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Complete garden makeover

I moved into my thatched cottage 2 years ago with long rectangular garden leggy overgrown shrubs and tatty lawn all of which I have removed.  Erected small greenhouse and dug out a small wildlife pond but now left with a sea of fence and soil and a feeling I've been too enthusiastic with the removing. Started planting 'cottage perennials' but don't seem to be making any kind of headway. Very disheartened and wondering if I need some professional advice on where to go from here. help! 



  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,583
    Perhaps you could reinstate some of the lawn in the form of a long, green path and work outwards from there. You cannot enjoy Pimms in a sea of mud.
  • BluebelleBluebelle Posts: 28

    Thanks Ceres... You are correct - definitely need lawn back and create windy path rather than long straight landing strip path which just makes everything look worse. .. I've been to local garden centre today and booked 'design consultation' this will give me an outline plan (sadly lacking at mo). In the meantime I need to drink enough Pimms not to notice the mud.

  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,583
    You will have to post photos on the site when it is all done and blooming nicely. The beauty of a cottage garden is, once you have enough plants they will self seed all over the place and fill in the gaps.
  • BluebelleBluebelle Posts: 28

    That's the hope, image I am currently hanging on Monty's every word. Filled the pond with everything he suggested last night so that's one plus point. what garden do you have?

  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,583
    I'd like to think it is a bit like a cottage garden with pond and rampaging things self seeding everywhere. Truth is, I can't stand anything organised. I can't grow violets from seed but nature has done the job for me and they are all over the place and looking lovely at the moment. If the birds and mice and voles and frogs etc are happy, then my work is done.
  • BluebelleBluebelle Posts: 28

    I'm with you there - I read a lovely book written by Geoffrey Hamilton about cottage gardens and he said cottage gardening should be more like refereeing than tending. I've planted wild flowers, rose bushes (open flowered of course for bees) in the hope I'm doing the same. Bee boxes and log piles too. Nature -  I'm here. My thatch has it's very own community too.... i hear a  mouse stirring same time every morning it's quite sweet actually. 

  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,583
    Mr Hamilton was right. Studied neglect. Refereeing is hard work when it all kicks off at once. Cottage gardens are for plants that feel happy where they are.
  • cloud8cloud8 Posts: 103

    How about a bit of box or yew topiary to make it look like organised chaos?

  • Definitely get yourself a plan of the plot Bluebelle, and then I think Ceres advice is very good and that to get a local expert / designer from the garden centre to work out what you want. A bit of investment up front but in the long term you will have a plan to follow. Also a cottage garden is not overnight success, it can take a few year so be patient.

  • LeifUKLeifUK Posts: 573

    Work out what you want in the garden, and the different areas. Lawn? Beds? Veg patch? Fruit trees? Ornamentals? Find out where pipes are such as sewers. Watch where the sun lands. Any warm walls? Then work out where best to put the bits you want. Lawn is not so hard to do, albeit time demanding. Rotovate, level, seed, wait. Moan about weeds and weed grass. Cut. Moan. Cut. Moan. Etc. 

    I completely redid my garden. I worked out I wanted an area of lawn, a long herb bed near the house, a veg patch at the end where it is sunny, some fruit trees round the edges, not near buried pipes, some currants, rhubarb and raspberries and some ornamentals. It all came together. Maybe a pro could do better, but I like the result, I am still learning lots, and it is fun. I found I made mistakes, some plants were invasive, but you can always move plants, change things, until it works. I moved a giant compost heap many times! Nothing is perfect, but it brings me pleasure and makes the house more sellable when the time comes. 

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