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New garden - suggestions for design please

Hi, I've only just discovered this lovely web site and would appreciate some suggestions for our new garden-we moved in during the summer and mostly spent time clearing ground elder and ivy. The picture shows the part I'm interested in.
A long red brick wall, fading limewash, curved ends, on the left hand side is a bed planted with acanthus and shrubs. On the right a walnut tree and beech hedge. The door doesn't open, it gives on to a barbed wire fence around the field behind. I'd like a hard-standing  patch for a fire dish, and a water feature, but can't work out what colours/materials would look good against the brick. (Repainting the limewash is not an option.)
I think we could make something really exciting with this feature but am a bit unsure as to how. I'd love an alchemy style garden here. Growing flowers/veg not important in this area-I've got room for those elsewhere.

I'd love to hear your ideas!





  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,852

    Hello Sandyv and welcome image

    What a delicious spot!  Very 'Secret Garden' - ish. 

    I'd like to make a grass 'pathway' leading to the door, with a big grass circle in the centre for your firepit, and then fill the rest of the space with a shrubbery and spring bulbs and woodland flowers, so that it continues the 'slightly neglected romantic' theme of the ivy on the old wall etc. 

    Perhaps an old pump trickling water into a stone basin/trough sunk into the ground - it'd soon be covered with moss and lichen, and with a few native daffodils planted around it would look wonderful. 

    There's also lots of space for wildlife - bird and bat boxes, hedgehog homes etc which love it there.

    What is the big tree on the right?


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

  • sandyvsandyv Posts: 116

    Hey Dovefomabove, so you're suggesting removing most of the lawn-interesting idea! I'd thought about an old pump but not sure how i can make it look natural rather than just plonked there. The tree is a walnut and we planned to keep the bare bit under it for our table and chairs which worked well this summer, shading it from the sun as that is the south side.


  • Beaus MumBeaus Mum Posts: 3,550

    Hi sandy

    your garden looks lovely and the wall beautiful

    what exactly is your idea of "alchemy" ? image


  • sandyvsandyv Posts: 116

    I was thinking of the Alchemy gardens at the 3 Counties Showground. They make great use of stone, water, grottoes, arches etc to set off what is not really a wide range of plants. Some areas are mediterranean, some slightly gothic etc.The whole place has a very relaxing, magical feel to it.

  • Beaus MumBeaus Mum Posts: 3,550

    Sounds lovely and I think a perfect choice as you already have the beginnings of your dream design already.  Personally I would build on the plants you have already especially the acanthus which are really gothic and magical.  I would add hostas, ferns and deepest burgundy astrantia and maybe a deep red velvet coloured rambling rose.  I would put your tree man on the wall and add a chandelier to your walnut tree above your table and chairs.  I wouldn't add anything too fake looking or twee.  Really looking forward to how your garden develops image


  • DaisydayDaisyday Posts: 373

    Lucky you having a walled garden! I would have to have something growing up that lovely old wall such as espalier apples, peaches or pears. I hope you show us all what you eventually decide on with some more pictures!

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,762
    sandyv wrote (see)

    The whole place has a very relaxing, magical feel to it.


    You'll need some fairies then...image

    and somewhere for them to live.....


    Seriously - you could consider a dividing 'screen' across the garden,  with an arch (or similar)  which lets you see part of the bit beyond. You could use shrubs or a fence with climbers. Make the arch slightly offset rather than central,  giving a glimpse of your door in the wall.

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • sandyvsandyv Posts: 116

    We actually ripped some of the ivy off the wall as it was completely hidden, as was the door, we thought the wall was too interesting to hide also the picture was taken from a big rose covered arch leading from the other part of the garden so we got some basics in place there.There are loads of places down the bottom of the walnut for the fairies to live, although I saw some amazing fairy garden pictures on the web, where kind owners have built them proper little houses image

  • flumpy1flumpy1 Posts: 3,117

    I want your Garden it's lovely image

  • chickychicky Posts: 10,402

    It is a gorgeous spotimage

    I agree with those who say accentuate the door as a feature, and I would love to find room amongst the ivy for a rambling rose of some sort too.  

    As for materials, I would stay as natural as possible - really like Dove's suggestion of grass rather than a hard standing - makes it more of a glade than a "patio"

    Let us know how you get onimage

    PS ...I have fairies in my garden too - but they are well hidden and hard to spot.  But when they are spotted they always raise a smileimage

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