Need some direction here

Hi there, first post here and never had a garden of my own before

Hope the attached pictures all work.

So bought a house recently and attached is what we have to work with.

Really need some ideas. I gather the man who lived here before kept it in good condition and had a gardener come regular but when he passed on the garden got a bit neglected whilst the interior was 'done up'

The tree is a laburnum tree which I guess we will keep for the time being.

The garden is North West facing so not massively sunny although most of the garden gets a fair bit of sun this time of year. But can be shady especially near the house and on the left side (when looking out from the back of the house). Sunniest side is probably the stretch between the pergola and the tree.

In the medium term we would look to extend to one side of the house which would cover up the area with the pergola where the wheely bins are in the pictures.

We have two small kids so something child friendly (good for kicking a ball about) and we like minimalist style and low maintenance. We like Japan so some Japanese style flowers/bushes would also be a plus. We need something in those borders but the bluebells have died off now. Love to have some nice colours and contrasting shades but not sure what to put and where.

The side which runs from the pergola up to the shady area behind the tree I am planning to get repaved in the next few weeks. Is there any way of preventing weeds from growing up in the cracks when you have an area repaved? I am also planning on putting a new fence up along this boundary since the old fence is looking on its last legs.

I am really looking for inspiration/ideas as to what would look good. Would like something easy to grow in a shady garden and preferably something which looks quite nice in the winter too. My neighbour has lots of tiny conifer looking trees dotted around the garden which are a lovely bright shade of green and look good in the bleak winter too. This is one idea but where would be the best place for them?

The area behind the tree in the far corner gets little sun and is a bit hidden by the big tree. Was thinking if we extended the house and lost the garage we may put a shed there for storage but any other ideas welcome. At the moment its just a bit of under utilized waste ground where the cats like to poo

Going to try to attach these photos now and a bit of a garden plan to illustrate the space. Hope it works and thanks in advance for any advice

Here are the pics:



  • cathy43cathy43 Posts: 373

    You could try some fruit  trees, bushes or canes against the left fence if you want to keep as much lawn? most natives are easy to grow (raspberry) and the children might find it interesting as well as tasting good

    Hope you really enjoy itimage

  • annmarie 2annmarie 2 Posts: 154

    id go with what cathy says fruit trees, you can get the stunted ones that only grow around 5ft, great for kids it also incourages tham to eat fruit ... plus id curve the boarders so there not as straight , and if theres enough room a summerhouse not to large a few pots with bamboo or climbers put a little colour in the garden other than forest green ... when the children get a little older maybe a pond but defo not if they are only tiny , treat it as your own personal canvas have fun ... if you don't like what you've done , not to worry have another go , enjoy your garden

  • Daisydoo2Daisydoo2 Posts: 21

    I'd be wary of a laburnum with young children about. They have pods that are very like pea pods and are poisonous. when I was younger (a lot younger) I mistook them for pea pods and had to have my stomach pumped. Horrible. How clever was I image

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