant auctions which we have in England.  Looking back in hindsight Design is the key I never really had one and I would certainly start from the drawing board if I ever did it again sorry this is not more informative

  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892

    The best form of structure for large gardens is large trees. Obviously large trees take time to grow. Though these days it's possible to buy reasonably mature trees in containers, for a price. TV makeover shows often do that. Fruit trees - making an orchard - are a good way to add structure to a large garden.

    The first step in designing a garden is to think about what style of garden you want. What is the most important thing you want from your garden - growing vegetables and self-sufficiency; or do you want a romantic-looking cottage garden; or something tidy and formal to impress other people; or a garden to attract wildlife; or a playground for children and pets, etc, etc. These types of garden will all have their own different requirements.

    So if, for example, you wanted a wildlife garden, which offers possibly the widest range of design posibilities, then there are many books devoted to that subject. Or there are books about Romantic Garden design. I don't know that much about formal gardens, but visiting some National Trust properties should give you plenty of ideas.

    You also need to bear in mind maintenance, and how much time you're prepared to spend working on it, year after year. Some types of garden are more labour intensive than others.

  • weejennyweejenny Posts: 386

    A pond for a start while youve the room to get about and then use the soil for landscaping round it

  • Thank you for the ideas I will have to sit down with paper and pencil , any ideas for reading?

  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892

    There are plenty of books about specific types of gardening. IMO, specialist books are more useful than books that might attempt to describe design in general terms.

    My own interest is wildlife, for which the best book is How to Make a Wildlife Garden by Chris Baines. It explains all the principles - you need a (big) pond, a wood, plenty of woodland edge, thickets, and a meadow, etc, etc. This book:

    And any of the books by Piet Oudolf; they're not exactly about wildlife, but they tell you about the relaxed natural style. It's not to everyone's taste, but is relevant if you have a big garden.

    But if you're interested in veggies, or anything else, there are specialist books.

    I'd also mention a TV program on BBC4 tonight, 9pm, about Hidcote. It's the story of a man who created a fairly amazing garden, from scratch, on a plot of several acres.

    Monty Don's DVD set (and book) Around the World in 80 Gardens has loads of inspiration and big ideas in it.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 61,413

    Monty Don also has a book called Gardening at Longmeadow, which tells the story of how he created his garden, which might be helpful - it's being advertised by The Book People for £9.99 at the moment - - a reduction of £15.



    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Just a thought, but think about breaking the space up into smaller spaces or 'rooms' which can be divided by hedges, walls or fences.  This will make the job less daunting as you're dealing with smaller gardens, the boundaries will help protect your plants from the wind and you can change the feeling of each room.  Also, if you make a mistake in planting or design, it won't be on a huge, glaring scale.  Good luck, I'm envious of the space you have to play with image

  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892
    Botticelliwoman wrote (see)

    ... think about breaking the space up into smaller spaces or 'rooms' which can be divided by hedges, walls or fences...

    Breaking a big garden into 'rooms' was the single innovation introduced on a large scale by Hidcote. I don't personally like Hidcote. It seems to me that Hidcote is really no more than a large number of little gardens, all different and with no consistent theme or idea.

    But I do agree that some partitioning is useful in a large garden. You can partition off some private/secluded areas. A vegetable plot could be partitioned off, if one wants to grow vegetables (I don't ever recall seeing any vegetables at Hidcote).

    Partitioning is also a good opportunity to introduce internal hedges, which are useful to wildlife.

  • When I moved in to our garden it was a mess, didn't know where to start.  I went to my local charity book shop and found several.  One which I keep going back is called The Garden Sourcebook by Caroline Boisset.

  • but Gary why do gardens have to have a consistent idea or theme? image

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