Brand New Garden - 1 Year on






 I moved into a brand new house in January 2012 - and began to create my new garden as soon as I moved in.  I really like cottage style plants and hoping to make the garden even better next year and attract more wildlife - if anyone has any tips or ideas for me please share!! Thanks image


The top picutre was taken exactly one year ago when the plot was reserved, and the last picture about 4 weeks ago.


  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,806

    You have done well but honestly-and I can see you like your lawn and the cat looks happy-do you really want all that lawn?-it looks very formal  and sticks to the formula of virtually straight lines with small surrounding borders

    If you want more cottage style plants and a cottage garden look to encourage wildlife-you are going to need more beds-perhaps some trellis or some climbers on the fencing,perhaps a pond,get away from the lawn rectangle,more curves-just my initial thoughts and obviously just my opinion

    See what others think


  • kate1123kate1123 Posts: 2,815

    You have done very well and should be pleased with your efforts.

    I have an almost identical new build garden but 8 years on. Every year I have dug up another 6 inches of lawn to put in more flowers . This spring we dig up the middle of the lawn to make a square bed in the centre. I still have straight lines through out the garden but OH is OCD.

    To get more wildlife you could go to the GC every month and buy one plant that is in flower.

    Have you read this thread?

  • Well done! I bet the neighbours are jealous and all your hard work has paid off. he lawn has obviously enjoyed the wet conditions we had this summer; looks great.

    Is the land behind you likely to be built on? If so, I'd think of your future privacy/security - climbers like honeysuckle or jasmine or some hedging -  berberis or pyracantha all good for wildlife along the back fence.

    I was going to say a small tree in the farthest corner from the house but I see you have a tree already - what is it?

    A small pond would be lovely with a beach (shallow sloped entrance for wildlife to get in and out ) would be something to aim for but even the smallest container can bring lots of wildlife

    Do you feed the birds ? A lovely bird pole in the middle of the lawn where predators ( like your sleepy cat) would not be able to lie in wait - it would be a good time to start as the weather starts to cool down and you can sit and watch - brings me and my cat, hours of pleasure.image

  • Looks great but I'd have much less lawn and much more planting, unless you have children image

  • Thanks for the replies...I have created a small pond in one of the corners (done away with the veg patch), I agree I do not like the squareness of the lawn, next year I am going to change the shape of the borders to make them bigger and more curved.  The land behind the garden will not be built on which is good.  I have a few climbers growing on the fence, such as honeysuckle and a rambling rose.  The tree to the left is a variety of crabapple tree which is really nice as it has sort of copper foliage.




  • Lovely choice of tree - crab apples are beautiful. Great that the land will not be built on as you can borrow the view. Your pond will bring in wildlife in no time image

  • Perhaps look at Geoff Hamiltons cottage gardens book or DVD - my bible if I'm honest! It took me a while but deciding to have no grass at all is quite freeing. I just have various types of path meandering through deep beds now. Oh and height, pergolas, obelisques, tall plants.

  • Hi John,

    You've certainly made good progress. Someone above said about borrowing the landscape: just to be a bit revolutionary, why not consider taking off alternate fence palings to make more of the countryside beyond? Who knows, you may eventually decide to go completely for a less formal boundary.


  • If you made those borders twice the size and packed with bigger clumps of the same things you've already got (plus a few large things - maybe shrub roses?) you'll be amazed how much bigger it'll look. Honest! Many of your current plants could be divided and spread out - I'd say you're looking for clumps of about 2ft diameter in a garden that size. The best tip I ever got was to think in triangles when planting - different shapes and sizes of triangle mean plants blend with each other rather than look 'plonked'. So true! Its why buying in 3s always a good plan! Yep, you're garden's well on its way (especially for a year old!!!) but I think you need some deeper borders and some shrubs. And if you want to cheat your way to a 3rd 'tier' of height, climbers are your very bestest friends, as you seem to know already. That post and rail fence cries out for a climbing or rambling rose to me! Time to give it some welly - how exciting! xx

  • It looks lovely.

    My suggestion would be to propagate from exisiting plants as much as possible. It's very satisfying, helps offset the amount you spend, and repeat plantings around the garden always looks great.

  • I agree with the bird feeder idea, BUT to save the seeds that get spilt from germinating, I'd put something underneath if you want to save your lawn - some paving or something, if you truly want to attract wildlife, cut a small circular bed and site the bird feeder pole in the middle, and let whatever falls out of the seeder germinate.  The only thing I'd do is remove the sunflowers that germinate, as they'll spoil your view.  I have to admit that the sparrows are quite good at cleaning up after themselves, but there are always random plants under the feeder that I certainly didn't put there!

  • Some great ideas thanks. I am now planning to increase the borders round the edge of the garden. I plan to keep the borders straight edges round the edge, as I like to keep it simple and not too fussy! Perhaps increase the size of the border in the middle into a more curved shape. Now just have to beg borrow and steal plants from family!!
  • I think your garden looks lovely, especially as it's only one year old.  We have lived in ours about 13 years and have always kept it neat and tidy and child play friendly.  Kids getting bigger now and we can experiment a bit more and chang things about a bit and introduce lots of new ideas.  So have started now ready for next year and have a few ideas in the memory banks helped by this forum thanks!

  • AtillaAtilla Posts: 1,493

    I would replace the ranch style fence (why do developers have to be cheap and stick those in?) with the same 6ft fence to increase privacy. As everyone else has said, you created the washing machine affect - small border around the lawn. You can extend the borders over time and it will look better, about 1 metre would be minum and extend the patio area with the seat into a garden room by extending and adding height to the border their.

  • Hi John

    You are doing a grand job!   I envy you,  having had a garden for 35 years but now live in a flat! If I started again I would plant fruit trees, training them around the edges as espalias and fans etc -you get the height, blossom and then the fruit, then the taste! Dwarf root stock is VERY important in a small garden!  Morello cherry will be happy facing north and looks delightful fan trained. Grape vine will give you some shade over the patio and grapes in autumn together with beautiful autumn colour! Carol Cliens Growing Fruit is useful book.  You can get family trees with grafted branches giving different types of apples or pears on each tree. I have always fancied a moon gate! A circular opening in a wall or fence-of Chinese origin.  This could be created once your far border has grown by cutting a hole in it to see thro to the field beyond! Perhaps edged with two fruit trees curved round!  A traditional metal gate in the far fence and a path leading to it with a mirror behind gate facing into garden makes illusion of your garden going on and on!!! Oh dear perhaps I should move and get myself another garden! Good luck!

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