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I have just moved from a flat into a house with a garden. I am a complete newbie and have never kept a garden. I am lucky, the house I have bought is a new build and the garden is plain so I can design how I want. 

I do have a few ideas, but having seen the designs in the magazine (gardening World) I realised that mine were quite plain and boring. I know I want a shed in the left hand corner and a flower bed in the right. I want to grow some plants / tress / flowers quite high so I can hide the metal fencing seen in the photo below. 

I would appreciate any input whether that be types of plants / trees. Garden design or just general comments. 

So glad I joined the forum...

Thanks in advance. 

Gary (In Essex). 










  • GardenmaidenGardenmaiden Posts: 1,126

    Hi, what direction does the sun travel through your garden during the day? Does it go from left to right across your garden or does it go from the front of your house to the back or vice versa? You would want some shade but not completley block out the sun.

    Do you want to paint your fence or leave as it is?

    What kind of plants do you like? Collect pictures, see what is growing in surrounding gardens to get an idea of what likes the soil conditions.

    Have a look at garden centres, B&Q(great for reduced plants of all types), tv programmes. You'll find your ideal garden, good luck!

  • StevedaylillyStevedaylilly Posts: 1,087
    • If you created a circular lawn then it will make the garden look more wider and also create different boarder widths. To hide the metal fence why not fit trellis fencing to the exiting back fence that extend to the height of the metal fence behind. The you could grow various climbers such as honeysuckle and clematis. 
    • As for plants it would be better to get a soil test done on the soil. These can be brought from most GC or DIY stores and are simple to use. The test should confirm if you have a acid or alkaline soil and you can then buy the appropriate plants to suit your soil. 
    • As for what plants and shrubs you will eventually decide to buy will be decided on what type of garden you want ie: cottage or contemporary.
  • Thank you Gardenmaiden, The garden is Westerly facing according to the sale description. The sun travels from the left to right looking at the garden in the photo. 

    I think we are going to leave the fence that colour, 

    I love lavender, I like wild growing and a good variety of colour too. 

    Thanks Greenfingers Steve! I will ge the soil tested, I do like the cottage feel. I guess its research and time. I know it'll take time to get it how I want it, but am looking forward to the challenge. 


  • StevedaylillyStevedaylilly Posts: 1,087

    Look at some good garden design books and see what elements would fit iin to your garden shape.Obviously if you are going to have a shed and depending on its size then try and hide it with timber posts and trellis fencing fitted in front of it. What ever you decide to do, it will not come all together in one moment. But get the hardscaping right and you have the backbone of the garden design in place 

  • Hello GJ4 - you've really got the proverbial Blank Canvas there!  Really good that there seems to be nothing much in the way of other property close behind, so lots of light and no real need to make much by way of screening for privacy. 

    I'm a bit puzzled by the fact that there seem to be two boundary fences - the wooden one, and then the metal one on the other side of the wooden panels. What's actually on the other side?  Could this affect anything you want to do with your own garden area?

    One of the most cost-effective things to do at this stage - as far as getting ideas is concerned - would be to go to a local charity shop and see what books they might have ref gardening.  It's one of the best ways I can think of to discover what you could  do with your own garden - and then you could see whether there's something on You-Tube ref how to dig, prepare the ground, plant stuff, prune stuff etc  if you're unsure about how to do it all.

    When it comes to buying tools etc, it's worth checking out your local Freecycle or car boot sales - you never know what you might find!

    Good luck with it - and maybe you'll post some photos in a few months' time so we can see how you get on.

  • thank you. I shall have a look about, any good books you'd recommend?


  • Thank you Hypercharliefarley. The fences to the L and R are neighbouring properties, the metal fence to the rear is actually dividing us from a field. Whilst its nice view, I would like to screen off the metal fencing as that isn't.


  • gosh - that was a quick response!  As far as books go,  think it's a personal kind of thing in that some people like the technical/factual stuff and some prefer things with lots of photographs and suchlike.  At least - in a charity shop - you'd only need to spend a relatively small amount of cash to acquire a whole shelf-full of books which might help not only now but later on too. 

    If you can find (via t'internet perhaps) some CDs of AlanTitchmarsh or Geoff Hamilton working on various projects for people - or TV series - you might find them worth having. 

    Gardening is such a personal thing in terms of what we like/want/can actually achieve that it's a bit of a minefield to try to suggest any particular aspect.  The main thing - in my opinion anyway! -  is to try to look ahead a bit and only spend the  larger amounts of cash on things which you know will have to last a long time. That means any paved areas, a shed or greenhouse, whether or not you'd decide to have a conservatory in future, etc.  I guess you can see what I mean by that.

  • Hello again - we "cross-posted" I think.  Ref hiding the metal fencing - there could be a bit of a problem in that many garden fences these days aren't supposed to be higher than 6ft/2m.  One way round this is to erect what I call a  "half pergola" - if you google pergola you'll see what I mean - and if the posts are put in approx. 3ft from the fence (so that you can reach it for maintenance purposes) you can grow stuff up the poles and across the horizontals so's to hide the metal fence.

  • MarygoldMarygold Posts: 331

    Don't forget your local library for books and magazines.

    You'll need to think about what you need such as a sitting/eating out area; would you want it in the sun/shade/near the kitchen. Do you have children/pets?

    I wouldn't rush into anything (personally). You could plant some pots if you can't wait! Spend some time visiting open gardens for ideas. Some large garden centres make display gardens for ideas too.

    Best of luck and let us know how you get on.

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