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Design Ideas

Hi all

I am relatively new to the world of gardening and having recently inherited a shared garden that looks rather neglected I would like to do something to it this summer.

The garden is walled on three sides with steps leading down from a patio and measures approximately 15m x 15m.

At the moment the borders are overgrown and are around 2m deep on all sides.

Ideally I would like to have some vegetables on one side and a lot of colour on the south wall and the north side as this is what we look out on to from the kitchen window. 

Ideally I would like the garden to be practical ie easy(ish) to maintain whilst also providing some edibles in the form of berries or vegetables.

Any help would be greatly appreciated as I feel as if I am going around in circles a little. 

Thank you in advance



  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,735

    You say that the garden is shared. Do your fellow sharers have any of their own ideas/preferences/knowledge/financial input?

    If not, are you going to pay for everything, do all the graft and then divvy out the results?

    If so, do you want to spend a lot of money or are you doing it on a shoestring?

    After you have taken this into account, you can think about planning the space. You will need paths. Grass? Gravel? Stone? Are you buying the materials yourself? Doing the donkey work? How much physical help can you reasonably expect to have per week, fair weather and foul?


    After all that has been sorted the rest is easy. Buy what you like to eat, don't grow things that you won't eat.image


    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • Thanks for the responses above.

    I will try to take a photograph at the weekend given that it is dark when I leave and subsequently return.

    In response to your questions pansyface:

    We share with the flat above who have no interest in the garden at all and will not contribute financially or physically so in a way it is akin to our own garden.  For all they have no interest in the garden the only use they make of it is to take the bins out and occaisonnally feed the birds.

    Having said that, I want to leave the layout as it is i.e.grass in the middle surrounded by four borders. 

    In terms of pricing ideally want to do it as economically as possible.  However, it doesn't need any landscaping just a good tidy and the borders digging over. 

    The grass is a mess and there appear to be a lot of weeds in it so I was thinking about reseeding the grass rather than laying turf however if you advise otherwise happy to put turf down.

    Legally upstairs own the border areas so I won't put any gravel down and just want to leave them as flower beds however I would like to plant a couple of trees.

    Realistically I probably have about 5 hours per week to be in the garden. 


  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,735

    5 hours per week requires a low maintenance garden! Maybe think about shrubs for the shady areas and perennials for the sunny ones. 

    Turf versus reseeding? To prepare a garden for a lawn grown from seed takes a lot of time and energy. Then the seeded area can't be walked on for weeks and weeds. I'd go for turf. The quality is quite good enough for the average garden where you just want somewhere to sit and enjoy the sunshine.

    Be careful with your choice of trees and where you put them. Depending on the species, they can damage foundations and drains if they are planted too close to them. Maybe think about a fruit tree on a fairly dwarfing rootstock?

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • Thanks pansyface I will go down the turfing route then.

    The south wall is in the shade for most of the day - what kind of shrubs would you recommend?  Given our borders are around 1.5 - 2m deep is there any kind of packages you can get e.g. a variety of shrubs with recommended planting distances.

    I think I will lay off the trees then given that the garden is walled on three sides, the fourth being a raised bed beside a patio area.

    Would you recommend planting a climber on the south wall?  It is a new pebble dash finished wall as opposed to granite stone on the other two and it just looks ugly and is what we see from our rear windows?

  • Thanks Tetley I will look those up. In terms of actioning ideas when is a good time to start eg digging over borders, planting shrubs etc
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