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New Garden

Hello there, not been on the forum for a long time.  We recently moved and have spent over a year renovating a house.  We decided to take the summer off (and what wonderful weather we have had) and work in the garden.  This piece of land is very terraced at the back and north-west facing.  It has been overgrown for probably 20 years and the soil has been very impoverished.  We removed 2 rusty metal arches, dug/tore up all the old gravel and membrane and set a new turf lawn, which is coming on very well, although it is a month old and growing mushrooms/toadstools, which we have been assured will not return next year, so says the turf supplier.  We have a lovely silver birch tree, a rhododendron, a cotinus, a pieris, a holly (which we only keep to cut up and put on the flower beds to deter cats from fouling the soil),a forsythia,2 different shades of purple butterfly bushes and a few other shrubs, which we cannot identify, some are lovely and some are boring and therefore coming out.  We planted 100 bulbs this month of crocus and miniature narcissus (as it is too windy for tall ones).  We like trees and shrubs, and I am looking for suggestions of very low growing ones, preferably evergreen, and also one or two larger evergreen shrubs to go on the perimeter of the garden, where they can be sheltered by a fence.  We live in a very rural area and want to encourage birds, bees and butterflies.  We do want a labour saving garden, because my husband and I are now retired, and want the ability of going away and not having to return to masses of work.  Any suggestions welcomed.

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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 39,139

    Hi Trixie. If you have a spot with free draining soil  you could use Hebes. Lots of varieties of varying sizes and most are evergreen. Flowers are white through to purples. Don't rule out Potentillas because, although not evergreen, they have foliage for a huge part of the year and flower forever. I have white ones and they'll fit with any colour scheme but the soft yellows are also nice and will work with your Cotinus and other shrubs like Pieris and Forsythia. Mahonia (Charity or Winter Sun) are useful big evergreens with yellow candles of flowers late in the year followed by blue/black berries. It would do well on your boundary. There's smaller varieties too. Viburnum's another useful large shrub - lots of varieties available. I also have Osmanthus burkwoodii which has scented white flowers in early spring. Evergreen. Sarcococca ( Christmas box) is evergreen and has scented white flowers in winter. 

    I have low growing Gaultherias (used to be Pernettya) which have white flowers like the Pieris and red berries for this time of year. They like a little bit of shade but are happy enough with some sun if the soil's not too dry. Pachysandra terminalis is another low growing evergreen - also like a bit of shade. Nice little white flowers.

    Hope that gives you a couple of ideas. image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


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