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New Garden, New to Gardening - help!

It's 30x7ft, hence my username.

It was covered in membrane/stones/decking when I arrived, but as you can see I've got rid of those. I've done a separate thread about how to rescue the soil. I'm thinking of doing some raised beds for veg and leaving some space without beds for non-edibles. Any advice on the best location for veg/non-veg in terms of light would be very welcome. I know that's a bit vague, because different plants like different conditions...

I'd like to stick to native plants if possible - but I have inherited some plants and don't feel I can dump them now (see photos - any idea what they are? The one with pink/white flowers smells like cat wee and bees love it!).

The garden is NW facing. There is a large leylandi tree in a neighbour's garden, to the top left in the picture, so direct light is limited somewhat. The top half gets light in the morning, and the bottom half in the afternoon. The fences also limit direct light, so maybe the raised beds should go in the middle of the garden?












  • MarilynTMarilynT Posts: 18

    A couple of years ago we visited a group of open gardens and one had very similar dimensions to your.  Nearest the entrance to the garden a path started and wound its' way from one side to the other of the garden to end in a sitting area completely secluded and painted shed draped with climbers.  The planting was a mix of tall & small shrubs, that generally hid the fencing.  The shrubs were kept tidy in their spaces by careful pruning, some shrubs having no lower branches to create space for other plants.  The scheme was held together by plants dotted along the path of two colour,s silver and blue.  The garden even had a small sunken area and there was also bamboo among the planting!  We have been to many gardens but this one always comes to mind as one where the owner triumphed over a fairly difficult space.

    The Euonymus in the bottom picture is a plant I value in my garden.  I have it climbing up a wall and also up chunky trellis.  It can be clipped hard, gives colour all year round and has fluffy cream flowers when established.  I think the next picture up might be a Magnolia? and the next picture up possibly from the Privet family - if it is it is a good one to clip, I have a golden type clipped into a 'tube', but need to cut out where it tries to revert to green leaves.

    Thinking about the light in your garden you might be able to colour the fencing with one of the lighter coloured paints available to reflect light back into the garden?  And your idea of raised beds is a good one, easier to weed, we have made ours out of decking boards lined around the depth with used compost bags - dark side out, cut & stapled to the inside of the decking boards and the filled.  Works a treat, and is strong enough to contain the soil. I agree I would put the raised beds where they can get as much open light as possible to ensure maximum growth and, if you grow fruit/tomatoes, maximum ripening.


    Good luck


    Best wishes



  • I'm thinking maybe some shrubs down the left side, because they can grow tall enough to find light; then a path, then a raised veggie patch to the right, as I think that gets the best midday sun.

    Towards the back, I'll probably put some seats, perhaps fixed wooden benches. Against the back fence I want to put a small green house (only 3ft deep). It will get some light in the morning, but it'll probably be used more as a place to sit when it's raining - but could put a few plants in there on shelves.

    I can't go too high with trees and shrubs because it'll annoy my neighbour on the right side.

    Also need to squeeze in a compost pile, water butt (perhaps running off the green house), and a log pile for creepy crawlies. And then there's the plants I bought with me in pots. Would heathers be okay beneath the shrubs against the fence? And lastly, a yukka which my previous neighbour gave me when she bought a flat without a garden. It has survived in a pot for years but has outgrown it and looks in need of some freedom. If i plant it into the ground, shall I put it in the sunniest spot? There's one a couple of gardens down that is now over 12ft tall!

  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,584

    The paving you use will be very important to the look of this garden as it will hold the whole design together. Don't try and use too many different types of plant as this could end up looking messy (unless of course you like 'messy').....the euonymus you have is great for year round colour and a good foil for other things. Put the veg beds where they will get the most sun as you can find plenty of other plants that will be happy in shade. It looks like a lovely plot with so many possibilities.

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