English forest design for front garden.
At the front of my house I have a small garden which measures 7 x 4 metres (23 x 13 feet). It is a North facing garden which means that in the summer months the front of it gets partial sunshine (the west facing fence gets sunshine in the late afternoon for a few hours.
I intend to strip the grass and other weeds from it first before planting. I have tried to turn the soil with a spade and sift throgh it by hand removing the grass and other roots which is taking quite a long time. I feared that if I used a rotivator all it will do is break the roots into smaller pieces and they would sprout again at the first opportunity. Am I right thinking this?
In terms of design I have thought to plant the whole surface with hundreds of bulbs, then plant a few scattered tree ferns (in a non symetrical way) and maybe one tree as a focal point. In each corner I'm thinking of planting clusters of various ferns.
The plants I intend to use include:
Bluebells, snowdrops, lily of the valley, crocus
Hostas, various ferns, tree ferns
In terms of the focal tree an oak one would have been nice to create a proper English forest look but I do realise that it would be overkill considering the size of the front garden.
I am quite keen on using an Acer Palmatum Sango Kaku:
I am aware though that it may be more suitable for a Japanese garden so thought to ask people's ideas regarding using it? Would it "fit in" with the rest of the plants being used? Or would it look too much out of place?
Any thoughts are appreciated.