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First house, first garden, new gardener!! help/advice needed!




 Hi all, 

Im new to this website, and to be honest, a completely newbie to gardening. Im a nurse from Norwich and myself and my partner have just bought our first house. I ventured into the garden properly for the first time today. Its part grass, part paving stones, with a wooden shed at the back. Theres a large pine tree which is creating quite a lot of shade, which I think is making the grass grow quite patchy. As for plants, so far we have a buddleia bush and some sort of large mahogany/purple leafed bush. 

The shed is less of a shed and more of a completely over run spider cave, but apart from that its in pretty good condition. Id really like to make my garden a place that is worthy of summer barbecues, but at the moment I really don't know where to start! Im looking for some advice and inspiration! Thanks in advance x



  • p.s- The garden is bigger (longer) than it looks in the photos!!

  • YviestevieYviestevie Posts: 7,063

    Lucky you, a new garden and lots of planning to do.

    I agree re the pine tree it does look too big for your garden, and if it was mine it would have to go. (others on the forum might disagree).

    You need to decide what you want to do in the garden first, do you want an area for sitting or entertaining.  Do you think you would like a pond.  Do you want to create new paths etc. 

    I'd start by looking at gardens on the internet, in your road and public gardens to get an idea of the style that you like.  There are also some good gardening books around that can provide you with inspiration.  You may be surprised at what is already in your garden and I'd take photos and make a list of what comes up when for the first year.  Also record how the sun moves across you garden because it will help when deciding on planting and where to site seating areas etc.

    As a rule of thumb, once you have decided on the style you like get the structure right first ie  Hard landscaping, Trees and shrubs.  Make sure you choose ones that are a suitable size when fully grown.  Once the structure is in place then I would move on to filling in the gaps with smaller shrubs and perennials etc.

    I dont know how much time or money you can afford to spend, but a garden can swallow up lots of both so take that into account when you are planning.

    Creating a new garden is  fabulous so take your time and enjoy it. Everyone on here is very friendly and always happy to try and identify individual plants or make suggestions for a particularly tricky spot.

    Hi from Kingswinford in the West Midlands
  • Thank you very much for your response- youve given me food for thought!

    I'm beginning to think that the pine tree needs to would I go about removing a tree that big from a small garden? Also, the roots are pushing up two of the paving slabs that surround the base- how would I level it out?

    At the moment, the ideas are as follows-

    - Remove the two pine trees in front of and beside the shed.

    - Level ground and re-lay paving slabs in front of the shed to create a sitting/barbecue area. 

    - Remove paving slabs to that run from the front end of the garden to the back. This will be replaced with grass with a possibly of paving 'stepping stones' running from the front of the garden to the sitting area.

    - Create a plant bed along the opposite side of the length of the garden and plant more climbing plants/shrubs/flowers next to the two existing shrubs.


    I'm hoping this is achievable!


  • Personally I like the pine tree, I think it gives the garden character. On the plus side, it looks as if it is on the side that gets the sun, so it won't cast too much shade in your garden. However not much will grow under it. The shed is in good nick and could look more attractive with a bit of a paint makeover and maybe a climber or some imaginative touches of your own. If you paved or gravelled the area near the tree and shed, it could be your entertaining space, as long as you site the BBQ where it can't set fire to anything! Alternatively you could screen that part of the garden off and concentrate on making the rest look good. What sort of things do you want to have in your garden? Do you think you might get into this gardening lark?

  • Hi the big trees looks like it defenatly needs to come down there will be plenty of people with wood burners will help you out.

    It might be worth looking at a new fence also. And replacing the slabs and concrete and create a seating bnq area. With a few beds.

    It depends how much you want to spend
  • Please keep the tree! I wish I had a tree like that.

  • Hi Charlotte image  I'm nearly your neighbour!  We live just outside Norwich now but used to live in the Golden Triangle - your place looks as if you may be in that area?

    I agree with Yviestevie - the tree has outgrown that space and needs to go.  You'll have to get an arboriculturist in to fell it to make sure it doesn't drop onto your house or your neighbour's fence or similar - when we moved here we had one come to fell some trees in this garden - it wasn't as expensive as I thought it would be.  Make sure you get one with recommendations and public liability insurance image

    It looks as if some damp may be getting into the shed roof - that shouldn't be too difficult to repair yourselves if one of you is fairly agile and can work from a step ladder and the other one can supervise and hand up tools etc image

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

  • The tree looks like a Scots pine and will therefore get much taller. As much as I love trees this one is too big to save and will only get larger. Pine is not good for burning as the high resin levels causes it to spit and chock up flues and it dries out too much so burns too quickly.

  • Thank you everyone that has replied so far! Oh I don't know what to do with the tree now! Haha. I'll have to get a few quotes for felling and see if I can afford it....if not it'll have to stayimage

    Dovefromabove- Yes we are in the Golden Triangle! We bought the house at the end of December and moved in a week before christmas- so up until now we've been sorting the inside of the house out first...the garden hasnt been touched (apart from me cutting back the two shrubs today as they looked a little wirey and un-manicured!)


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,710

    I'd lose the tree, and the lawn. ( saves you having to buy a lawnmower, and gives you more storage room in shed.)

    Maybe a gentle S shaped path to the shed with lovely deep borders on either side and a nice seating area by the house.

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